A short winter story…

 

Winter was a happy time for Brother John, because his food stores were in order and the snow came down softly and built steadily larger piles of itself at the feet of the aspens. There was no need to worry because the wood had been stocked and the fire crackled in its stove. The cast-iron would get so hot, that John would, on occasion, crack an egg and fry it on the top without a pan.

John had only a few things to do that day: pray his morning rosary, put on breakfast, and then drink wine while watching out the window as the snow buffeted the rectory.

By noon the haze of the cabernet had worn off. John checked his watch and wandered around his quarters. The hardwood floors creaked as he walked and the brick walls were cold as he brushed them with his hand.. There was an absence of noise in his rectory and that suddenly made him feel very alone, so he let his fingernails trail on the wall to make a scratching sound.

He stopped next to the glass carafes which housed his more pungent scotches and bourbons. He rolled a tumbler in his hand for a while but put it back down again. John remembered he hadn’t tended to his work for the coming Sunday. How would he write his next sermon if he was foggy with liquor? No, he decided the day would be better spent in his study.

He walked up the stairs which also creaked in their familiar tones and went into the large room, the only room on the upper floor, which was his study. The room had glass for walls, offering a three-hundred and sixty degree view of the landscape surrounding his lodgings. The church was only a few paces away from the rectory and its steeple loomed over the trees, only surpassed by the mountain behind it. The study was designed to give its inhabitants inspiration. The thought went that if the man at the desk could see the beauty of the Lord’s creation around him, it would lend that beauty to his theological work, or something like that.

Rather, being isolated in his little outpost at the feet of the mountain, John often felt like the last man left in the world, and the beauty seemed dimmed because of it. Really, he surmised, what good is beauty when you have no one to share it with? These thoughts were only periodically disrupted every Sunday, so that the Sabbath became synonymous with human contact.

The sky was overcast and though the snow did its best to shine, the day still retained a dull feel.

Sitting in his leather chair, watching the scenery, and pondering over psalms wasn’t inspiring John the way it did normally. So John decided he needed to pray. He needed to seek out a fix for his heavy heart.

So John decided to walk to the church.

On his way, he was sucked up by a UFO and never seen again.

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