He hadn’t counted on going in. He’d just been too darned lonely house-sitting the place while its owner studied overseas. He really resented the inane or gratuitously violent TV offerings. So, after his TV dinner, he’d just gone out, walking, till he got tired enough to sleep – just like every other night for the past six months. But who counted? He had seen the bustle from a block away. Cars had been trying to get into the plugged parking lot. Lines of bundled-up families chatted excitedly and called to each other as they converged. Bright light bathed the spire and filled the windows. He found himself trapped between clumps of people ahead and behind and fenced in by the solid row of parked cars to his left. The human tide simply herded him off the sidewalk with them and up the broader approach to the double doors. Rather than step out of the line into the knee-deep snowbanks he decided he’d just go with the flow. It wasn’t that he didn’t know the drill. It was Christmas Eve. How many similar services had he conducted through his lifetime? It’s just he couldn’t do it anymore. And he had nobody to not do it with either since Margaret had died back in the Spring.
Written by K.G. Watson, cover design by Alex Goubar