300 Word Writing Challenge #2
Congratulations to forum member The Judge for winning our July 300 Word Writing Challenge, which was open to all members of the sffchronicles forums. She wins a £10 voucher to spend at The Book Depository.
As before, members had to write a story of no more than 300 words, inspired by an image chosen by our moderators. For July, it was the painting below, used with the kind permission of the artist, also a forum member — and The Judge’s story appears after.
Happy reading …
Bringer of …
“Push, my dear. For the One.”
“Yes, honoured midwife,” the girl says between gasped agony. “For the One.”
A dutiful response, spoken serenely. More dutiful, more serene, than I have ever encountered, and I have heard hundreds of such. Her parents smile: she has learned her lessons well. The recordings will show the One was born into duty and serenity.
And tonight He will be born. The prophecies cannot be wrong. Not again. Our Lord will come down to us. He will be one of us. Millennia of pain and oppression will end and we will rise under His glory.
The baby crowns. The midwife urges more effort. He is there. I move forward to take the child, to hold him and feel the light…
There is no light. Only another child.
“This is not the One,” I say. The wait continues. “I name this child…”
No one speaks. No one has prepared a name, so sure were they.
“… Corin,” I say. My father’s name. Much good will it do the child.
* * * * *
I leave them.
The night is bitter, baleful. As ever it is. No other child is registered to be born this year. I walk without caring where my feet take me.
A scream stops my reverie. I follow the noise. A girl, lying in the gutter. I kneel at her side.
“Push,” I urge, echoing the midwives I have heard so often.
“I… am… ****ing… pushing.”
I laugh. Never before have I heard an honest response.
The baby crowns. Another effort. He slips into my hands. I go to speak but…
Light… the light comes! Pulsing through me. A coruscating beam of hope and splendour, its radiance kindling the midnight sky.
“This is the One,” I sing. The long wait is over. “I name this child… Lucifer.
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