A Good Friday – by Cricket’s Song
Mary’s Ghillie is happy to introduce our first guest writer: Cricket’s Song! We’re grateful for his contribution to this blog, and hope to post more of his writing in the future!
The cool evening breeze gently brushed the woman’s graying hair against her lined cheek as she sat gazing out the window at the dying light of the setting sun. She stirred herself slowly in an attempt to rise, but soon gave in to the serenity of the fading day and instead settled into a more comfortable position; the women in the kitchen would have to do without her for a while longer. She tucked the ends of her clean but simple dress around her ankles and slowly returned her gaze to the fading light beyond her window. Her anxious eyes scanned the gathering gloom, hoping perhaps to see a messenger outlined against the fading light. Rumor had it that the authorities were looking for her Son, though she could not justify any reason why. She wished her husband was still alive; he would know what to do. He had been such a good father, so understanding and kind. Who else would have stayed with her, young and pregnant as she had been, and raised the child as his very own? She decided that if her Son did not contact her soon, she would turn the city over looking for Him like she had done that time when He was young. She smiled at the thought. If only she still had the energy she did then – not that she was weak or frail by any means. She was not getting younger though, and nowadays, He seemed to get into more trouble with each passing day.
People just do not understand Him sometimes, she thought.
Like that gossip she had overheard about Him leading a revolution, she had been shocked, and even now she could hardly reconcile herself to the idea. A feeling of unease seemed to make the room cramped and constricting and her brow creased at the thought, multiplying the winkles that played across her features. She was just shy of fifty, but her continuous traveling these last couple of years had aged her beyond nature. She placed her venerable hands into the folds of her dress; the air was starting to become a bit chill and if she inhaled slowly, she could just distinguish the faint smell of the sea. Memories of her Son came flooding back, unbidden, unasked for; the joyful, sorrowful, the challenging. She felt tears come to her eyes, blurring the forbidding darkness that gathered outside. She must be strong. She must pray.
Not but a few miles away, a young man frantically scrambled across the terrain, heedless of the numerous cuts and scrapes he had received in his battle with the nearly invisible brush and shrubs.
Why!? he cried internally. Why did this have to happen?
John had hastily left minutes before when he and his friends had been surprised by armed men. He was lucky he had not been slain in the confusion, as much as he had panicked. He furiously tried to make sense of the events that had so recently transpired. He and his friends had eaten supper together and then left for a nearby garden in hopes of a bit of peace. They had not been there long before the soldiers appeared out of nowhere.
How did anyone even know we were there? he thought for the twentieth time. And why us? he wondered.
He considered taking his sandals off but there was no telling what he might step on, and any time gained by going barefoot would be lost if he ended up limping the rest of the way. He was going to have to slow down soon, as his lungs were starting to constrict.
Am I even going the right direction? he wondered; it was hard to tell in the freshly fallen night.
The soldiers had not offer a word of explanation, and he had no idea what had happened to the rest of his group. He had only stayed long enough to see them capture One of his friends and now he must bear the terrible news to this Friend’s mother.
Friend!? he thought. How could he call the now-captive only a ‘friend’ when they were so much more like brothers? All thirteen of them had traveled many miles together, though it was this One in particular that he and the others looked up to. He was in such haste that only now did he grimly consider how his Friend’s mother would handle the news.
Not far now, he thought.
The woman turned with a start. A moment before she had thought she heard the faint sound of running. Perhaps she imagined it. What she heard now was the voice of one of the younger women calling her name. The voice’s owner soon appeared and scolded her for sitting to close to the window, warning against sickness. She smiled softly as she listened, not at all put out by the scolding nor repentant of the actions that earned the redress. Her dress swished as she silently let herself be helped to her feet. She certainly needed no help, but was still lost in thought.
“Come join us inside Mary,” she heard, and as she let herself be lead into the light, a faraway cricket began its lonely song.