Sunday, 23 December 2012

Waiting for Jesus

As promised, here is the second short story, part of a trilogy of Christmas presents because I'm broke, and it's apparently the thought that counts.

This one is called Waiting for Jesus, and it's been read by about two other people. I wrote it one cold night after in taking the peculiar mix of gin and coffee. I don't recommend it for taste, but I do for creative writing, and if you ever need to drink something from a mug that tastes like mental breakdown. Come to think of it, the mix of coffee and gin was probably what resulted in the choice of dialect for this short.

I hope you enjoy.

Image Courtesy of Abi Jones -
It wis nine o’clock in the evening, minus four degrees outside, and my Gran and I were waiting for Jesus to arrive. It’s not like he wis late for a cocktail party or anything – in fact quite the opposite – I wis drinking a lukewarm Coke and Gran wis drinking a gin and tonic. Gran lives in this cushy wee place, a bungalow with crazy patterned curtains and cats on the mantelpiece and a milkman. It wis Christmas and so the whole place was illuminated in all the cheesy lights of the rainbow, and a crummy Santa hanging in the window. She didn’t always live there though – before she lived there ma parents made her live in this stale old folks home over on Brampton.

I can’t quite remember because I was only a wee bairn at the time, but I remember me Ma saying she couldn’t look after Gran anymore so she had to be sent this nice place where other people could look after her and feed her and that. It wasn’t a nice place – at least, that’s what Gran said. Gran did everything in her wrinkly power to get out of that place. Like I said, I can’t remember myself but I’ve heard stories of her spiking the meals with tramadol, running round in her knickers shouting obscenities, and accusing the help of being bourgeoisie pigs there to enslave her. Needless to say, she swiftly and artfully got herself out of there and negotiated a new place to live. Everyone thought she’d be safer there. Turns out she wasn’t.

About four weeks ago this guy turned up at her front door in the evening with a mug and a carrier bag full of random shite – there were stones in his cup and he shook it at her and told her he was Jesus. Now my Gran ain’t religious or nothing but for some reason or other she keeps a crucifix hung on her front door. Nobody asks her why, but I reckon this is why this mad bastard came a knocking telling her he was Jesus – either that or he genuinely thinks he’s the messiah, either of which seem plausible.

My Gran being the type of person she is she lets this Jesus fellow inside, sits him down and brews a cup and asks him about the weather and what he’s being doing recently and whatever else popped in her wee heid. I don’t think it occurred to her to ask for proof of his piety or any reason why the son of god would come to the house of a random old bird. In fact no – she probably did think of that. But it’s these sorts of things that Gran just takes as normal. When you get to that age I guess you don’t want to question anything in case it turns out to be normal and people start thinking you’re going senile. The irony of the case is that instead she let this random guy into her house to stop people thinking she’s crazy.

That wasn’t the end of it either. The next week on the same day the same guy turns up at her door, shakes his cup and announces that Jesus is back for another cup of tea. This time she asks him if he wants a dram of scotch in it and he says yes. God almighty, I feel mad just telling it back to yous. Anyway he sits down again and they shoot the shit about whatever springs to mind, carefully recounting what they’ve both done since their last meeting, a detail which Gran can’t really recall back to me when she finally tells me two weeks later about her visitor. In fact no, she tells me Ma, I just happen to be there.

So by the third week this is coming to be a regular occurrence and Gran is building up quite the rapport with Jesus. A week later she tells Ma and once she’s gone back home Ma barks at me to go and keep an eye on her. I say bark as if it was all her idea, but I was starting to get worried myself like – you see all those stories about old ladies getting murdered in their homes on the news and that and it all seems a bit mean them blokes on telly making these horror stories to keep people in their homes, but as soon as I heard about this Jesus fella I was scared for me Gran. I love her, and I don’t want to see her dead on the news.

So that evening, on the Jesus evening, I strolled over to me Gran’s place all casual like, knocked on her door and told her I was gaunnae hang around so I could meet this Jesus fella cause if I were acting all shady and protective like, she wouldnae of gone along with it. My Gran enjoys being an independent woman who doesn’t need family to protect her, which in retrospect is probably why she rebelled herself out of the home.

So I sit down and she gets me my Coke and makes herself a cup and sits down with me and we make small talk about the weather and how I’m doing finding a job and that – not very well, by the way. So eventually I steer the conversation towards Jesus and she instantly looks up at the clock on the mantelpiece. For a moment everything is silent and she’s looking up at it like a dog that just heard a loud noise. Its pure eerie, like something out of a horror flick or something. It turns out it’s almost the time he arrives.

A car pulls up outside and all my hairs stand on end and I feel like we should turn up the heating or drink more of my Coke which has now been warmed by my hands or anything to get rid of the damn hairs on end. Does he drive? I didn’t think he drove. I peer out the window. Gran is still being silent. I can see the car but I can’t see anyone, and suddenly Gran gets out of her seat. I want to stand up and say no she shouldn’t do whatever it is she’s doing but she’s carrying on and I can’t move because I feel like I’m in a horror movie and I’m petrified that I’m about to watch my Gran get bludgeoned to death by a mug full of stones.

She goes towards the door and I get up to follow her and just as I turn into the hallway she opens the door. For a moment I stare, perplexed, looking through the open door, and waiting for my eyes to adjust to whatever is there. But they don’t. It’s still black and I’m worried, because I can’t see Jesus. I lean forward, squeeze my peepers all tight like and try to focus on Jesus. I start to feel pretty stupid because I’m sure he’s not there. That’s when Gran moves her hand away from the door, welcoming in nothing.

“Y’alright there Jesus?”


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