Sunday, March 26, 2023

The Angelus

 The Angelus - A short story by Mary M. Isaacs


“In the Lord I’ll be ever thankful, In the Lord I will rejoice,

Look to God, do not be afraid.

Lift up your voices the Lord is near,

Lift up your voices, the Lord is near.”


     The woman looked at her husband pleadingly as he prepared to go out the door for the day’s work. “Couldn’t we just keep saying it only in the morning and at day’s end, as we have been?”

     “Alison, we’ve talked about this. It’s time. We can’t hide in fear any longer. You know we are to speak boldly.”

     “But they will hurt you, maybe take you away. Maybe I’ll never see you again. Maybe they will come for me.”

     Daniel came back from the door and put his canteen on the table. He took his wife into his arms. “You know what to do. Go to your cousin Joseph’s house after lunch. They will keep you safe until we see what happens. There’s plenty of room there for you—we have no children to protect. Yet.” And he smiled at her.

     She clung to him. “If they take you away, there never WILL be any children.”

     His smile broadened and he put his hand gently on her belly. “We have this one.”

     She pulled back and stared at him. “How could you know that? I’m not even sure myself!”

     “God told me,” he said simply, as he looked at her.

     “But,” she stammered, “isn’t that more reason for you to be careful, then? For you not to do this? How can I raise a child without you?”

     “How can we raise a child without God?” he countered sternly. His wife had no reply but leaned her forehead on his chest as she held him tightly. “You know I have to do this, Alison. I hope I will not be alone, but even if no one else speaks out, that won’t matter. I must.”

     “I love you so,” her words came out muffled as she pressed closer to him. “God watch over you and keep you safe--every hour, every minute.”

     “Alison,” he whispered. “Dear heart…” and he kissed the top of her head. “Get everything ready to take to Joseph’s. I want to know that you will be safe.”

     She pulled back and looked up at his face, searchingly. He leaned over and kissed her. “I will see you at dinner. Deo volente,” he added.

     The woman reached up to touch his cheek. “I will get everything ready for dinner before I go. I will make something special for you, Daniel!” and she tried to smile at him. “It will be a surprise,” then she turned away abruptly, in order not to see him leave. After she heard the door close behind him, however, she put her hands over her face and allowed the tears to fall...

(To continue reading "The Angelus", you can find it as part of the collection Lux Umbra Dei, available at Amazon in either paperback or Kindle.)

Mary M. Isaacs, copyright 2020

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