This weeks prompt on Sunday Scribblings is Late
It was very late. John, the landlord of the Star Inn had bid farewell to last of his customers as they stepped outside into the deep snow that lay like a blanket of sparkling white on the lane and the surrounding fields.
It occurred to John that it was lighter than usual that night. The moon was high in the sky, but the light that night was brighter than moonlight. It was whiter, and it threw the hedges and trees into sharp contrast against silver cloud- streaked sky.
He looked up, and directly above the pub was a star, the biggest brightest star he’d ever seen.
He pulled the heavy oak door, and it shut with the reassuring clunk which told him that his day of toil had finished.
Just a final bit of clearing up. He settled the glowing remains of the log fire, then flicked the switch which plunged the ancient building into darkness, except for a beam of light which had found a crack in the closed curtains covering the bay window.
John turned and started to climb the winding stairs, but as he reached the third step there was a loud banging on the locked door.
John sighed a heavy sigh. Perhaps someone had left their keys behind or maybe their gloves or hat. He reluctantly returned to the bar, and muttering something under his breath turned on a light and started towards the door.
Another loud, almost frantic bang. “I’m coming” called John “I’m coming”
The door creaked as it opened almost as if to say ‘I’ve seen my last person through tonight’. Standing knee deep in the freshly fallen snow was a young man with a terrified expression on his pale face.
“My wife’s having a child” he said “the ambulance couldn’t reach our cottage so I was trying to get her to the hospital myself, but our car is stuck in a drift just over there”
He pointed she shape of a car, its lights a dull yellow and caked in slush.
“Can we come in – do you have a room we can use? Will you help us? Please? Please?”
“We have no rooms to spare – this is just a tiny pub, there is just my own accommodation“
John felt the fear in the man’s face, and knew something had to be done.
“Let me help you bring her in” he said” You can use the small bar over there”
John was not experienced in the ways of childbirth and decided he would have to enlist the help of Ruth who lived a couple of doors up the lane. Ruth the retired nurse who by now would be settling down for the night. He needn’t have worried. She seemed only too pleased to have been asked. After all, this kind of thing added a bit of excitement to the somewhat dull routine she endured day after day.
The baby was born. A boy. And somehow news of the birth spread through the village. One by one the villagers came to the door to see the new child. Some brought small gifts – a little gold bracelet, scented candles and a bunch of sweet smelling flowers.
All that was several years ago. The village still looks the same, and the people who live there are mostly the same. But something is different. Nothing you can put your finger on, but it feels like a special place. A place where something special happened.
The rest, as they say, is history!