Catholicism in the Car

Friday, May 27, 2022

A Lonely, Silent Night - A Short Story

It was a lonely, silent night. The sun just having set its rays behind the plains of flowing wheat. One night it was. A relative quiet filled the air, a train whistle heard in the distance. Something was off, but no one to witness. A barn cat purred while scratching its back against a growing elm tree. The wheels of the train, hitting the uneven seams of the tracks, screamed into the dark. Clap clap, clap clap.

There was a stressful thought whispering upon the wind as an old, beaten down Cutlass Ciera turns down the gravel drive of an ancient farmhouse. The grass recently mowed, but not pristine in appearance. The last bit of sunlight faded as a figure opens the car door, and places one barefoot upon the drive, feeling the rocks between his toes. As his head ducks slightly under the car roof, he scoots himself out and stands, leaning on the door. His shadow is struck in front of him, barely visible in the fading light. He breathes heavily and raspie. A hollow man he is. No one seems to notice the stranger’s presence. 

Upon the farmhouse porch lays a Model 21 Winchester with its black walnut stock, and handsomly crafted steel barrels. As dark overtook the property, a yellow light shone from a second story window facing the setting sun. The man standing on the drive could be seen clearly if anyone had been there to observe him. Silence again carved out the clapping of train wheels upon the ears of all and one alike. A few crickets chirp, and the wind blows.

A cream light is cast by the headlights upon concrete stairs leading up a small berm to another walk stretching to the porch. Now the man leans on the front of his car to observe the proceedings which forthcame. Rays from the car’s light rode around his calves, striking even darker shadows upon the berm, and even casting light upon the closed storm door leading into the house. A shimer reflects off of the steel barrel of the gun, leaning upon the door hinges. 

Stars now shown in the sky, as it was a clear night. A slight glow indicated the small town nearby, maybe 7 miles away, and obfuscated the stars’ light.

A door slammed within the house. This came from somewhere inside the house, but its exact location could not be ascertained. A muffled yelling could be heard from the drive; these sounds started loudly and abruptly and had been heard here before. They continued as they had many nights before; slamming to yelling to screaming. Pounding of fists on wood, and the stomping of feet.

Escalation turned to escalation, but nothing seemed particularly awry Until…

Smack. A closed fist on dainty flesh. A collapse. Then the silence returned, as though welcomed by the crickets and train. 

The storm door flung open, as a man brashly walked out. He is dazed and wobbling. The wood of the porch creaked below his steps. Stunned, he notices the car and figure standing at the end of his drive, but it seems to him that they are a figment of his stupor. After letting the storm door swing shut behind him, he turns, grabbing the steel barrels of the gun, straightens himself up, and heads back into the house. The faint sound of the gun’s being cocked sounds. Clap, Clap. 

On the drive, the figure can do nothing. He is not even light, but he does see.

The cat’s tail swung and an ear flicked.

A relative quiet filled the air, as a train whistle was heard in the distance. It was a lonely, silent night.








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A Lonely, Silent Night - A Short Story

It was a lonely, silent night. The sun just having set its rays behind the plains of flowing wheat. One night it was. A relative quiet fille...