"A Plea in the Night"

An Original Short Story by Lesley S. (Prolifer2)

     The young man sat staring into the night searching for a comforter.  He was a handsome boy who stood just under six-feet tall.  He had brown wavy hair that threw off red highlights when the sun hit it at a certain angle.  His eyebrows were soft and his emerald green eyes were even softer.  He had a strong jawline, although at the present moment it quivered with confusion and hurt.  His neck was taking on the thickness of a man and his shoulders were broadening by the minute.  Even though he looked like a man, he felt like a lost and frightened child.

     He had been Roman Catholic since birth.  He attended church with his mother at St. Augustine Cathedral in Porterville, Rhode Island.  It was a beautiful church with rows of wooden pews to accommodate the hundreds of members that flooded its interior every Sunday.  At the front of the church stood a wooden altar bearing the Christian symbol .  Directly behind the altar, elevated four feet, stood the tabernacle.  It was always locked except during mass and held round, bread wafers which through the miracle of transubstantiation actually became the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ.

     Above the tabernacle, hanging on the wall, was a wooden cross upon which hung a man.  His hair was bloody and matted.  A crown made of thorns circled his head.  His arms were outstretched and bloody from the nails in each wrist.  His feet were also nailed one on top of the other.  He had a slash in his side and a plaque above his pierced head that read “INRI.”  Looking upon this man, the boy always felt sweet sorrow.  He had always longed to embrace the Savior, but had never known how.

     As the young man sat in the darkness alone, his thoughts turned to the church.  They turned to the broken man on the cross.  He longed for relief from the nightmare of the accident.  All he could remember was his mother’s mangled body being cut from the car and rushed away in the ambulance.  As he sat outside the small three-story hospital, he longed for the church.  He longed from Jesus and Mary to surround his trembling body with their awesome presence.

     He sat for a few more moments, swallowed the lump in his throat, and went back into the hospital.  It was cool and quiet in the lobby.  At 3:00am only one nurse was at the front desk.  As he approached her, she gave him a sympathetic but warm smile and informed him that his mother had made it through the surgery and was now situated on the third floor, room 312.  When the boy arrived, he found a priest administering the sacrament of the Anointing of the Sick to his mother.  He said a silent prayer thanking God that someone had seen her crucifix and out of respect called a priest.  Fr. Atkins was administering Holy Communion to her.  The boy felt such a longing for the Blessed Eucharist that he asked Father if he could also receive, though it came out more as a plea.  As the boy knelt, the priest took the round wafer with the cross imprinted on it and placed it on his tongue.  The boy chewed with reverence and began to pray.

     Upon opening his eyes, he felt a great peace and strength sweep over his soul.  The boy once more became aware of his surroundings and noticed the priest had already left the tiny hospital room.  The boy decided he had to be his mother’s comforter as Christ had been his.  He spotted a lonely chair in the far corner and brought it to his mother’s bedside.  He reached into the front pocket of his jeans and removed a long strand of beads.  As he took her bandaged hand in his own, he softly began to pray the fifteen decades of the Rosary.




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