by James D. Witmer
This is my effort in the annual Advent Ghosts 100 Word Storytelling put on by my friend Loren Eaton at I Saw Lightning Fall. See other entries there. Thanks, Loren!
The old astrologer won’t leave me alone.
Every night I start, gasping, from sleep, sure that he stands beside me; dull eyes staring, lentils in his beard, wheezing voice in my ear.
But he isn’t there.
If I catch him, I will kill him.
When I walk the balconies, his raspy mutterings follow me like an old wife.
I killed a village of peasant children to silence it.
Yet I hear him in every quiet place, repeating words just-read:
“But you, Bethlehem, out of you will come one who will be ruler over Israel, whose origins are from ancient times.”