Christmas Conditions

Avatar Author: Robert Quick A no-name, aspiring author who can't stop writing. Looking ahead, he strives for perfection. Shackled by various forms of entertainment, he dreams of success. Most stories here are an invitation to YOU, to join me in cre... Read Bio

“Hey boy, I’m talking to you.” A nudge accompanied the voice. Dreams of Clara faded into the ugliness of Camp Sumter.

A hollow face took shape- Bryan, an enemy but also a friend in misery. He was a confederate soldier who’d taken interest in me. We were both stuck here now.

Wooden walls blocked all light but not the cold. Gaunt, skeletal figures lined the walls. I couldn’t see them now, but knew they were there. The sick, labored breathing of those that lived were the only sounds.

“What do you want?” I rasped.

“I was asking if you believed in Jesus Christ, the Lord Almighty.”

I hadn’t been to church in some time, but I believed and said so.

“You know what today is?”

I shook my head, talking hurt my throat.

“December twenty-fifth. You probably won’t be shipped out with the rest of the prisoners, the white folk have priority, but I figured it wouldn’t hurt to wish you a Merry Christmas.”

Choking out a response wasn’t easy, but it was worth it- to both of us.

“Merry Christmas to you too, Bryan.”

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  1. Avatar Bob Liddil

    The implication of friendship between a confederate soldier/guard and a non-white (probably black) union soldier, established by the common ground of faith frames this story well. The flavor of the environ is grim, but the presence of hope gives this Christmas tale an uplifting quality.

    Good work, Robert!