The Visitor - Revised

The night was biting cold, but the barrel fire was tall and hot. Sparks rose like burning fireflies into the sky. A dozen of us were huddled in close when somebody passed a bottle into the circle.

I had already had a pint of Old Crow myself and was feeling no pain as I waited my turn. While the bottle slowly made its way around, everyone in turn took a mouthful and passed it on. I licked my lips. I was drunk. Soon I would be drunker.

Someone tapped me on the shoulder. Turning to see who it was I saw a beautiful lady standing behind me. She was slightly aglow and translucent, dressed all in white and her voice was soft, but urgent as she said, “Come with me,” beckoning with her hand.

I did.

I followed her all the way to the Harbor Street shelter.

She disappeared at the front door.

That night, the temperature fell to 18 below.

I’ve been sober for 17 years. I was addicted, but I haven’t touched a drop of alcohol since the night an angel saved my life.

My name is Carl and I’m an alcoholic.

“Hi, Carl.”

View this story's 5 comments.