The miracle vignettes


Rachele.jpg picture by missalister 

He’d left her ratty, one-room place smelling like the coffee he’d made and the dump he’d taken, left her leaning against the door after him wondering what the fuck.  He’d kissed her and smiled, an impish smile at one corner of his mouth.  She’d returned the gesture with a gratuitous half-smile.  She needed money.  He offered, but she couldn’t take it from him.  She needed way more money than he could imagine.  What good would his ten or twenty do?  Please.  Even if she took extra money each time he came, she wasn’t good at saving up money.


She pushed off from the door and scuffed into the dinky bathroom to take a piss.  She flushed the toilet and scuffed past the seven-foot strip of kitchen.  She ignored the overflowing trash can, the dirty stove, the full ashtray and empty booze bottles on the flip-down table.  She kicked some clothes aside and flopped down onto the mattress on the floor.  Her head was killing her.  No, the money would have to come in one whopping amount or not at all.  She was waiting for a miracle to happen.  She’d know it when she saw it.




Ruthey.jpg picture by missalister 

It was a gorgeous day in the park.  She walked over to one of the choicest park benches, one of the ones overlooking the water.  She sat down and took note of an abandoned newspaper that’d been worked over and folded open to the Local News section.  She recognized a man in one of the pictures.  It was her old college professor, Darvor Alben.  She picked up the paper for a closer look.  At 75, he’d been found stabbed to death just a few feet from the steps outside his apartment building.


Professor Alben had been the most amazing professor in the English department.  He was wild-eyed and so full of vigor and genuine enthusiasm it was infectious.  The way he worded everything made you hold your breath until he took a breath.  When he’d finished, at the end of each class, he’d bow slightly with his hands together in front of his chest.  And we’d all file out of the room in awesome silence, reverence.


This professor, this beloved man, had won so many awards.  He had been a champion of literacy and of ecological awareness before it’d become fashionable.  He’d done so much for humanity directly and through his students and had come to this sordid end.  How could that be?


Just last week Ruthey had read about the loathsome former CEO of Havershend Media.  At the ripe age of 95, he’d passed peacefully away with his prodigious family members flowing in and around the chiffon curtains and lavish accoutrements of his bedside area.


But then, she’d also read about that wicked hedge fund manager, Dickie Garber, being shot to death by a psycho outside the Piggly Wiggly on 5th and Main.


It didn’t seem to matter.  There seemed to be no correlation between how you died and what you did, who you were.  That thought made her feel so painfully small, insignificant, irreversibly sad.  Professor Alben deserved a lovely, sweet death, not to suffer being stabbed by a drug addict thirty-seven times before he finally, mercifully, died.


Ruthey thought about what her own death would be like.  She was fully aware of the option she held in her own hands, to make that choice.  But she didn’t.  She didn’t because she thought maybe things would turn around for her, maybe go back up from down.


She thought maybe she’d get her old teaching job back, or maybe get a better one at a more prestigious college.  She thought maybe then she could get her car back.  And she thought maybe she could get her old house back, too, or maybe a nicer one in an even nicer neighborhood.


She didn’t make the choice about dying because she was waiting for a miracle to happen.




Hayden.jpg picture by missalister 


Little opportunities had dropped into her lap since she left the house, proof that God watches over the young and the stupid.  Lord knows she’d had no clue what she wanted to do with her life, no practical thoughts regarding what means of making a living she might find fulfilling.  There had been only thoughts of stars without the willingness to build a rocket ship.  She fooled herself into thinking there’d be plenty of time for that.  And no lack of material things gave her no cause to stretch past an easy reach.


Used to be, she just followed a string of opportunity, hand over hand, until it stopped.  And when it did, she might float for a nanosecond before her hand would brush up against another string, a new string, a new beginning, and that was enough.   It became not enough very sneakily, so apparently benignly over a period of so many years that she didn’t take it seriously.  While she was denying, resentment was building.  Resentment stirred rebellion, and together they pushed, moved, hand over fist, until, in one unthinking flourish, she cut the string.




VOICEOVER – Blackness followed.  LeeAnn saw but dimly that she was floating in a thick soup of black, of extreme heat, then extreme cold, nothing in between.  Much time passed.  Material things waned.  And no string was seen or felt, not even a tickle, or a suggestion of one.  She made feeble efforts to locate materials to make her own string and expected God to do the rest like He used to, but nothing was happening.  She guessed feeble didn’t cut it anymore, not now that she was no longer young and stupid.  She was waiting for a miracle to happen.  She felt relatively sure that she’d know it if she saw it…








Woman on park bench with dog, titled “devotion,” subtitled, “To my first pet, Birba”  from MadMärk’s photostream.  See more of MadMärk’s work at


10 responses to “The miracle vignettes

  1. Each is a different, well-written story unto itself, yet each character is waiting for the same thing. I think this might be what’s wrong with the world today. I wanted to tell them to get off their backside and make their miracle happen. I love the way the pictures you choose help tell the story. By the way, I think I used to date Rachele’s guy! :)

  2. Hi BJ! Wow, you got here fast! I love it!
    So the miracle thing, I agree, it seems a globally human problem, waiting for something to happen. I’m majorly guilty of it. That’s why I wrote about it, to exorcise it, to sizzle it in holy water, to rid myself of that nasty demon from the lowest pit of hell!
    I appreciate your mention of the photos. I go by feel, choosing them very carefully.
    And I got such a kick out of the Rachele’s guy bit. Gross, eh? I love to do the Faulkner thing and serve up a gritty scene from the rawness of humanity ;-)

  3. I remembered the song from Natural Born Killers called Waiting for the Miracle by Leonard Cohen.. very well written :) Could be made into an Alejandro González Iñárritu-type film.. ;)

  4. Really good to hear from you, Drumster, after all that’s been going on where you’re at : )
    And what would we do without comments? You’ve shot past a blind spot and extended the scope of the dimension here, made me wonder where in my head that song was and where your other thoughts were when I was writing this. “I’ve been waiting night and day. I didn’t see the time, I waited half my life away…but I was waiting for the miracle, for the miracle to come.” Perfecto. For the record, for posterity, I’ve got to set the links up here to the trailer, the whole song, and the lyrics. Just because :-)

  5. Somehow I get the feeling that these women are all related and knew each other briefly, as children, and that their Uncle Bud had said something to them in a not so slightly intoxicated state of mind at a family reunion that forever and always instilled in them the hope (Honey, run and get me one of those beers over there, would you please) and fear (I’ll teach you to say no to me, little girl), that paralyzes so many of us into thinking there is a right way and a wrong way to live. Hope sometimes is not an honest and real hope, but fear of the dark in disguise.

  6. Bass, you’re so hard on Uncle Bud! He always gets all the blame. But, you know, the poor man had his own childhood conditioning to deal with which he not so kindly exerted on the girls and now they’ll exert that and whatever conditioning they got from their parents along to their kids and everyone else they know. Isn’t it great?
    You bring up an excellent point, for sure! But what human among us, besides the few true gurus in the world, have the power to break that spell? And a scary number of us don’t even know it’s a spell that can be broken with some of the hardest work a human can do, to change themselves.
    If you can’t see your hope is fear in disguise, what are you going to do, how are you going to live, but how you do and how you live? That’s what these three women are about. They represent that scary number that wait half their lives away for the miracle to come.
    Christmas prayer: May we all have the power to bust through the conditioning and live free! Amen and Whoohoo :-D

    anno! I’m so glad you like these snippets! And I know why you like them. Because the process of creation was a whole different thing, came from an entirely different place, than the last post, the SS winter’s tale post. I know what it is, and your encouragement is like another bookmark in my brain that reminds me and gives me all the more cause to offer myself up more to that entirely different place. Thanks for that :-)

  7. DOM: Beautiful grey Boddhisattva tryptich of lovely fictions: Mr Bukowski rode hard and put up wet. I’d like to think of all these as spun silver-fire webs from an un-slakeable thirst, but I keep feeling that they come from a smithy’s anvil and that the author takes a pounding too in the process of witness. That’s the Piscean, Boddhisattva, Messiah quandary: dark angel wrestling with dust storms most of us turn a blind eye to, as Joachim’s distant starseed also spares the face. Plenty of steel in this gathering witness, by whom we are all blessed. Mil gracias, hermana.

  8. Well, Paschal, sometimes you write stuff that’s too big to fit little me and I have no idea what to say back. This is one of those times. Picture too much rouge, gum-chewing like there’s no tomorrow, a soiled white apron, a coffee pot in one hand, a hip in the other hand, and in between the smacking, these words, “Honey, I take a pounding just opening my eyes in the morning.” All that just comes down to loving your mystical weaving of words, both in the setting of the rocks and in the flowing around them, and being truly pleased that you found lovely the tryptich. So, no hay problema, hermano :-D

  9. MissA,
    Your words draw truthful pictures of waiting for miracles. Each person waiting, expecting. They expect the unexpected, time after time, when no facts give evidence that something different is possible. They hold on to hope that somehow a miracle will come out of the ether and deservedly grace them with recognition, fame, wealth, anwers. They think they’d know it if they saw it. So well written. Your vignettes are thoughtful, lovely, honest and real.

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