12 Days of Christmas 2016, Flash Fiction

8 Flickering Candles

This year Christmas Eve is also the first day of Hanukkah, so in honor of that, this prompt is from a fellow writer in the NanoWrimo FB Group. Thanks Barb!

The List

Name: Joshua

Holiday: Hanukkah

Place: New York Apartment Complex

Object: Candles.

Joshua hung his snow-sodden coat on the hook to the left of the door, letting it drip onto the towel he had placed atop the small tile entryway. He slid out of his shoes and wool socks, soaked to the bone from spending the day trodding through New York.

He turned toward the small kitchenette and riffled through the cabinets until he found a clean coffee mug and the last packet of Earl Grey tea. He filled it with hot water and let the tea-bag steep. He wrapped his hand around the steaming cup, leaving it there for a moment until he could finally feel the blood flow seeping back through his frozen fingers. After a moment, he picked it up and wandered toward the window sill where a modest, silver menorah overlooked the bustling city. Two candles stood at attention in the holders, the shamash, or servant candle, in the middle, and one in the holder farthest to the right.

Joshua smiled as he picked up the match most to the left of the menorah and lit the  shamash. He picked it up in his right hand and held it horizontally over the other candle, looking out toward the crowded streets blanketed in rich oranges, yellows, and reds as the sun set over  the skyline. As he looked out at the other holiday displays; noticing that almost as many windows were adorned with menorahs as festive Christmas trees, he couldn’t help the warm glow surging in his chest.

As a novice in a new city at one of the most cut-throat companies in Manhattan,  Joshua sometimes felt like Juda Makkabee, outnumbered in that narrow mountain pass and surrounded by an endless sea of Greeks. Moving far from his family and all he held dear in Colorado had been one of the  hardest decisions to make when he received the opportunity shortly after finishing his graduate degree. More than once, he wondered how a small-town boy like him would ever find his way in such a crowded and competitive city.

As he finished the last of the traditional blessings, his Zadye’s voice echoed in his mind. The army had great minds and intellect to help them win the war, but it was faith that kept the oil burning. No matter what you do in New York, or how out of place you feel, keep the faith, and miracles are sure to happen.

If you want to give me suggestions for my flash fictions, head to my Facebook Page and comment on my #SuggestionBox posts. More information HERE.  


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