Little Miracles

by Barbra Novac

Tags: Magic,

Desc: Flash Story: Strange events in complete coincidence all on one particular day.

On the third of January this year, there were some miraculous events that went unrecorded.

At precisely 4.15pm on the afternoon of the third of January, the coffee chop at the corner of Hunter and Bligh had five women waiting for their coffee, in front of the espresso machine. There was no way of knowing under the circumstances that each of these women were named Emily.

On the other side of the world, in the New York City peak hour four strangers (three women and a man) were sitting on the same train each reading copies of "Paradise Lost."

At 5.15am a factory worker in Chilli woke with a start in the night. He had been dreaming that a lemon had gotten lodged in his throat and had closed off his air passage, causing him to choke and die. He was so thrilled to be alive when he woke that he rolled over to his left and embraced his wife who scarcely stirred. She was having a very deep dream that a lemon tree had taken root in her stomach and grown beautiful sweet scented shoots through her veins and out through each of her limbs. Leaves and blossom all sprouted throughout her body until she was so intoxicated with pleasure that she trembled in her sleep. Her husband got up quietly and lit a lamp so that he could watch her face. At that moment he felt that he had never really looked at her before and he realised he had no sense of the deep spirit that nourished her life. Now he watched her sleeping intently, her face radiant. What he saw in her was happiness so fervent it made him fear for his life.

At 3.30pm a group of schoolgirls were running into a field for after school sports practise and they all stopped dead in their tracks when they found a beautiful dead parrot on the ground. Their teacher (a biology teacher) identified the parrot as a rare Amazonian Parrot illegal to bring into the country. They contacted the police and the owners were soon found to be Mrs and Mr Banks who claimed while weeping openly that they had owned the parrot (whose name was Emilio) for twenty-two years after receiving him as a gift. In fact, the parrot was twenty-five years old, a twin, and was sold illegally in a Parisian market place when it was barely out of its shell. The other purchaser of one of the twins was an Italian Castrati who a few years later gave it to his niece when he found that she wanted to be a Soprano. Her name was Francesca. One morning her Parrot was coughing in his little cage. She called in at work and said that she could not attend that day, and then she placed hot rum in the birds bowl instead of his usual water. Within an hour the bird fell off his perch on to the floor of the cage, dead. Francesca swears that the last words to come out of its mouth were: "Je ne regrette rien".

In Alabama at approximately 2.25 am, Mr and Mrs Hindmarsh jumped in their beds, woken suddenly by a large crash in their house. Keeping perfectly still, they did not hear another noise and eventually went back to sleep. Upon waking in the morning, they found that a much-loved picture, of the Great Wall of China, had fallen from their wall, and bounced off the heater to a very safe place in the middle of the lounge room. Mr Hindmarsh found that the picture had fallen from a lose hook. As he went about the trouble of replacing the hook, he remembered how he had gotten his hands on the picture. When he was in the first gulf war, he had seen it on the wall of an empty house in Basra, and had decided to take it and place it with his own belongings. He knew that it was a dishonest thing to do, but as a soldier he had long stopped living by a simple moral code. His wife was the only other person who knew where he had gotten the painting from, as they had the kind of marriage where there are no secrets between Husband and Wife. It had become a symbol to them of the depth of their love for each other, though they had long since let go of the idea that it may have been painted by anyone with great talent.

It was, in fact painted by a young boy whose name was Ahmed, who had no talent for painting but a great talent for imitation. It was a painting he had done when he received a postcard from his father who was in China with his work. His father was a very cold and distant man, and it was a great act of love on the part of Ahmed to meticulously copy out the postcard on to the canvass, as if cementing a kind of relationship for himself.

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Story tagged with:
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