The Time of Miracles

From the Dorr Township Library Writing Group. Today’s prompt: Christmas Miracle or Disaster.

“It’s Christmas, Theo. It’s the time of miracles.”

Russ shook his head and turned off the video. “Stupid move, Hans. You planned it all in too much detail. You had no flexibility. One New York cop with a gun, and your whole plan fell apart.”

That was always the trouble with plans. Who said it? Was it Eisenhower? “Plans are useless, planning is essential.” Planning let you scout the terrain, look for trouble spots. But a true professional never expected the plan to mean shit.

Russ was a professional. He slid his Glock 19 from his waistband holster, popped the magazine, and confirmed the full load. That would give him a start. The 1911 at his back was full as well, and he had spare mags for both in his cargo pockets. He had three knives strategically stashed where he could get to them even under the overcoat.

And he had, not a plan, but a clear layout of the target zone. He had visited three times, twice with neighborhood kids who had agreed to go in exchange for pizza and presents.

He peered into his bathroom mirror, wondering if there was still any soul behind those gray eyes. Kids were so gullible, they almost made him cry. In another life, he had locked up scum who preyed on kids. Now he used them in his hunt. What kind of monster was he becoming?

But he was doing this for them. He had to keep reminding himself: He was doing this for them.

He turned off the bathroom light, went to the door, and pulled on the bulky overcoat. It was heavier than it looked, full of yet more tools of death and infiltration. He was as ready, as equipped as he would ever be – but he wasn’t burdened down with a plan.

He took a deep breath, and he put on his old gray knit cap, pulling it down so it completely covered his scalp. It wouldn’t do to have light reflect off his bald head while he was hiding in the darkness.

Last of all, he looked at the photo hanging just inside the entry. “I haven’t forgotten, Tim. He’s not going to get away with this.”

Then he stepped out into the snowy night. It was time to raid the North Pole.

To be continued?

Every two weeks, the Dorr Township Library hosts a writing group. We open each meeting with 15 minutes of writing from a prompt. Today’s prompt was either A Christmas Miracle or A Christmas Disaster, your choice.

A Christmas Miracle made me think of Hans Gruber’s line from Die Hard: “It’s Christmas, Theo. It’s the time of miracles.” That made me think of a character arguing with movie Hans while preparing for a dangerous mission. The rest of the opening flowed from there.

There could be more to this story. Who is Tim? Who is “he” in the last paragraph, and what did he do to Tim? What horrible events drove a dedicated former cop to assault the North Pole? What does Russ hope to accomplish.

I’ll let it percolate for now. Maybe more later.

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