Wednesday, December 19, 2012

CFF #26: An Extraordinary Coincidence by Jenny Twist


When a modern-day Mary & Joseph are about to welcome their first child into the world, little do they know what Jenny Twist has in store for them in this delightful tale! Coincidence or not? Read on and decide for yourself...


by

Jenny Twist

“Of course, we really ought to call him Jesus.”
Mary threw a pillow at him. “I get enough flack for marrying someone called Joseph without calling the baby Jesus. Anyway it’d be blasphemous.”
“No, it wouldn’t. They call Spanish kids Jesus all the time. What about that footballer, Jesus Navas?”
“Oh well, maybe it’s all right in Spain,” she agreed reluctantly, “but not in Cleckheaton. The poor little bugger would be a laughing stock. And anyway it’s not his real name.”
“What, Jesus Navas?”
“No, Stupid, Jesus Jesus, the Jesus. It’s just a title isn’t it? It means something like ‘the anointed one’.”
“I’ve never heard that before. Where’d you get it from?”

Mary shifted uncomfortably on the bed. “Actually, I can’t remember. I think it was on the television. It said his real name was something like Abdul Ben Joseph.”
“That’s a good name,” Joe said. “Ben. I like Ben. It’s a strong name.”
Mary pushed away a slight feeling of guilt. She had dreamt the other night that an angel appeared to her and told her to call the baby Jesus. No doubt brought on by too much red wine.
****
Christmas Eve they both got off work early and headed off in their ancient car for Cornwall, to spend Christmas with Mary’s mother. Joe had been dubious but Mary had laughed at him. “The baby isn’t due for three weeks yet,” she said. “And first babies are always late, anyway.”
But somebody must have miscalculated because Mary’s pains began when they were just over halfway. Joe panicked and wanted to go back, but Mary insisted on carrying on. “I might as well have him in Truro. It’ll be nice having my mother there.”
So they soldiered on, getting lost in twisting Cornish lanes with high hedges and no signposts. When they finally emerged it was half past ten and Mary’s pains were coming fast and strong. “Just head for the nearest village,” she gasped.
There were lights in the distance and Joe turned the car in that direction.
The village was in full party mode. All the houses had Christmas lights in the window and the pub was a veritable fairyland of flashing bulbs and glowing Santas. Mary saw the inn sign and groaned – The Bethlehem Inn. “I’ll never live this down,” she muttered.
Joe disappeared through the open front door and emerged a moment later with a round, rosy couple.
“This is Mr and Mrs Wentworth, the landlord and landlady,” he said, indicating the pair, the female half of which bustled down the steps and opened the car door. 
“Out you get,” the woman said. “We’ve no rooms available, unfortunately, it being Christmas Eve, but we can put you up in the Stable.”
Mary rolled her eyes. “I don’t believe this.”
The woman laughed. “It’s all right dear, it’s not a real stable any more. We’ve had it converted to a granny flat. But my mother’s staying with my sister for Christmas, so it’s available. She won’t mind. Come on, pet. Let’s get you comfortable.”
Between them, she and Joe man-handled Mary up the steps to a small building attached to the side of the pub while Mr Wentworth was dispatched to get the doctor. Surprisingly, he went straight back into the pub.
Before Mary had even got into bed, the doctor and the district nurse, both mildly inebriated, had arrived. “They were at the party,” Mr Wentworth explained, then disappeared in a hurry before anything messy started to happen.
****
It all went exceptionally easily for a first birth. The whole thing was managed expertly by Nurse Evie, whilst the doctor looked on benignly and encouraged the proceedings with merry cries of ‘Push!’ in between sips of brandy.
By two in the morning it was all over. Mary and baby were washed and tidied and there were clean sheets on the bed.
“Well, that went like clockwork and no mistake,” said Mrs Wentworth, beaming at her new guest, who was sleeping peacefully against his mother’s breast. “I’ll go and make you a cup of tea. And would you like some toast?”
Mary nodded her grateful assent and Mrs Wentworth left the room, stopping at the door to call over her shoulder.
“Oh, I forgot to say, there’s some people to see you.”
“What!” Joe went to the window. It was dark outside and all he could see was the reflection of the room behind him, but there seemed to be something or rather some things milling about out there. And he thought he heard the occasional bleat. “Bloody Hell,” he said and wrenched open the door. There in the lamplight stood half a dozen men in rough clothes, carrying sticks and crooks. The area in front of the pub was full of sheep and dogs.
“Now, I know this sounds a bit daft,” one of the men said, taking off his knitted cap and twisting it in his hands, “but there was this angel, you see, up on the common, and he said…”
“You’d better come in,” said Joe. Then, turning to Mary, who was smiling down at the baby. “I told you we should have called him Jesus.”
Bio: Jenny Twist left school at fifteen and went to work in an asbestos factory. After working in various jobs, including bacon-packer and an escapologist's assistant, she returned to full-time education and did a BA in history at Manchester and post-graduate studies at Oxford.

In 2001 she and her husband moved to Southern Spain where they live with their rather eccentric dog and cat.


Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/JennyTwist1



42 comments:

  1. Thank you, Mysti, for putting up with me once again. I love being on your blog. Happy Christmas, darling.
    Love
    Jenny
    xxx

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    Replies
    1. My pleasure, as always! :) We're like virtual roomies!

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  2. LOL, I loved this, Jenny! This was hilarious to a tee! Happy Christmas to you and yours and a safe and happy new year too!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Leila. Hope you also have a wonderful Christmas and New Year xxxxxx

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  3. Lol - really delightful Jenny - only you could get away with this! It made me feel all warm and smiley :)
    Lyn

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad I can get away with things! I never used to. At school I was always the one who blushed!!
      xx

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  4. Thanks for the smile first thing in the morning Jenny. Love your style. Happy Holidays to you and yours.
    :)
    Rose

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    Replies
    1. You are so nice to know, Rose. Thank you
      Love
      Jenny
      xx

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  5. Replies
    1. Thanks, Chris. Happy Christmas!
      Love Jenny
      xx

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  6. A new 'Twist' to an old story. (Sorry, Jenny, that just popped into my mind.) I enjoyed the modern version, and got a laugh from the name discussion.

    Merry Christmas.

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    1. Dear Leona. I forgive you the pun! Pleased to meet you.
      And so glad it made you laugh.

      Love
      Jenny
      xx

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  7. Replies
    1. And so are you, Sweetie! Thank you and have a wonderful Christmas.
      xxxxxxx

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  8. Unto us a child is born . . . In a week full of sadness, you've reminded me of the unexpectedness of the first Christmas miracle. Thanks.

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    1. Hi Lisa. Yes this is going to be such a hard Christmas for so many families. I'm sure all our thoughts are with them.
      Love
      Jenny
      xxx

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  9. A riot, Jenny! And it put me right in the mood for a little Christmas! :) Hugs!

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    1. So glad you liked it, Tara. You are my mentor in these things, as you know.
      Love
      Jenny
      xxx

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  10. LOVED IT!! I Giggles out loud! hehe... you are such an amazing writer!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Jessica! So glad it made you laugh! Have a super wonderful Christmas
      Love
      Jenny
      xxx

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  11. Lovely seasonal story, Jenny. Made me laugh and cry at the same time! Have a wonderful Christmas and 2013.
    Love, Elizabeth

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  12. Hi Elizabeth. What a lovely thing to say! Thank you. Have a wonderful Christmas and 2013. Speak soon
    Love
    Jenny
    xxxx

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  13. What a lovely tender story, Jenny - perfect for Christmas!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Rosemary. You always say such nice things. Happy Christmas, Sweetie
      Love
      Jenny
      xxxx

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  14. How wonderful! I got shivers as I finished it -- beautiful, Jenny!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tori. You are so fab! Glad you liked it
      Love
      Jenny
      xxx

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  15. That left me with a smile, a few chuckles and a very warm heart. Terrific story, Jenny.

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    1. Hello Joyce. How nice to meet you. So glad you liked it. Hope you have a wonderful Christmas
      Jenny
      xxx

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  16. What a delightful story. I love your sense of humor :)

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    1. Hi J. So nice to meet you. I seem to be making lots of new friends on Mysti's site. How lovely! So glad you liked it.
      Love
      Jenny
      xxx

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  17. Lovely. It touched me and brought tears to my eyes.

    Linda

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    1. Hi Linda
      You've made me very happy. Thank you.
      Have a lovely Christmas
      Jenny
      xxx

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  18. I chuckled while I read this and at the end said, "how adorable." Merry Christmas, Jenny.

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  19. Thanks, Angela. Hope you have a lovely Christmas
    Jenny
    xx

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  20. What a great little Christmas story! I loved it and it made me giggle, which is always a good thing. Love you! x

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  21. Hi Eva. Thank you so much, Sweetie. Love you too
    Jenny
    xxx

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  22. I found this cute, but not humorous. Still, it was worth the read just to share someone else's holiday journey. It's Christmas Eve, and I won't be going out until tomorrow. I do believe that, when we try to find an open restaurant--OTHER than a Chinese buffet--my father and I are going to know what Mary and Joseph felt like (BOTH sets).

    Has no one explained that "Ben," in the context of "Abdul Ben Joseph," means "son of?"

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  23. Hi Jeff.
    Sorry you didn't find it funny but I hope you enjoyed it anyway.
    Yes, I know that Ben means 'son of' but this was a flash fiction piece and I couldn't go into long explanations. She was wrong about Jesus too. It is a corruption of the Hebrew for Joshua. It is Christ that means 'the anointed one'. But I made her get it wrong for the sake of the story.
    Hope you manage to find a good restaurant for your Christmas dinner.
    Have a lovely day and a great New Year

    Love
    Jenny
    xx

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  24. As indeed are you. Mrs L. Have a wonderful New Year. Lots of love
    Jenny
    xxxx

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