Easter Sunday Rewrite: Ghosts

She opens her eyes and stares at the window. As if it was time to wake up. As if she’d actually been asleep. It’s been a long night, she has felt the chill of every minute of it. She sits up, gets out of bed, pulls on the jeans and sweater from the previous day. Walks to the mirror, washes her face, makes tired attempts at a smattering of make-up. Stabs herself in the eye. Twice. What’s the point, who will see anyway? Her hands feel clumsy and heavy, as if she’s manhandling someone else’s fingers. She feels a sudden stab of pain, so physical her body flinches. A single tear slips from her left eye, but that’s all, she won’t allow another. Not yet. She gives up on the face-painting and throws down her eye-liner. She glances at the door, knows she must tackle it now. Cold air seeps into her bones as she steps outside, pulling on her parka as she goes. Walking will warm her up. Bound to. It doesn’t. She nods at the dark figure on the corner. The figure nods back and they walk together, then another joins them, and another. Ghosts of a dubious dawn.

They walk, Joanna’s heels clicking. The rest wear soft, flat shoes, so it’s just Joanna marking time for them. Salome sighs regularly, she can’t think of anything to say but cannot be there and offer nothing. Click-click, sigh, click-click, sigh. The sound almost becomes music. Then Mary, out front, stops and they collide with her in a jumble of heels and gasps. She catches her breath, points. The silhouette of a single body, hanging in the semi-darkness. Death on a tree. ‘Jude,’ whispers Joanna, who sees better than the others. They look around, eyes wide with fear. But they are alone with the dawn and the horizon and the swinging corpse. They hurry on. Then the ground shudders and they lose footing. Grab each other for support. ‘I broke a heel’ Joanna mutters, ‘Chuza’ll kill me, only got these last week.’ She pulls off the heels and pads along beside the others. In the gloom, beside the path, a figure watches. A smile all over his face. He rubs sleep from his eyes, the remnant of the deepest sleep in the world. He stretches, feels the resurrection energy surging through his muscles. He climbs a nearby tree so he can get a better view of the tomb. He wants to call out, wants to wave and shout and laugh. Wants to break the deathly web that’s gripping these women, these dear friends of his. But he knows he must wait just a little longer. Just a little. He spots a shovel in the undergrowth, perhaps he’ll adopt the guise of a gardener so he can move closer, get a better view of the action…

 

(Matthew 28 vv 1-10)

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