Tuesday, 25 December 2007

The Shepherds

…there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And, this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.

And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in the manger.

And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.

And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.

Luke 2:8-18

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Excerpt - Arrival

The snow slowed and stopped.

The wheels of the carriage crunched through a pristine blanket of snow. When a gate blocked the lane, one of the footmen got down and opened it. The carriage moved slowly forward, stopped, then resumed after the footman returned—his face ruddy in the cold air.

Maggie squinted up the hillside, a mix of white snow, brown bushes and stark outlines of trees.
At the end of a road, huge black, leafless trees stood before a monumental block of stone with turrets and walls all capped with snow. A lighted window glowed at the gatehouse near the drawbridge.

The carriage tipped slightly then rose as Wilhelm stepped off. He went through the second gate and headed toward the east, his cloak flapping around his legs. His long legs carried him quickly through the snow drifted over the road on the way to the gatehouse.

Peering again through the slit in the leather flap over the carriage window, Maggie saw beyond the road to the mansion house the snow covered fields were cut by hedges and rows of trees.