A Short Story on the Website of
the Red Dirt Writers Society


Dance of the Five-Dollar Bill
by D. J. Russell (Dec 2008)

††††††††††† He stood there at the top of the Empire State Building, a pauper gazing upon a million kingdoms. Breathing in the frosty night air, he smiled and marveled at the sight before him. The city was so full of lights that he was amazed the sun ever bothered to stop by at all. And they werenít just rows of lights showing the world that this was a city of immense wealth and industry. Many of the buildings had glittering holiday displays stretching the height and width of their steel frames - Christmas trees, Santas, frost-laden pictures of children sledding down the buildingís face.

††††††††††† He threw his head back and laughed. He laughed so hard that the people around him began to stare, some even taking a pace or two back to distance themselves from him. He didnít care. He laughed with so much joy that he knew that surely the entire city would hear him.

††††††††††† Yes, they would hear him. That was a certainty. For this city, with a million different voices and a thousand different cultures, would share, for at least a small time, the spirit of renewed faith and hope.

††††††††††† He knew there were many who didnít believe in Christmas. It didnít matter though, because Christmas believed in them. This was a city whose inhabitants spent much of the year keeping their distance from those around them. Some refused to notice the world around them, while others pleaded for one hour of anonymity. Tonight though, neighbors would meet neighbors, gruff men with leather hands would pick up their gurgling grandchildren, and people of seclusion and wealth would find a piece of charity in their hearts.

††††††††††† Esteban Munez was also a man full of the Christmas spirit. He reached into his grimy pants pockets, searching for his elusive, and last, five-dollar bill. It had taken him two days of collecting bottles and other salvageable goods to earn it. Now, with a surge of joy filling his heart, he threw out his arms and released the bill onto the nightís calm waters of wind.

††††††††††† Where would it land? Who would receive his gift? Who knew? It mattered not whether it be beggar or prince. He had given someone all that he had because God had given him all that He had. And that was what this was, a time of giving.

††††††††††† Closing his eyes and lifting his face to God, he offered his thanks for life and, more importantly, for hope. He valued his hope so much. With hope, the deaf could hear the voice of God and the blind could see His miracles and mercy. That was the greatest gift of all.

  

††††††††††† Far below and three blocks south, a hand wrapped in the tattered remnants of a glove, reached into the sky and grasped a miracle.


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Revised December 2008.