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December 8: “No Room at the Inn”

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No Room at the Inn

They say revenge is a dish best served cold.

It was natural—every child in the church Christmas program wanted to be either Joseph or Mary.

Tom was a ten-year-old and wanted the Joseph role in the worst way. Not only did he fail to get the coveted role of Joseph, it went to a rival of his.

Making matters worse, “Mary” went to the love of his life.

As a consolation prize, Tom was cast as the innkeeper. At least it was better than being a sheep or camel. He only had one line. “Sorry, there’s no room in here, but you can stay out in the barn.”

He gritted his teeth through the rehearsals, chafing at the unfairness of his role. He carefully plotted his plan for revenge.

The night of the Christmas program arrived. Proud parents and eager grandparents crammed the sanctuary. Innkeeper Tom, dressed in his bathrobe with a towel and belt headdress, stood behind his cardboard door, ready for his thirty-second role.

“Joseph” arrived with great-with-child Mary, and knocked loudly.

The innkeeper opened the door.

“Sir, my wife is great with child and we need a room to stay for the night.”

But instead of turning them away to the manger, Innkeeper Tom stepped from the door. “Welcome, come on in. We’ve plenty of room.”

His revenge was complete. He’d disrupted the entire play. Except for one fact: Joseph thought well on his feet.
“All right, let me come inside and look around.”
After ten seconds behind the cardboard door, Joseph rejoined

Mary and announced loudly to the innkeeper. “There’s no way I’d let my wife stay in an inn this dirty! We’ll just stay out back in the barn.”

As they say in France, Touché.

Christmas Jelly, our latest short story collection. Now available! $15 per copy
Christmas Jelly, our latest short story collection. Now available!
$15 per copy

About Curt Iles

I write to have influence and impact through well-told stories of my Louisiana and African sojourn.

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