Slowly the Afternoon

This week, my sister and I went through the first draft of my book about the trip. As is typical with first drafts, we found numerous glaring errors. Most of them we simply corrected and moved on, but there were a few we couldn't resist playing with. We made note of these and later wrote short stories around them. The typo I received was "slowly the afternoon." I'd left out a very important "that," but on this Advent holiday, the phrase took on its own meaning, to read as follows...

Slowly, the afternoon passed. Two friends met on the road. They saw each other twice a day, once at this hour and once much earlier. As they did, they would wave without stopping. Neither had said a word to the other in an epoch. Oldest of friends, but custom is custom. A schedule must be kept, all the roosters of the world depend on it. Today, though, they slowed to speak. 

"It's been a long time," one said.
"A good long time," said the other. 

Slowly, the afternoon lingered. Two friends shook hands and leaned on hips to enjoy the time. There would never be another dusk like this, so it could afford to stay a while. After tonight, everything would change. Nothing would ever be the same again. The sky blazed a painted fire as they laughed at the joy of what was coming.

"They won't know what hit 'em," one said.
"Not until the end," said the other. 

Slowly, the afternoon darkened into night. Two friends parted ways. The moon took her post, the sun retired till morning. And as stars fell into place, the moon laughed again at the joy of what was coming. A baby cried out from the city of David below and a mother sighed relief. For unto us a child was born, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.