A Bench in a Park

by Steve Morris

A Bench in a Park


Steve Morris

The bench was in its own corner of the park, set away from all the other benches and walkways of the park. The bench was surrounded by tall, thick glass walls so everyone could see the bench as they walked by on the distant walkways.

This year, this month, this day, this week and this hour were special. The people of the world stopped what they were doing at about 5 minutes to noon local time. If the people couldn't stop what they were doing, they had a TV close by so they could keep track of the always spectacular event.

In the hills overlooking the park, positioned so that there was nothing between the massive house and the bench to block the view, the richest of the rich, movie stars, entertainers, senior government officials, multiple guests from around the world mingled on the terraces and in the main living area with its floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall glass windows. Server drones circulated through the room and the people changed out an empty glass for a full one and kept laughing.

In the favelas it was party time also, with fire works and decorations, tables laden with home cooked food and plenty of drinks to go around. The people of the favelas could not see the bench live, so they had to make do with a fuzzy TV picture.

As the noon hour approached the entire city, even the entire world held its breath for what seemed like forever.

Then the bench started to become fuzzy to the vision as if you had put on a wrong pair of glasses. The bench stayed in this fuzzy state for about 30 seconds when it flashed a rainbow of light that could be seen from miles away but did not hurt those close by. As the light started to fade a beautiful red and gold bird the size of a condor was seen sitting on the back of the bench.

T'was the Phoenix.

Another flash of light and the Phoenix fell in a rain of ashes. Within seconds of the last ash falling, the Phoenix was rejuvenated to its former glory. When it was done, the Phoenix spread its wings and flew off into the sun to return in another 500 years.

The people were all happy but sad at the same time. They had seen the Phoenix but once only. Who will see the Phoenix in 500 years they wondered.

When all the smiles and tears were done, the people went back to their lives, and the lights seemed a little brighter for many months following.

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