Year A Advent 1: starting in the middle

In the middle of the story, in the middle of the day, when two women are in the middle of a studied silence over the millstone. They are not speaking. One of them is not speaking so hard, she disappears. The other is left wondering what she might have said to hold her back, how she might have held her more gently, closer.
In the days before the flood, they carried on as ever, marrying and drinking and arguing with the in-laws, until they were all swept away and they realized how much was left unsaid, too late now, their mouths stopped up with floodwater.
If they had known the thief was coming to their own house, they would have told his parents about his sneaking-out ways instead of drawing the blinds, turning a blind eye and tutting when they passed him in the street.
If she had known that today would have been their last, the mill would have been filled with singing instead of silence, and the stone would have ground their resentments to dust, to be smacked off their hands at the end of the day and trodden into the dirt floor where they belonged.

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