I can't seem to get my head around this one. A question about the difference between allusion and allegory keeps getting in the way. I was too late this week to get in my Challenge entry in for "Fish Out of Water", but your # 3 reference to a "character's action as prodigal" reminded me of the story. I hope it's okay to post it here, because I don't have a Faithwriter link.
Would this story be an allusion
If not, why not.
LillianThe Prodigal Partner
When conviction speaks to the soul, the heart listens.
Calvin was just beginning to feel the full impact of his choice. The decision to leave Peabody and strike out on his on was showing up on the loss column of his ledger. And judging from the day’s receipts the trend didn’t look good. He had to find someone to replace his long-time, childhood friend and partner before he went bankrupt?
With barely a glance at the wall, Calvin flipped off the switch to the last office light, and stood for a moment in the darkened doorway. He stared at the insistence of dusk, and the deepening shadows capture his thoughts and cover them with gloom.Had he made a mistake when he terminated the partnership? Could it be that Peabody was right and he was wrong for listening to Annabelle?
He’d heard from a few of his former employees who decided to stay with his former partner that Peabody’s firm was about to embark on an expansion program, even hiring additional employees.
“Stop being so pious,” Annabelle chided him when thoughts of leaving the firm were still seeds that had not yet taken root. She saw little reason not to accept clients who hired a lawyer to help with tax evasion and money laundering.
And long after he'd stopped asking for her advice, she gave it anyway.
“Money is money. What difference does it make where it comes from or where it’s going?”
In the end, her voice drowned out all that remained of his conscience–one that was shaped by what he now concluded were his father’s puritanical principles, and his childhood belief in God. Strange, but Peabody reminded him of his father and… A lightening flashback of Mrs. James, his Sunday school teacher, completed his thoughts. Peabody sat behind him, when they were students in her class.
“Oh, no,” Peabody exclaimed when Calvin approached him with the idea. “What makes you think I’d be interested in anything remotely related to that? I’m surprised you would."
“Why not,” Calvin shot back. “There’s plenty of money out there, if you would just get off your religious high horse. Think about how the business would grow?”
But Peabody would have none of his argument.
Calvin countered Peabody’s stubborn stance with his own. “Then, I’ll go it alone.”
And now…While his thoughts trudge through the mire of regrets, Calvin locks the office door and heads for home. He pulls into the driveway and the purring of the idling engine goes unnoticed as he puts the finishing touches on what he’s going to say to Annabelle.
“It’s just not working out, Honey. Call it conscience, upbringing, parental influence, and, yes, I’ll call it God, but I’m miserable. And I would be even if the business wasn’t in free fall.”
He’s surprised by Annabelle’s response.
“I guess we’re just two prodigals who have lost our way. I’m miserable too. Closing the business will be the easy part. Asking Peabody to take you on again as a partner may not turn out as we expect.”
“I’ll take my chances.”
Calvin arrived at the diner a few minutes before Peabody. He had decided not to tell him why he wanted to meet for lunch. While he waited, he rehearsed his confession.Remember when you seemed so surprised at my willingness to represent clients who tried to avoid the law? I was wrong, and I’ve asked God to forgive me. I’m filing for bankruptcy, and will need to find a job. Would you be willing to take me back as your partner?
“Hi, Calvin,” Peabody’s greeting interrupted Calvin. “Have you been waiting long?”
“Just a few minutes.” The two walked quickly towards an empty table and sat down.
“So, how are things?”
Calvin clasped his sweating palms beneath the table and leaned towards Peabody. He swallowed hard, hoping to wet his dry mouth.
“Not good. That’s why I asked you to meet me for lunch.”
His rehearsed speech all but forgotten, Calvin blurted out what was in his heart.
“I’ve made a mistake, Peabody. And I’ve come to ask your forgiveness.”
Peabody reached across the table and took Calvin’s hand.
“God has forgiven me too many times. How can I not forgive you? I was just about to hire more staff. You’re just the one I was looking for.
For a moment, the two men stared at each other across the table. The prodigal partner had returned.
“Wealth gained by dishonesty will be diminished” (Prov.3:11).