Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Fearful( 08/23/07)
I Had to Say Yes
By Rachel Burkum
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My eyes closed tight, rebelling against the scene my mind knew was there. As if trying to trick reality, my brain sought to pretend I was in a place where horrors like this didn’t exist.
The question shattered the silence. It had been asked twice, and the tightened grip on my collar promised it would not be repeated again. The hushed whimpers behind me drove to my eyes the stinging tears that yearned to cascade down my cheeks. I knew I had to say yes.
Adrenaline surged through my veins as the battle between right and wrong intensified. Sweat poured down the back of my neck, drenching my shirt. Chills ran down my spine as my body began to shake. I could feel the panic wrapping its tentacles around my soul, threatening to squeeze out any life that was left. A whisper in my ear tempted me to say no.
My feet felt as if they had absorbed a mind of their own as they struggled to free themselves from the floor. I wanted to run. My ears latched onto the sound of someone else doing just that. My heart pounded in my chest, sending my pulse racing. All senses screamed at me to do whatever it took to save myself. But I knew I had to say yes.
I opened my eyes. The stare of my challenger came like a slap in the face. It drove through my very being, taunting me…daring me. My hands slowly turned to fists as rage gave courage the wings to soar. Cowardice would not prevail.
I never heard the shot. I never felt the pain.
Some would say I died that day. But I had never felt so alive.
Standing up for what I knew was right had come with a price tag even I had shuddered at. But never could I imagine the price of denying my Lord’s name.
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