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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Irritated (11/08/12)

TITLE: Free at Last - but Not to Last!
By Noel Mitaxa
11/14/12
~3rd Place


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I tell you, I’m not happy – and with good reason!

If you can imagine dipping your toe into the most inviting, refreshing waterhole you’d ever seen – and then finding you can’t dive in and start swimming – you’d know how I feel!

Oh, and my house – more than I could have ever dreamed of. Set in a beautiful garden with room to stretch out, and with the most comfortable furniture and fittings – all mine with no mortgage.

I’ve been here less than a week; just getting to know my neighbours.

Everyone’s so friendly - and some of them have changed history. I was looking forward to hearing their stories – but now I won’t be able to.
Now the pressure is on me to pack up and leave. Not that I feel unwelcome; far from it. There are doctors, police and even a few lawyers: all unemployed because there’s a complete absence of sickness, crime or suspicion. Nobody even thinks about locking their doors.

Can words fully describe a visible, surging radiance of love and compassion that washes across the sky and sidles up to caress you with freshness when you least expect it?

People have actually told me of travelling to distant stars without expending any energy at all – they have arrived at these places as soon as they have thought of the trip! Could you walk away from a possibility like that? I don’t think so!

How could anyone leave a place that is so filled with such unbelievable surround-sound music?

The first deep rumbling sounds I heard were just like thunder, until I saw the sky was a brilliant clear blue. I listened more carefully and found it was responding to bird calls. A blend of deep-throated sighs and quietly pulsating rhythms was vibrating from under my feet, to swell throughout the whole forest. This background chorus was coming from deep within the trees themselves, to balance the melodies that the birds were weaving through the branches above my head.

Then, as I left the forest I felt the breeze wafting towards me, creating waves that rippled across the meadow from hills that were blue in the distance. As the grass and wildflowers caught the breeze, they started swaying all around me with a sweet, purring sound that surged and faded in time with each wave!

It’s as if I’m surrounded by an orchestral, choral celebration of harmony that’s infused with gentleness and strength that I can almost each out and touch.

It’s not just how amazingly good these last few days have been. I just don’t want to be re-inserted in all the dust and pettiness I left behind. I know people have accused me of getting up their noses, but they have no idea of the fragrances that have wrapped themselves around me since I left them behind.

Here I am – suffering from lack of stress. It’s as if finally I am completely understood and beginning to understand myself. But now it looks like re-entry time

After a lifetime of being stuck between my two sisters, I’m not thrilled about going back into their gauntlet. I thought I’d finished with their constant bickering, for they never agree on anything. How would you like to face the treatment from Martha, where it’s her way or the highway – or from Mary, where you know the lights are on - but it’s hard to know if she’s really at home.

The only one who achieved anything like a cease-fire with them was our Galilean friend. And now it’s his voice I can hear: “Lazarus, come out!”

I tell you I’m not happy about it, but now I have to get back into that cramped outfit and the cold, clammy darkness. Back to a bunch of people who left me for dead.

Just when I was starting to enjoy all this beauty and laughter on this side of the grave…



Author’s note
While “no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him, ” (1 Cor 2: 9) I’ve given it a try.

And a PS: I’m sure that the “tree music” I’ve tried to describe will be much more majestic than all the compositions of Johann Sebastian, Carl Philip Emmanuel and the entire “Bach” family.
;-)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/15/12
Though I'm not usually a big title reader, this one caught my eye and left me feeling intrigued. I think you did an excellent job of painting a lovely picture of what the hereafter may very well be like. I loved the idea of singing tress and though while hear on earth and I have a hard time telling if one is singing off tune or doing a delightful job of harmonizing, I have a feeling that won't be a problem for me in Heaven. I think it was quite clever to speculate about how Lazarus must have felt. You did a nice job of imaging it while still bringing in a touch of the topic. One probably would expect to find irritation in Heaven but if one is told to go back to earth I can definitely see how one might become irritated. I truly enjoyed this piece.
Allison Egley 11/15/12
Oh, this is good. I love it! *snickers* I love the ending. Yes, I think I'd be quite irritated if I had to leave heaven also.
Danielle King 11/16/12
And I'm so glad that you did 'give it a try.' I've packed my weekend bag already.

This is truly captivating. I love every descriptive word you've used to build up this breathtakingly beautiful picture of paradise. The colours, sounds and songs. The rythm of life pulsating through the forest. I can imagine these words being spoken to music at a relaxation therapy session. (Oh dear, that's brought me down to earth with a bump!)

This is a unique and creative way of looking at the story of Lazarus. Excellent work!
Fiona Stevenson11/16/12
On behalf of Martha and Mary - you are so naughty!
On behalf of Lazarus - I know just how you feel about being called away.
Looked for it and like it. (Even the each that needs an r.) Good imaginative writing. God bless you.
Joanne Sher 11/18/12
LOVE this one. Adored the moment when I "got it." One of my favorites.
Beth LaBuff 11/18/12
Great title! Poor Lazarus, first he dies, then he's summoned back to earth. I think you've characterized his feelings well, first of leaving heaven, then concerning his two sisters. :) I'm one who likes to imagine what "God has prepared" too. And I enjoy the thought that it will be better than any thing I could dream or imagine. :) About the "tree music," we sang "The Trees of the Field" this morning. Our Sunday School kids love it (3X and faster each time). This is a great entry. I hope it does well.
Ellen Carr 11/18/12
Great work! Your imaginative description of heaven is wonderfully done. It took a while to realize that what was happening, but then it all made sense, very well. The poor old sisters get a bit of a 'beating' though. I wonder what Laz was like - I suspect, a bit of a pain in the neck to his sisters. Let's hear their voices next! Well done!
lynn gipson 11/19/12
I always look forward to anything you write but this has got the be about the best yet! I was in suspense up until the end though I should have remembered the sisters a little better. Thank you so much for this piece, I thouroughly enjoyed it. Great WRiting!

God Bless, Lynn
Myrna Noyes11/19/12
Okay, I loved this sequel to last week's story! :) Your pictures of heaven were magnificent, and I especially liked this line: "Can words fully describe a visible, surging radiance of love and compassion that washes across the sky and sidles up to caress you with freshness when you least expect it?" The piece had subtle humor, intriguing imagination, and delightful descriptions! In Lazarus's place, I wouldn't have wanted to leave either! :) Great job!
Danielle King 11/22/12
CONGRATULATIONS Mr Mitaxa. This is by far your best one ever! One more next week for a hat trick.
CD Swanson 11/22/12
Wow! Congrats again! God Bless~
Beth LaBuff 11/22/12
Hmmm, I wonder how many EC's this makes for you? :) I was so very pleased to see this on the EC list. Congrats, friend!
Pam Ford Davis 11/22/12
Congratulations, Noel!
This is a masterpiece; you have outdone yourself.

Wing His Words!
Olawale Ogunsola 11/22/12
Congratulations. You really deserve this.
Olawale Ogunsola 11/22/12
Congratulations. It is a well deserved win.
Olawale Ogunsola 11/22/12
Congratulations. It is a well deserved win.
Olawale Ogunsola 11/22/12
Congratulations. It is a well deserved win.
Olawale Ogunsola 11/22/12
Congratulations. It is a well deserved win.
Olawale Ogunsola 11/22/12
Congratulations. It is a well deserved win.
Darleen Coon11/23/12
Congratulations on your win! My husband and I have often commented on how Lazarus must have been really upset about having to come back after being in heaven.

Your depiction of this was incredible! A well deserved win.
Bea Edwards 11/24/12
I thoroughly enjoyed your clever sequel to last weeks entry. Well done!Congratulations on your win.
Dannie Hawley 11/24/12
Fantabulously descriptive and oh-so beautifully written! Congrats on your win and E.C. You have made me long for Heaven this morning!
Ellen Carr 11/25/12
Congratulations Noel on your win in 'Advanced' and your 3rd place in EC. Both are well-deserved!
Myrna Noyes11/25/12
CONGRATULATIONS!! I just knew this story was destined for the winners' circle!! WAY TO WRITE!! :)
Loren T. Lowery11/26/12
Noel, just now getting a chance to catch up on what's happening here at FW's. So happy to see this EC for you - your writing style (ideas, imagination,etc.)continue to unfold and it's a joy to see. Keep it up...and don't you move up to Masters now? Your work sure deserves to be there!
Loren