Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Example( 07/25/13)
How to Cool a Hothead
By Nancy Bucca
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I smile inwardly. They're leaving. The Sleaze Gang is leaving.
Hallelujah! No more cussing. No more drinking. No more bad karaoke grating on my ears. Nothing to ruin my sublime peace of mind.
Uh-oh. Boss Man's up. And he's mad. Fists bulging, he bursts into my room, visions of gold dust swirling in his eyes.
"Cheats! Thieves! Tricksters! When did they sneak off?" He spits on the ground and slaps my rib cage.
Ow, what was that for?
"A deal's a deal and I'm holding them to it. Let's get moving, Miss Bea." Rough hands yank my neck the wrong way. I shiver, knowing where we're headed: Greedy Black's. And that spells Sleaze Gang.
No, not there. I hate those guys.
He cuffs my ear. "Now!"
Okay, Boss man. If I have to. But I sure wish there was something I could say to change your mind. Too bad I don't speak Beast, and I'm fresh out of snappy answers to rude orders. Perhaps a swift kick to the shin would work. Nah, too mean, even if you do deserve it. I sure am tempted, though. Hungry too. I know you're in a rush, but could we please stop somewhere for a bite of fast food?
An angry silence answers my unspoken question.
Shortly after our "strict starvation road trip" starts, black clouds swallow the sun. I see lightning up ahead. Looks dangerous.
I Immediately swerve off the road into a wheat field. Ah, that's better.
Boss Man smacks my head. "What's gotten into you, girl? That's no way to catch our runaways!" He steers us back onto the road.
But the lightning! It was frightening!
"After them!" he insists. "Full zoom ahead!"
Trembling, I double my speed and clear several miles. The road is more restricted here, with thick walls on each side. Not an easy place to make a quick getaway.
"Yay, I see them up ahead!" yells Boss Man. "We're gaining on them! Faster, faster!"
No way, Sir. There's too much lightning. Can't you see it?
He pokes my ribs. I hit "reverse", and smash into the right hand wall. Boss Man lets out a high-pitched scream.
"Ow, my ankle! You crushed my ankle!" Curses fly as he hops about on one foot. Sharp blows hit my back. I taste blood.
God help me, this guy's crazy! Is he trying to get us killed?
Funny, that's what he accuses me of - that and trying to make a fool of him. He motions to the two guys following behind us.
"What will my employees think?"
"Are you okay?" one of them asks.
"I'm fine!" yells Boss Man. "Just fine!" With multiple kicks, punches and threats, he drives me down the rapidly narrowing way. My bruised back throbs. Ka-thump, ka-thump. I see more lightning and I want to die.
What if this lunatic beats me up again?
"Who do you fear more, God or man?" shouts my conscience.
Okay, that settles it. I simply have to do what's right. Abuse or no abuse, this is as far as I'm going, and that's that.
"Hey, no fair, you can't run out of gas!" yells Boss Man.
Oh yeah? Well, maybe I wouldn't if you'd stop to refill my "tank" once in a while, instead of whipping me to death.
"No fair!" he keeps yelling. "No fair!"
Please, Lord, open his blind eyes. Show him what I see!
In response to my prayer, a miracle happens. Words pop out of my mouth. Words I never planned to say. Words like "Why do you keep hitting me?" and "What have I ever done to you?"
Oh wow, can you believe it? I'm speaking Boss Man's language! And I know he understands, because he ignores the miracle and wastes two minutes arguing with me. Until he sees the lightning. That's the tall, shiny guy with the bright eyes and sharp, pointy thingy in his hand. He shuts Boss Man up at once.
"Listen to your donkey, Balaam. Follow her example. You have a hot head. She'll show you how to keep it cool."
(based loosely off the story in Numbers chapter 22)
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