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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)

By mick dawson



After the collapse of the world as we knew it, men tried to rebuild their lives by redeveloping the buildings and the structured societies they once dwelt under. Few enough remained to do so and much of what was left of human society fell to the mutations that sought them out as prey, but in one valley dwelt a community consisting mainly of Christians.

This town, or more precisely this church proved to be a beacon to the civilized world.

Haven had both a leader and pastor (although no one was left that could officially ordain him.) by the name of Peter Bradley

He cleared away any rubble and tended the farms, doing as much of his share of the labor as any other member of the community and when he did walk down the street, he was given the warmest of greetings by everyone he passed.

He was proud of how his church grew. Alas the town numbered less than a hundred people but Peter long knew that the strength of a church was never measured by its numbers, but by the loving shared among the body. He saw it demonstrated in how they accepted each other, how they forgave and shared the load of their labors joyfully.

Haven was home to him. It was his family as every man was his brother and every woman his sister and although never married, every child was his to love and to care for.

A sad makeshift bell clanked away vaguely to the other end of the main thoroughfare that once served as a highway but had been sealed off to keep out any dangerous predators.

Peter looked up to see that the sun had risen above what now served as the doctor’s quarters and realized that it was now time for the Sunday morning service.

He waited for the citizens of Haven to gather in the open ground on tree trunks that had been hewn into seats to listen to his weekly teaching from the Bible. He spoke about Jesus on how he was nothing extraordinary that anyone would want to follow Him.

“…And what did you come out to see?!” he quoted. “A man in soft clothing?!”

Then he froze in mid sentence at the sight of a stranger approaching from beyond their perimeter.

The people all turned to see a man clad in black and red with a baldric of knives over his shoulders. He removed the black mask in their presence and presumed rightly to remove his weaponry at the gathering took a seat.

It was soon discovered that the young man was a Christian as led to Christ by his mother when he was little.

He pulled his weight with the labors of the community for weeks and everyone seemed to like him.

Peter’s niece, Laura seemed to take a particular fondness. In short the stranger was happy in Haven and so to the pastor’s surprise, he found he was unable to persuade him to remain with the community.

He was equally surprised at his arrival as he said that he came from beyond the ranges in the north. It was at least a two day walk and the perils that awaited anyone who attempted to cross the void were virtually innumerable.

It was once explained vaguely that he had been trained to adapt to the new world with the aid of a mutated friend.

Peter remembered the day he refitted his baldric of knives and hatchets for his departure into the unknown beyond Haven’s boundaries.

“Why do have to leave? Stay with us and we can make a life here together. Your biblical knowledge is impressive and you are a fine example of a Christian.” Pleaded Peter.

“I can’t. The word says to go into all the world and preach the gospel, pastor.” He said.

(Although it seemed the stranger used a formal address it was quite common in Haven to be named after their profession, which every member did proudly.)

“Before now I didn’t know anywhere like Haven existed. There may be more and I have to find them wherever they are. Their souls hang in the balance.”

“But you could be killed!” protested the pastor.

“Did that ever stop Paul in the early church?”

Peter stared impassively, unable to give an answer as the stranger walked from his presence to disappear among the trees and each night since he left them, Haven has prayed for their brother whom they named as…the missionary.

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This article has been read 671 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw10/19/07
Ahhhh, a safe haven! These communities DO exist, don't they?
LauraLee Shaw10/19/07
Well, aren't I just a barefoot blonde in Texas! Of course this is a FUTURE community! Takes some of us a read or two.....well, probably just me. Very creative. :)
Jan Ackerson 10/20/07
Great job of implying a back story in this little futuristic entry. Intriguing characters, too.

There are some errors in punctuation and capitalization that are mildly distracting, but should be easy enough to edit with a bit of rule study.

I enjoyed this little sci-fi story, and it seems like the beginnings of a longer piece.
Brenda Welc10/22/07
This blonde from Michigan also had a little trouble, but after the third read (just kididng).... Not my type of reading but it was greatly written. I loved how you pulled Paul into the end of the story. Great job!
Donna Powers 10/24/07
A lovely and evocative story. I really enjoyed reading this. Your description of the stranger was quite good.