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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Sunday School (10/25/07)

By mick dawson



A black and red clad figure wandered into the abandoned inner city. The only thing that stirred in the forsaken metropolis was himself.

“First thing’s first.” He mused.

He knew that the merge mutations were on the whole nocturnal and that he would have to find somewhere safe to sleep before sundown.

He looked to the lower levels of the buildings that loomed before him. Many of them were covered with thick vines that he clearly remembered didn’t exist in the old world. For the past few years he had come to know better than to venture inside as they hid all manner of lurking mutations that fed on practically anything.

He looked up. The light was fading and he noticed shadows stirring somewhere to the corner of his eye, or was it his imagination?

Experience had taught him that to be safest involved being somewhere high and barricaded. A set of fire stairs or an old lift would do fine.

He leapt at the vines and claws sprang from his knuckle guards and boots, digging into the unseemly growths with ease. Within moments he had scaled them to the fourth floor where he slipped within an open window.

Looking both ways, the hooded stranger scanned for somewhere safe to read his Bible, make his latest entry in his solar powered laptop and sleep to walk the streets in safety the next day.

Impulse alone made him go left, when he heard the faintest sounds of singing.

“Here?” he resounded in his mind.

He removed his pack and tightened his grip on one of the knives in his crossed baldric as he crept silently to the stairs. The singing grew louder the more he descended the stairs.
Against his better judgment, the stranger went to the basement level where the singing grew loudest and pushed open a door with a wire crossed glass panel.

He slinked up the corridor and stood in the shadows to the rear of an open room where he witnessed the backs of children sitting cross legged on a mat singing “God is better than football.”

For a moment, he smiled to himself as he remembered singing it in his church Sunday school as a child.

The stranger was about to make himself known to these ‘survivors’ when his gaze fell to the adults to the side of the room and swallowed. They were merge mutations. At a guess he thought them to be the merger of men and dogs.

One of the small creatures, female as was evident by her pretty pastel dress walked to the front of the class to share what Jesus had done in her life of late when she gasped at the sight of the stranger.

All turned and as the stranger spun to escape, he found the pastor of the group standing in his way. The stranger felt overwhelmed and drew one of the hatchets from his holster on his hip and twisted the explosive canister, setting the timer for ten seconds.

“Don’t be afraid. You don’t have to be a Manine to be welcome here.” Said the pastor.

The hatchet still hummed, reaching its crescendo when the little girl placed her hand on the stranger’s arm.

His heart melted and with a flick of his thumb, the stranger deactivated the device.
The Bible dropped from his pack to be picked up by the pastor.

“There’s no need for you to bring weapons to our Sunday school” The clergyman said gently.

“I’m sorry.” Said the stranger, almost on the verge of tears. “It’s just that normally when I meet your kind, they want to eat me.”

“I know.” He said regretfully. “What is your name?”

“They call me the Missionary. I go over this whole country to reach the unsaved.”

“Dangerous work.”

“But if someone doesn’t do it, then many souls will pass into Hell for nothing. It seems though that I’m not needed here…could you give me somewhere safe to sleep tonight?”

“Of course, you’ll be welcome with us…welcome to stay if you want.”

“No I can’t, I’ve got work to do. You know what, pastor. I’m glad I stumbled upon your Sunday school. There was a friend I was very close to who trained me to live out there. A Manat. We prayed for her salvation together. She asked me if merge mutations had souls and I didn’t know how to answer her. Now I know that she died as a Christian.”

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This article has been read 709 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beckie Stewart11/01/07
Interesting story.....found some sentences a little long and confusing, but was a well written and different piece to read.
Janice Cartwright11/01/07
Your creativity and plot-work is superb, as is your theme. I would say read your work out loud before submitting with an ear to grammatical syntax. Good work - definitely keep writing.
Janice Cartwright11/01/07
Ahem! (blush, blush)
To follow my own advice, I will now rephrase a portion of my comment.

"I would say, before submitting, read your work out loud before with an ear to grammatical syntax." :)

or, even better, "I would say read your work out loud with an ear to grammatical syntax before submitting." :)
Jan Ackerson 11/03/07
Very creative!

The problem with science fiction works that are limited to 750 words are that the reader is often left puzzled as to the "back story." I didn't fully understand some of this for that very reason.

I hope you can find a an audience to read a full-length version of this.
Lynda Schultz 11/05/07
Yes, this story begs a longer version with more details. However, and I am sure this won't make a whole lot of sense, but your story reminded me of the church here in Venezuela where I serve. It's very divided along political lines, to the extent that people on both sides believe that those who are on the other side can't possibly be christians — it's sort-of like your comment at the end of the story — is it possible for mutants to be believers? Forgive the rambling. Very interesting story.
Brenda Welc11/07/07
I agree with the fact tht the word count really limits you. It took me a minute to catch up in the story, however this is really good writing! Be Blessed!