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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Passport (07/25/05)

TITLE: Cement Work


The room echoed with the boom of the hammer hitting the floor, crushing the concrete crack ands sending dust and rock flying though the air. The arms of the big man bulged with muscles as he swung the hammer again and again, the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. All day long he had pounded the crack in the concrete floor while a short distance away a two-man crew worked to repair the floor with new cement being poured into the crack to seal the floor.

There was much more than cement work going on with the big man. For two weeks he had labored with nine other people in this third world country to do just his small part to make their world better. Then two days before being allowed to go homeóa plane crashes into the World Trade Center buildings creating catastrophic damage of immeasurable proportions and halting travel to the United States, trapping these ten people in this small African country.

There were other people working in different rooms of the old building. Painting, measuring, working to restore the place to some resemblance of the livable structure Her Majestyís soldiers had originally constructed the building for. Occasionally someone would try to take the hammer from the big manís hands but the ringing, booming blows never seemed to slow or even waiver from the echo that had been the song heard throughout the long day.

Everyone waited somewhat impatiently for the return of the group leaders, who were checking on possible flights to go home, hoping for the word to travel to the airport for the trek back to loved ones, yet trying not to despair in this impossible situation, wanting only to hear you are going home.

A manís family is all he has and when they are in danger he is going to be there for them. But when he is thousands of miles away, canít get home, canít get through on the telephone, and even the email doesnít work, you have to find a release mechanism, something you can do, something that will let the steam roll off. But you cannot hurt someone while you do it. You have to find something to keep busy, something constructive to DO.

Yeah, you can keep your passport in your possession, have your bags packed, ready to go at a moments notice, but you have to DO SOMETHING!

Oh! You want to repair that crack in the floor. You want that crack in the floor widened out with a hammer then refilled with new cement.

Whereís the hammer?

BOOM! The hammer smashes into the floor. BOOM! Cement chips and dust fly through the room. Sweat builds across the chiseled face and rolls down the nose and chin. BOOM! Yeah, my passport is in my possession. Boom!

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This article has been read 609 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Nina Phillips08/01/05
This was very unique, I believe it was very nicely portrayed. God bless ya, littlelight
Debra Brand08/02/05
I felt the despair of his not being able to get home at a time of supreme uncertainty. Keep up the good work.
Shari Armstrong 08/02/05
I really liked this -just like when we have our salvation, we just can't sit there -we need to DO something :)
Maxx .08/06/05
I like the tension here. I like the scene. The emotion is expressed fairly good as well. A little more polishing and just a little more focus on the central crisis and this is outta the park. Very good!
Sally Hanan08/07/05
This is a good piece. Try to take the word 'you' out of it and make it all about the man.
Shelley Snyder08/07/05
I liked this, and could send tension and frustration it portrayed. I agree with Maxx (I think it was) about taking the 'you' out. I wonder if it would give a higher degree of frustration if it was written from the first person? Good job though!
Sandra Petersen 08/07/05
Excellent! I can't imagine what it would feel like to be in that man's shoes, wondering about his family's safety. Good job!
Linda Watson Owen08/07/05
I agree! Polish this up. It's great!