Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Before and After (05/14/09)
TITLE: The Stranger
By Carolyn Summerset
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The last three years had been full of disappointments, rejections, and transitions. Where’s my Jacob’s ladder? Hey, up there, I’d even vie for a Jericho Wall experience right about now. At least they got exercise and victory to boot! Exhausted, I plopped in the brown Naugahyde 2-seater. Like me, it too had seen better days.
Twirling the locks of my black shoulder-length hair, the train’s window offered a temporary distraction. I watch other commuters rushing to get trains. There were clusters of business people holding PDA; s, black leather briefcases, and tailored suits. I wondered if their lives were as put together as their appearance?
Just as the season of winter returns, my mind wandered back to my own dilemma once again. What if the Bible was just a book of good stories? Emotions of despair rushed in like a tsunami! Like a woman holding on for dear life from being robbed of her handbag, I could feel myself clutching on to what hope I had left.
The tears welled causing my brown eyes to be blinded of any clear vision. Not now, I thought to my self. Not here. The train was full of commuters. Pull yourself together I uttered under my breath.
I heard the thumping of his yellow Timberland boots as they pounded the worn, ugly taupe marble linoleum aisle of the train. My French manicured hands were wiping the flood from my eyes. I was too busy to notice that the tall forbidding stranger had stopped at my seat. Excuse me, do you mind if I sit here?” I would have answered him but I was doing all I could not to soak the brown and pink embroidered skirt that I had worn to work.
He said, I work at Rutgers in the Research Department. We travel all over the world looking for artifacts to support events recorded in the bible. He pretended not to see that my eyes were red as cherries in spite of my own embarrassment. He was a gangly sort of fellow. His brown hair was wispy with sun kissed highlights. It looked mussed but neat and adequately framed the lines of his long angular face. His eyes were azure blue and sparkled like the stars of a twilight sky. The Stranger’s hand were worn but neatly kept. He wore a long taupe trench coat that fell just above his boots.
There was something magical about his face. His eyes were mesmerizing, comforting. His demeanor drew me in like a helpless fly into the web of a spider. The busyness and noise of the train faded away into the distance.
He spun a tale of adventures below the sea, on the land, Mt. Ararat and Noah’s Ark. His words were like those of a speeding train and yet I comprehended them all. Finally, he spoke about the beautiful people who guarded the temple where the Ark of the Covenant is kept. He described the lush thick forest, beautiful foliage, and the bronze-skinned natives that impressed him with their smiles and hospitality. They are such happy people, was a thought that stuck in my mind. He described the huge intricately ornate gold doors of the temple that was always guarded. He said the priests were meticulously dressed. Their robes were made out of a beige natural material. Embroidered symbols covered the vesture of the garment. Beads and jewels filled the wide cummerbund around their waist. They were the keepers, the ones whose job it was to keep the Ark safe.
I felt as though I had been on a whirlwind trip with the Stranger. It was time for him to depart. He looked at me as I fumbled to grasp and retain the rain of truths that he spoke. He said, Carolyn you can believe what the Bible said for it is true.
The train came to an abrupt stop and this time I didn’t hear the pounding of the boots as he exited the train with the other passengers. I anxiously looked for him to climb the steps up to the station. There he was. He was head and shoulders above the rest but no one seemed to notice the stranger.
Omigosh, Inever told him my name! I pressed my face to the window! My heart wanted another look at him but the stranger continued to walk out of site. Just then I knew, my Stranger was an Angel!
This is a true story
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