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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Black (10/15/09)

TITLE: As So Did He
By Terry Atchison


The old man was driving home on a hot, August day. He had just finished his shopping.
“What a beautiful day, Lord. My bones aren't aching today.”

The car turned the corner and passed in front of a big, red brick church. People milling around the entrance, carrying signs.

“They must be hot and thirsty on a day like this.” So, the old gentleman pulled his car over. He got out and walked over to a bench that flanked the entrance to the church. He contemplated the scene before him. His black shirt didn't help keep the heat off.

He could now read the writing on the signs the people were carrying: Yes to abortion, It's my body, Down with Christian hypocrisy, God doesn't own my body.

“How are you? What this is all about?” The old man had called out to one of the women. “Why are you protesting in front of this church?”

“Hi.” The young lady in lowered her sign. “May I sit next to you?”

“Be my guest. What is this about? Abortion? Why protest in front of this church?”

“We are a pro-abortion group and we are protesting here because the pastor, Dr. Setarcos, has been trying to get support from the local and state government to close the abortion clinic down the street. Women will no longer have a place to go to for their interventions.”

“Oh. I see. Would you care for a bottle of water?” Without waiting for an answer, he walked to the trunk of his car and pulled out a case of bottled water. The bottles were still cool from the store refrigerator. He gave one to the woman, and then proceeded to distribute bottles of water to all of the protesters. Then, he sat on the bench again, next to the woman, cutting up oranges into slices with his pocket knife.

“So, this pastor is your enemy of sorts? Right?”

“Well, not exactly an enemy. Most of us don't believe in God and don't go to church. Who is this guy, who thinks that he can dictate how we live? I know that he hates us. He calls us killers. Well, a woman should have the right to control whatever happens to her body. No man has that right!”

“You remind me of me, back in the sixties. Here, have a slice of orange.” He waved over the others, and one by one, they came and took some orange slices to eat.
“We believed in women's lib, legalization of drugs, animal rights, and we were all against the Vietnam war. Our protests and marches did finally have an effect, but it all ended up going to the extreme. That is why we ended up with so many big lawsuits that really hurt this country. That is also why today that children are treated as adults when they are twelve years old and we can't control them anymore. Yep, the whole base of our problems today comes from us baby-boomers' protests. We did have fun though.”

“Wow. So. you understand where we are coming from?”

“I fully understand your reason and your fervor for your making yourself heard. It brings back many memories. Tell me. Do you have any children?”

“No. Not yet. But in a couple of years I want to have two.”

“That's what I thought. Well, maybe then, we will have to meet here and go over this abortion thing again.” The old man winked at the young woman.

“Okay. What is your name, sir? It was nice talking with you.”

The big door of the church opened. Out came a young man dressed in a black shirt, with a white collar, and black pants. “Please, leave here now. The pastor is not here. You are wasting.......” His words trailed off as his eyes fell upon the old man.

“Dr. Setarcos! What are you doing here?”

All of the protesters stared in amazement at the old gentleman, sitting there, dressed all in black, smiling at them. One by one, they lowered their signs and went to their vehicles.

“You are all invited to come talk with me this Sunday. If you think that water tasted good, wait until you hear about my living water.” He called out to them.

When Sunday came, the old man, Dr. Setarcos, dressed in black pants, and black shirt, this time with a white collar, greeted the young lady that he had shared the bench with.

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This article has been read 423 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 10/26/09
Wow! Well done! He showed love instead of telling...much more effective! Keep up the good writing.
Ruth Brown10/27/09
Excellent.Love moves mountains and demonstrators!
Jan Ackerson 10/28/09
Wonderful twist, and very well-told story.

Was there a reason for the MC's name to be "Socrates" backwards? Just curious.
SherylAnn Heinicka11/02/09
Terry, I enjoyed your story very much. You had that little "ah ha" at the end which was not easily anticipated. Good job.