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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Phew! (02/11/10)

TITLE: Sirens in the morning
By Mark Kinsman


At first it was a long distant whining invading the dawn.The frenzied orchestra of sirens and lights raced out from the Pinewood road. The roaring ambulance turned onto Park drive. The wailing reached a deafening crescendo as it passed the entrance to Johnson Park, where Jordan Sheppard was experiencing the Saturday sunrise with his wife Marianne and their two year old son Matthew. The child seemed oblivious to the chaos in the air as his swing lifted backwards into the rose colored morning sky. Laughing with the delight only a toddler could know, the boy composed himself and pleaded “Daddy Again” as the swing swung down towards the ground. Jordan was blessed to be able to comply, the sirens pounded, invading his soul. The howling pierced his brain, transporting him to places where he once existed.
He was not much older then Matthew when he would accompany his father to the gin mills of the New Jersey shore town where he was raised. He would drink cokes while his father talked loudly with the commercial fishermen, iron workers and truck drivers who inhabited places like the Harbor Inn and the Marina Bar. He began breaking into houses at the age of 13. He was an alcoholic and drug addict at 14. He had been involved in over 30 car accidents, five in which lives were lost including the Christmas day crash in a stolen Mustang which killed his two older brothers. A year after that, Pauli Hickman “cut in line” and pulled the pistol from Jordan’s hand when it was Jordan‘s turn during a drug fueled contest of Russian roulette. The gun exploded as did Pauli’s skull. Jordan shook as the sirens continued to scream. He felt his eyes tear as he glanced at his arms and his hands. What would he tell Matthew about the 20 plus tattoos etched into his skin and the many scars carved into his body?
The sirens faded and Jordan pulled the swing to a gentle stop. Lifting Matthew from his chariot he held him tightly to his chest. Jordan thought about the men’s bible study he attended the night before. He was overwhelmed with gratitude for Jesus. He looked over at his wife Marianne, seated on the park bench, the women who believed in him and led him to the Lord three years earlier. At the bible study he met a young man who introduced himself as Dino. He rode a lime green chopper motorcycle, Jordan admired the bike and the two hit it off. When the study ended Jordan and Dino sat on the curb where Jordan led Dino to Christ. .Dino told Jordan he had been “hiding out.” He said he would leave in the morning, head back to Pennsylvania and “own up”. Dino said that for the first time he felt true peace. When Jordan arrived home around midnight,he and Marianne stayed up talking about the study, and the man Jordan led to Christ, Dino was now a son of God! At 6:00 AM they woke their son and headed to the park to watch the sunrise.
With Matthew on his shoulders, Jordan approached his lady on the bench, and held out his hand, she accepted and the three of them walked out of the park to their car. Jordan turned and asked “How about we ride into that sunrise darling?” she winked and nodded her approval. They had been riding east for several minutes when they saw police cars, a dented pickup truck and a white tow truck parked at the cross roads. Jordan suddenly realized this was the direction that the ambulance had come from. As they approached he could see glass and chrome on the blacktop. He glanced at the road side and saw the twisted lime green remains of a chopper, a Pennsylvania motorcycle tag hanging from the mangled machine. Jordan slowed to a stop next to a police officer “What happened?” “Pickup truck ran the stop sign and plowed into the bike over there” Jordan swallowed hard “The biker?” The cop shook his head “Help didn’t get here in time”. Surprised at his composure, Jordan remembered the peace that overcame Dino just hours ago. He looked the officer in the eyes “Oh yes sir it did! Praise God it did!” He pulled back onto the road and the young family continued on towards the sun. .

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Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Mull 02/18/10
What a lift to the heart. There is always hope in God. We all need to hear these good stories to balance out all of the bad news we are all bombarded with! Good job
Marie Fink02/19/10
Great story. I was a little confused about the timeline of the events in Jordan's life. I liked how hearing the sirens brought the story teller back to past events.
AnneRene' Capp02/23/10
Great story...gave me goose bumps! If you double space between paragraphs, would be a little easier on the eyes :)