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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: See (07/22/10)

TITLE: The Vandal
By Patsy Hallum


Doug had already given the Police his statement. Now, the reporter from the town newspaper was asking police if he could interview him. He was not looking forward to telling his story again. He had already spent more time than he had to spare, after all, he was the one that had seen the vandal and found the injured Pastor Tom.

I guess the public has a right to know. I want to hurry to get to hospital and see about Pastor, Doug mused. He saw the cop shake his head yes. The reporter turned and started towards him.

“Hello Doug.” The reporter said as he approached with his hand extended. “I'm from The Leader, will you give me your story?”

“Yes, if it doesn't take very long. I am still mad at the man who did this.” Doug beat his hand on the hood of the car near him. “This kind of damage is senseless!”

“I understand.” The Reporter nodded as he readied his notebook. “ Please call me John. Did you recognize the vandal?”

“No, I have never seen him before. He doesn't have any family resemblance to any one I know. I will work with an artist later to make a sketch of him.”

“Will you describe him for me?” John was very busy trying to keep all of his notes together.

“He had dark brown hair. His eyes were dark, either brown or navy blue. I had such a quick glance, I couldn't tell for sure. His eyebrows were big and bushy. Clean shaven. He was about 5' 8”, give or take an inch. He had on a white t-shirt and bluejeans.” Doug ran his fingers through his hair, deep in thought. “That's all I can remember.”

“That's fine,” John murmured as he wrote furiously. “Did you see his shoes?”

“Shoes? They were greyish … maybe white but dirty. Tennis shoes, not high tops though. I could see that they were hook/loop closure.”

“The policeman said the Church was torn up pretty good. What did you see the vandal do?”

"Well, I was walking past the Church to go to the Auto Parts Store. I heard a banging noise, looked towards the Church and the door was open. I am a member there so I went up the steps to see what was being done. The vandal was hitting the pulpit with a folding chair. I glanced around and saw that he had already over-turned the flower urns. The potted plants were strewn all over the stage, The Organ was turned on its side ... the vandal was still breaking up the pulpit with the folding chair ... he looked mad, awful mad. He had not seen me yet. I moved out of his sight and hearing, then called 911 on my cell phone. I had just finished when he left the Church, going south.”

“Did you think about following him to see where he was going?”

“Yes, I did, but I decided that the police would need me at the Church more than on the street. I called them back, told them which way he was going and a quick description of his clothes. I then went back into the Church to assess all the damage. I remembered that I was not to disturb any evidence so I was extremely careful.”

“Was it then that you saw the Pastor?”

“Yes, He was unconscious. His head was bleeding a little, it was swelling. One arm was bent un-naturally. I could see he was still breathing. I called 911. It seemed like an hour until the ambulance arrived, but it was only about five minutes.”

Bang! Both men jumped. “Gunshots!” shouted Doug as he saw the vandal running across the street, dodging and swerving people, cars and bullets.

“That's Him!” he cried; pointing to him. Both men started running towards the ruckus. About that time, a police car came out of an alley beside the vandal. It swerved just enough to knock him down. The pursuing cop put handcuffs on him.

Doug puffed for air as he arrived on the scene, “He's the one I saw vandalizing the Church! Thank you, God. Thank you, men for catching him. Excuse me, I am going to tell Pastor Tom that we have him. I will see that justice is done according to Pastor Toms' wishes

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/31/10
It was a thrilling story with so much detail.

The ending was kind of sudden and not quite what I expected, but I imagine the word count limit might have hindered you some.

You did a great job keeping my attention right to the end. I want to know so much more, like why the man was so angry he vandalized the church. Keep writing. You have great stories to tell.
Phee Paradise 08/04/10
You told an interesting story, but it felt incomplete. I too want to know why the vandal was so angry. I think this should be a much longer story, but your dialogue and descriptions were realistic.