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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Discern (08/12/10)

TITLE: Ordinary Stranger
By Brenda Rice


Ordinary Stranger

What about him captured my attention? His suit is dark blue. His shirt is white. His shoes are black. Ordinary, just plain ordinary.

Is it his gait? He walks as if one leg is shorter causing an uneven click of his heels on the sidewalk.

What causes me to watch him as he moves through the crowd? Hes probably on his way to work, I muse. Or maybe hes on his way to visit someone. Or perhaps, hes a currier making a delivery.

He definitely seems to be on a mission. But why am I so intrigued by this ordinary looking man? Is it the way he glances over this shoulders, first to the left and then to the right?

Perhaps, hes a robber planning to take something from one of these unsuspecting souls. Is he on the prowl for his next victim?

As my intrigue increases so does my pace. I must stay in sight of him but still remain un-noticed. No one seems to be aware of him or me. Life proceeds at its regular cadence.

Why am I so aware of this stranger? Hundreds of people walk past me everyday. I rarely notice any one specific person. I find it so strange that this man has caught my attention.

As I continue watching, I notice he carries something under his left arm. A package of sorts. What is it, I wonder? Maybe hes mailing it or delivering it.

About the size of an encyclopedia, the package is wrapped in brown paper tied with twine. Theres no bow on top. A gift without a bow? Could it be hes bought a gift for himself? Alas, could it be a bomb?

Okay, none of this makes sense. Why in the world am I following this stranger?

Wait a second, hes turning at the corner. I have to hurry or Ill lose him. Ohthere he is. Hes walking faster now.

The Post Office is a few doors away. Hes almost there butwaithe keeps going. Its not mail. Now his pace increases. Where is he going and why?

My short legs dont cover the distance as quickly as his longer ones. Hes some distance ahead of me now. Still watching over his shoulders as if he knows someone is following him. I wonder what he would do if he knew it was me? Would he snatch me behind a building and.

Stop it! That is crazy thinking. Im not playing some spy game. Its a lovely summer day and Im walking down the same street I walk down everyday. But somehow, Ive become fixated on a tall man in a navy suit carrying a package under his arm.

Somethings happening! Hes stopped in front of a large building. Hes looking around trying to make sure he isnt being followed. Hes about to carry out his mission. Now he backs slowly into the doorway. Without looking back he opens the huge doors while still looking toward the street.

Im frozen beside a light pole pretending to read my paper. My heart pounds in my ears. All my senses are on high alert.

Suddenly the huge doors open, close and hes gone! Something is about to happen and Im not standing here! Im going in! To my surprise the doors arent locked. One push and Im inside. I dont see anyone, but I hear voices. I move in that direction. One, two, three steps and

Welcome Miss. Please come in and join us. We are about the begin our class.

Oh, now Im in a real pickle! The man with the package is standing here asking me to come in. Shocked is what I am.

Dont be shy, the Lord brings new people everyday.

He does? How does he bring them? I hear myself ask.

Various ways. How did He bring you?

Oh Im sure the Lord had nothing to do with me being here.

Is that right? Well, I think He did. You see I noticed you as you noticed me. That was the Lord. He caused you to discern something about me that intrigued you so you would follow. Was it the package that caught your attention?

I feel my head nod, but my mouth wont move.

Lets open the package and solve your mystery?

From the package the man takes a large black book, opens it and reads

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. Psalms Twenty-Three.

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This article has been read 451 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Loren T. Lowery08/20/10
Loved this! So well written and entertain with a good message as well. I was involved and intrigued the whole time. My only comment is that you put the title: Ordinary Stranger, in the body of your work, which affects word count. It doesn't need to be included as it show up automatically in the heading. Great job! Keep writing, indeed.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/20/10
This was full of suspense and intrigue. I felt as if I was walking right along with the MC.
The fact that you used the present tense really helped draw me into the story. it's not that easy to write in the present test. I commend you on a job well done.
Cheryl Harrison08/23/10
Very good. Kept my attention all the way through! I loved it.
AnneRene' Capp08/23/10
This was so entertaining. Love the curiosity of the MC, along with her COURAGE! This gave me a good chuckle. Very different and I do believe you are most definitely ready to move up! :)
Joyce Morse08/24/10
I loved the way you started the article. It captured my attention right away so that I kept reading. And then you kept building that suspense until the end. Great job!
Marita Thelander 08/26/10
Very well written...a deserving 2nd place ribbon. Move on up to intermediate level and continue on your quest of extraordinary writer. ;) Congratulations.
Dianna Schnabel08/26/10
Congratulations! See you in Level II!
Margaret Kearley 08/27/10
Congratulations on your well earned placing. A really gripping and great story.
Nancy Sullivan 08/27/10
No surprise here, Brenda. Wonderful story and you nabbed us from the beginning just as the stranger captured the MC. Congratulations and great job!