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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Employment (01/26/12)

By Gail Burks


“Go down to the factory and fill out an application 'cause they are hiring,” Tom said abruptly.

“OK”, Timothy grumbled. His face still buried in the pillow. A few minutes later, the tall, handsome, 18-year old rolled out of bed, washed up, picked out a white shirt, striped tie and black slacks. He checked his face in the mirror, added styling gel to his dark brown hair, and raced downstairs, feeling confident.

“Hey, ma,” planting a kiss on the top of her head, as he was accustomed to doing. “Hi, honey, do you want a bagel or something?”

“No, just juice. I'll eat later,” gulping down a tall glass of OJ.

“I'm praying you get this job. Your dad said the summer hires are starting at $13.00/hr.”, speaking excitedly.

“Yeah, I know. But, just because dad has worked there for twenty years doesn't mean I'll get the job,” Ben said, sarcastically.

“You need to start trusting God a bit more”, as she squeezed him around his waist. “Don't forget to call when you're on the way back, and be careful.”

As Tim unlocked the car door, his dad suddenly appeared, giving his son a quick pat on the back.

“Take your time and fill out the application and remember to write your cousin John's name where it asks for references. You know, he works in Engineering."

'I'll remember. I've got to go. Bye dad.”

As Tim drove down the expressway, he reflected on how his dad had been so hard on him since Ben died, and even more so after graduating in May. “I never have time to chill out. Sometimes he gets on my nerves,” he muttered.

Arriving at the factory, Tim thought, “Maybe I can interview with someone in HR. I better pray first,” remembering what his mom said earlier. Before exiting the car, Tim prayed for clarity of mind and favor. “Boy, if I get this job, at least I'll have money for college in the fall.”

Tim's parents sat quietly at the kitchen table, reading the sports section and daily devotion, respectively. It calmed her, especially when the memories resurfaced.

Ben. His name echoed in her mind. “I will not cry today. I will read and pray”, she said inwardly, keeping her eyes focused on Psalms 91.

Seeing Tim dressed up and rushing out the house, reminded her of that morning three years ago. A recent college graduate, Ben was hired at one of the top Public Relations firms downtown and had been employed one month.

“I'm running late,” he hurriedly said. “Also, going to Jen’s after work. We have to finalize the music for the ceremony.”

“Good. See you tonight,” his mom reassured him.

That morning. The ring of the doorbell. The two police officers asking if we know Ben Williams. The screams. The look on her husband's face.

The police said a semi-truck ran the stop sign. Just two miles from home. After that, Tim began acting out, but God kept him covered.

The middle-aged lady at the desk took the completed application from Tim.

“Oh, I know your dad very well”, she said, perusing the paperwork. “He's a wonderful man. You have a great father.”

“Yes, ma'am. I know,” Tim replied. “I do have good parents,” feeling remorseful at his earlier behavior.

“Hold on, young man. Let me check to see if Mr. Johnson is in the office. Maybe you can speak to him while you're here. Have a seat in the waiting area.”

“Thank you.” Tim reflected on the earlier prayer.

Soon, Mr. Johnson, the hiring manager, walked over, warmly greeting Tim. “Come into my office for a few minutes and let's talk.”

They discussed college, sports and computers. Tim had a great personality and people enjoyed conversing with him.

“It's evident you really like computers and I heard you're good with your hands. We still have an opening in IT. Would you be able to start next Monday – of course, pending the reference and background checks are solid?”

“Yes, Sir. Definitely. Thank you.”

Tim called home. “Mom, I got hired and tell Dad, thank you. I love you both.”

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This article has been read 312 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/02/12
I enjoyed this story so much, Beautiful message.
God Bless~
Dannie Hawley 02/04/12
Terrific article! I hope you are thinking of working it up as a short story or book? Could be an interesting read for any age group, especially the young adult readers.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/05/12
This is a nice story. You did a good job bringing the topic into the focus of the story.

Be careful of little things like in the first sentence you used the word 'cause (which is great for dialog) but then used they are instead of what most people would say is they're. It's a little thing, but contractions will make your dialog feel authentic.

You lost me a bit when you abruptly switched to Ben. It didn't really add to the story (though if you were allowed more words it would have worked) I feel that the loss of Ben was important to you but the abrupt transition might leave the reader confused.

I enjoyed the message. I love a mom who can remind her son to pray without coming off as preachy. The ending was nice too. Keep writing, you have some good stories in you.
Jody Day 02/07/12
Enjoyed this and it fit the theme. Seems like there were two stories here that could have been weaved together a little better, but an awesome job nonetheless.
Jody Day 02/07/12
Enjoyed this and it fit the theme. Seems like there were two stories here that could have been weaved together a little better, but an awesome job nonetheless.