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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)

TITLE: Fix the Sky
By Kurt Youngdale


George looked at me. He said that God had been speaking to him. I waited for a moment because I thought George would elaborate but he didn’t. I would have asked him to continue but if the truth were known I wasn’t really all that interested and since he didn’t seem to want to reveal whatever nugget of truth God had revealed to him I wasn’t going to press him on it. There was a long moment of silence and I felt awkward despite the fact I wasn’t really interested in continuing the conversation. I looked at my watch and checked the time. There were things I needed to get done and they weren’t going to get done all on their own. George however, didn’t seem uncomfortable in the least. It seemed like he had the whole day to waste my time with. I tried to excuse myself without being rude and was unsuccessful. My wife tells me I’m rude all the time. Perhaps I am but I don’t always mean to be and it doesn’t really seem to matter anyway because I always end up looking like a jerk.
The next time I saw George he made it a point to come up and talk to me. He asked me about how my job was going and whether the wife and kids were all ok. They were the kind of questions that people generally ask but don’t really expect you to answer truthfully. I don’t seem to have much patience for those kinds of questions anymore. I asked George the same kinds of questions he had asked me. George answered my questions the same way I answered his and I lost my patience. I went into a tirade about how people do not want to answer questions honestly and how they didn’t want those questions answered honestly. I really did look like I had lost my mind. I noticed that more people than just George had heard me. One person was talking on a cell phone and watching me suspiciously. George responded in the way any sane person would respond to a crazy person and that was to patronize me. I clearly looked like a jerk again and stormed off.
I went to bed that night in a huff. It wasn’t just my encounter with George but it seemed like all my encounters with people didn’t quite go the way I had hoped that day which left me in a foul mood. My wife, who was filled with compassion, told me I was being a baby and to get over it. While I slept I heard a voice say “fix the sky”.
“What?” I inquired.
“Fix the sky” the voice said again.
“How do I fix the sky?” I asked
“You will have to figure that out by yourself,” was they reply. Why do I have to do everything myself? I’m tired of doing everything myself. How can I possibly fix the sky and how does one even know the sky is broken? When I awoke the next morning I thought of telling my wife about the whole thing but then decided against it.
I saw George the next time a few days later. He tried to avoid me but this time it was my turn to go out of my way. I apologized for acting like a crazy person and asked George to forgive me. He seemed reluctant and I could see he was struggling with it but finally he agreed. It was like one of those things that you don’t want to do but you know you have to or something unpleasant will happen to you. “George,” I asked, “Will you help me?”
“Help you with what?” he inquired.
“Will you help me fix the sky?” I asked and although my voice wasn’t animated I still sounded insane.
“You can’t fix the sky.” George responded.
“I know.” I said, “I can’t by myself, but I can if you’ll help me and I put my trust in Jesus.” George’s facial expression had changed as if something guarded had been unlocked.
“I don’t know how we’ll do it,” he said, “But I’ll try.”
I didn’t know what to do from that point, but at least I wasn’t doing it by myself anymore.

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This article has been read 761 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kurt Youngdale03/13/06
I found this piece kind of strange. I'm not really sure what to make of it. The format could be a little more readable though.
Gini Branch03/14/06
I think I get it. Not sure, though. Felt surreal headed for real.
Jan Ackerson 03/15/06
An interesting peek into a complicated mind--but a bit confusing. You might have to help your readers a bit by clarifying relationships, and giving us reasons for your narrator's emotions. Neverless--fascinating.
Sandra Petersen 03/17/06
I liked this and could see places where the writing could be tightened and clarified. Your narrator wants to change so that he isn't 'a jerk', and the voice in the night changes his perspective. I liked the 'fix the sky' command that convinced your MC to seek out George to help him do it.

The comment about your wife being so full of compassion was meant to be sarcasm, but seemed a little out of place. Expand on your character's lack of patience. Help us feel it even more.

Remember to put a space between paragraphs to aid the reader in reading.

Your second paragraph rings so true, even sometimes among Christians.Thanks for sharing.
J. Austin Bennett05/31/06
Your premise of receiving an impossible task to force the reestablishment of your relationship as well as highlighting the need for supernatural help was good.

You were a bit redundant and the core of the message is a bit fragmented. Perhaps you might wish to try working from an outline to tighten the storyline next time.