Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)
TITLE: Yellow Pages
By Julie Michaelson
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Pens flipped out of the drawer as I pulled out the yellow pages. A glass of orange juice splashed on the counter, and I slammed down the book.
Cursing in Yiddish, I grabbed some
paper towels and mopped it up.
Locksmiths. Locksmiths. The
words made the sweat break out on my
hands. My fingers were icy as they hit
the pages and pages of black ink. Some
of the dampness from my fingers smeared
Not that I could read this stuff.
Why was everything so small? I squinted, and then took off my glasses.
If I closed one eye, and bent really close to the page, I could make out some
words. Let's see. Livestock breeders,
livestock commission, livestock feeding, livestock supplies, loans, loans continued, loans alternatives....
oh! Locks. Here we go.
The ads were so bold on this page.
It all looked so....so desperate, and
I swallowed. The top of my mouth
tasted of vomit. My tongue was filthy
dry. Do it. Do it, now.
I closed my eyes. On a whim, I
turned, and went over to the computer.
A white leather bible was next to it.
I liked to use it to jot phone numbers,
and various passwords. I never read it,
though. I wondered if it had anything
about what to do when your husband of
twenty-six years was walking out the
door. Did folks even LIVE that long,
in those days? If they did, I wonder
if their attorneys demanded retainers,
or just a flat fee in a herd of sheep,
I flipped the pages. I only knew
about the Old Testament, so I thought
I better stick with that. I didn't
want to read about Noah. Why couldn't
the Lord have saved ALL of the animals?
After all, it was the people who were
bad, not the little dogs and cats. And,
the geese, and chickens. What could a
parakeet do, that was so bad? Well,
I guess he might have messed up somebody's newspaper, but I didnt' think
they even had newspapers in Noah's day.
If Petey pooped on your stone tablets,
you could always just wash them off.
I shook my head as I flipped some more. The Psalms looked like they might help right now. I scanned the lines, not wanting to read about going to war, taunting enemies, or pestilences. Maybe, I'd find some
advice about locating a good locksmith.
"Hear my prayer, O Lord
Let my cry come to Thee!
Do not hide Thy face from me,
In the day of my distress!"
Yes! Exactly! Wasn't David sort
of kvetching, and praising at the same
time? That's how I felt, too. I was
mad at God, but, I also needed His help
right now. I didn't know that you were supposed to praise Him, even when you
were hiding out in a cave with bats and
snakes. Wow! If David could do it,
I guess I could, too.
I read it again, and then closed it.
Turning to face the kitchen, and its
dreaded open, yellow pages, I suddenly
Would it hurt to keep the bible open for just a little while longer?
Stepping back to the computer, I
turned the leather cover once more.
This time I gently pushed back the
pages to Matthew 8. On one side was
a picture of a boat being tossed about in a bad storm. On the other side, was
print in black and red. Why was some
of it in red? The boat and the red
parts looked appropriate for this moment in time, so I left it as it was.
Thinking of the locksmith, and the
money I'd have to borrow from my sister,
I returned to the page with the red ink.
"Why are you afraid,
O men of little faith?"
Goodness. People have been hiding out
in caves, and tossed about in tumultuous
waves for a long, long time. When
everybody around them was turning away,
or going bonkers, I guess they went over to their computers to the open
I looked back at the other, open
pages of the phone book, and wondered how I was going to get through this.
I wiped my damp palms down the sides
of my jeans. The tips of my fingers
grew icy again, and they had a slight,
tingling sensation. My stomach lurched.
And, I jumped.
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