Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Soul (07/13/06)
TITLE: High Stakes
By Jacqueline Zerres
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Gordon rubbed at an imaginary spot on the sleek machine. He stood back and admired the new Jaguar convertible and waited for his sibling’s approval.
“Whadda ya think?” He snapped the towel with a flick of his wrist and connected with his target.
“Ow! That’s it, Bro, you’re dead meat!”
Randy took off at breakneck speed in pursuit of his brother. He chased him down the long stretch of driveway and grabbed a handful of his shirt, flinging him sideways to the lawn. They wrestled like kids and tumbled to the ground. They lay in the grass, laughing hard and catching their breath.
“She’s awesome, Gord, a real beauty!” he said finally. “Pretty pricey though, ain’t it?” He got up, reached out his hand and pulled his brother to his feet. They walked back toward the house.
“Oh, mere pocket change.” He closed his eyes, raised his eyebrows, and with his finger, pushed his nose into the air.
Randy’s amusement at his brother's antics was short-lived. “No, seriously, how can you afford all of this? I could buy a small country with what you shell out for that alone each month.” He gestured toward the castle-like manor on four landscaped acres.
“Nah, I’m okay. Really!” he emphasized the word. “Business is booming, the market’s up, life is good!” He threw his head back and thrust his hands to the sky as though praising an unseen deity.
Randy shook his head, bewildered by Gordon’s lack of responsibility. “When are you going to settle down?” he continued to press. You’re almost thirty!”
“Yeah, yeah, I know – eat, drink and be merry…”
The old Ford coughed and sputtered it’s way up the drive. “Keep it up and you’re both grounded,” Dana yelled at the boys to stop fighting. The men could hear them in the distance.
Gordon folded his arms in front of him and smirked. “Need I say more?”
The Ford chugged to a stop. “Wow!” Dana hung out the window, admiring Gordon’s new toy. Randy hopped in the car, next to his wife.
“Number three!” her brother-in-law bragged. He already had a Bemer and a Mercedes.
“Where are you going to put it; you only have a two car garage?” she hollered above the boys’ screaming.
“I’m gonna knock through the outside of the garage wall and add two more bays. At least!”
“You’re crazy!” she threw the words at him as she drove away.
Randy gave his sons the look. “Josh, Evan, quiet down!” They did. He grew silent on the way home, reflecting on the conversation between him and his brother.
“What’s the matter?” Dana kept her eyes on the road and waited for him to speak.
“Oh, it’s Gord.” he said. “He lives like there’s no tomorrow.” He changed the subject. “How was the church thing, by the way?”
Dana had recently started attending a new service. "I hate not sleeping in on Sunday, but I have to admit, something about the messages are fascinating." She hesitated before going on. “You know, today the pastor was saying how we need to prepare for eternity. I guess I never really thought about it, did you?”
Gordon was standing by the Jag, pleased with this new addition to his collection. The familiar ring tone of his cell announced a caller. He flipped it open. “Hey, John, my man!” He waited eagerly to hear how much richer he’d become. He listened, incredulous, to the new figures his broker rattled off to tickle his ears. A smile broke out. “Yes!” he whooped and jumped in the air. Life was good! He slam-dunked the phone, aiming at the leather seat. Maybe he’d retire early!
He jumped in the sports car and it roared to life. He revved the engine and peeled out. He hit a button and the radio blared, screeching white noise. He scanned the stations. Elevator music, static, some daft preacher…
He sped down the drive and swung right, overshooting his lane.
“For what does it profit a man…,” the evangelist was ranting,
“Enough of that,” he looked down to find the off button.
He glanced at the road. Too late, he saw the big rigg, just before impact.
“…if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul.”
It was his last warning before he slipped into eternity.
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