Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Reading (01/25/07)
TITLE: Lana's Surprising Bible
By Sara Harricharan
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“She can make it or break it.” Lana muttered aloud, her birthday a week past, but the bible box, unopened. She hadn’t sent Jackie a thank-you note either. Fingering the smooth, embossed words on the front, a slight shiver ran up her arm.
Lana stared at the box for a moment before grabbing and shaking it for the cover to pop off. The top came off, the bottom half falling onto her bed.
A burgundy bible lay innocently in the box, staring up at her. Lana frowned, reaching pick it up, surprised to see a delicate silver chain hanging out from both ends like a bookmark.
Opening the bible, showed it marking a passage in Judges. She squinted at the caption. “A woman judge? What’s that about?”
The silver chain turned out to be a necklace. A thin, shimmering cross hung from one end as she read the post-it note stuck to it.
Trust me. Jackie. Her lips pursed, betraying her puzzlement. Slipping the necklace over her head, she reached for the bible, to close it.
Her fingers brushed thin, paper leaves and a right flash of rainbow blinded her.
Lana shut her eyes to block the brightness, she was falling and there was nothing she could do to stop herself and-ouch!
A moan escaped as Lana hit the ground, hard. She cautiously opened one eye, then the other. Sunlight streamed down unmercifully on herself and a dusty pathway.
She blinked. Dusty pathway? “Jackie!” The name was spoken through tightly clenched teeth as she jumped to her feet, taking in her new surroundings. A large dirt road, lush greenery and two figures coming up the road.
A tingle spread over her and Lana looked down to see her Zana-Di jeans turning into a floppy, rust colored tunic-like dress and her Reeboks into to leather sandals.
“Greetings!” A man’s voice boomed out, causing her to jump and promptly scold herself for doing so.
Lana turned uncertainly, staring openly at the ‘couple’. A young man, maybe in his late twenties and a older woman, staff in hand.
“Hi.” She managed, swallowing frantically, searching for something else to say.
“I am Barak, traveling with Deborah. Who are you?” Barak waited for his words to sink in.
All significance was lost on Lana, who twisted her hands in the oversized sleeves, her eyes darting furtively. “Lana. Look, do you know how I can get home?”
Barak’s bushy eyebrows raised slightly but he answered anyway. “Home? We are headed towards the River Kishon. You are more than welcome to accompany us.” A faint smile touched his lips. “We have already picked up a most persuasive young woman just a few miles down the road. She stopped to ah-”
“I’m right here!” An all-too-familiar voice reached Lana’s ears and she whirled around to see the speaker.
“Jackie!?” She sputtered, lurching forward to her cousin. “What’s going on here!”
Jackie’s blue eyes lit up like fireworks, her face beaming. “Lana! You made it. I was beginning to wonder.”
Barak cleared his throat. “If you both intend to accompany us, we cannot be late.” Jackie grabbed Lana’s hand, pulling her forward to catch up with Deborah, who waited up ahead.
“I can’t believe you came!” She gushed.
Lana jerked her hand back. “Came where? What kind of sick joke is this?”
Jackie rolled her eyes. “It’s not a joke. It’s real. Sort of.” She poked Lana’s chest. “It’s the necklace. It’s kind of like time travel-in biblical times-except we can’t change anything.”
“I’m in the bible!?” Lana squeaked, freezing in motion.
Jackie automatically linked her hand in the crook of Lana’s elbow. “Kinda. Took you long enough to get here. I gave you this a week ago.” She paused to look at her cousin closely. “You don’t know where you are, do you?” She said at last.
Lana shook her head slowly.
Jackie's jaw dropped. “You don’t know the story of Deborah?”
Lana shook her head again. Jackie copied the movement. “Never mind, you’re going to love it.” She broke into a run, towing Lana behind. “Trust me.”
“Right.” Lana muttered, trying to keep up, a smile tugging stubbornly at her lips. “That’s what you said the last time!”
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