Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)
TITLE: Sentenced To Death
By Trevas Walker
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“Where am I?” Carl says, the weakness in his own voice surprising him. Even if there was someone to hear him, they wouldn’t have.
Looking up he realizes that he in his car, the steering wheel is much to close; the bottom portion of the wheel seems buried in his stomach. Beside him his old friend seems to be sleeping. A closer look and Carl is hit by the realization that Steve won’t need to sleep anymore, the bent frame of what was once the passenger door is buried deep into Steve’s neck, and blood paints the remnants of the door a deep red.
As the world fades again sirens can be heard in the background, still distant.
Suddenly, with a sense that something isn’t right, Carl is standing outside. From where he stands he can see the accident. The truck that had hit them seems to meld into the front end of his Buick. Two vehicles become one in a mess of twisted metal and rubber.
What’s happening? Am I dead?
Having been an atheist since his teen years, Carl is deeply disturbed by what is happening. Here he stands, thinking, feeling, and yet he can see himself slumped over the twisted metal of his Buicks steering wheel.
The light appears then, ahead of Carl. An intense bright white light that leaves you with a euphoric sense of wonder when you gaze upon it, a sense of peace, and of utter happiness; feelings Carl had not know often in his, anger driven, messed up life.
Carl can see Steve walking toward the light. A smile on his face, the smile of a man who knows he is going home. Carl wants badly to follow, but something is holding him back. He can no more move toward the light, than a prisoner can walk through the iron bars that hold him. Something roots his feet firmly where he stands.
Just as Steve is about to walk into the light he looks back. Carl watches as his old friends gaze falls upon him, and the euphoric smile turns to a look of complete horror. For a moment Carl wonders why Steve would perceive him as frightful. It is only for a moment though, as the claws of the huge powerful hands encircle his waist, he realizes it wasn’t him that earned the horrified look.
“NOOoooo!” Carl screams as the beast that grips him pulls him back. He grapples against the hands, reaching toward the light, but the demon’s grasp is firm.
Soon Carl is surrounded by the deepest darkness he has even known. The reek of death hangs in the air. Carl can see nothing; everything is swallowed by the darkness. Screams of a million tortured souls resound throughout the blackness. Evil permeates this place, the pestilence that eats away the soul.
The visions come then. Visions of a man who had led an angry, vengeful, hate filled life. Every anger driven sin Carl had ever committed now seemed to flash in his mind – the time he had gotten drunk and beat his wife, every vengeful thing he had done in life, every drunken bar room brawl – clear in his mind.
Along with the visions came the pain. The pain of every punch he had ever thrown; the crushing emotional distress his wife had felt that one night, when the man she loved had turned on her; every pain he had ever caused anyone with his fury, every hurtful word said in anger; now tortured his soul.
“No! Please give me another chance. I’m so sorry!” Carl screams in the blackness, his words seemingly echoing off of unseen walls. “Dear Jesus, please forgive me.”
The smell of gasoline permeates Carl’s reality, overcoming all of his other senses, as he stirs to consciousness. He finds himself lying on a stretcher, red lights flashing through the dark of this stormy night. Carl begins to sob uncontrollably, the tears of a man who has seen hell; tears of man sentenced to death, and yet given one more chance to make it right.
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