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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Surprised (09/06/07)

TITLE: Just A Boy
By Grover Gall


Bobby Blake, aka BB searched for a vein that hadn't collapsed. His hand trembled, anxiety was at its peak. Finally he resorted to injecting the heroin in the buldging yet rolling veins in his left hand. He struggled with the tremor in his right hand; finally he pulled back on the plunger, drew blood and shot the drug in as fast as he could.


BB's mother, Loretta Blake, was taking in her third customer at 10:00 PM. He was a well-respected judge of criminal cases. Loretta knew her dwindling customer list was because of her age, 37. The makeup counter at New York's Amy Lee's was cutting deeply into her profits so she had switched from the famous to the lesser known, Makeup Woman.

BB had never known his father. He was raised thinking the many men who visited were sort of a collective father in his childhood years. After all they always had a gift for BB when they visited. Expensive gifts like a computer and electonic gadgets and games.

Loretta had rented a very expensive loft apartment in a restored warehouse and she and BB lived there until he was 10. Mom got behind two months in her rent and was forced to move herself and BB to a run down flat in Harlem. She had told BB that the many professional men that she counselled just wouldn't drive that far to see her for help.

One day at school a kid, Dwight Steen, had approached BB and casually stated that Mrs. so and so had told his mom that BB's mother was nothing but a sleazy hooker. BB had given him a left hook so fast and hard that the kid was thrown backward about eight inches. BB was expelled from school from May through the summer break. He was 12. He brooded.

On the second Thursday of June BB and his Mom were in the cramped kitchen having some tea. Tea Thursday had become the unofficial day of talking between BB and Loretta. BB cried out to his Mom, "Dwight Steen told me that you're really a hooker-- not a counsellor. Tell me it's not true... it's not, is it?"

She didn't answer. BB finally knew the truth. He ran from the apartment.


BB was instantly accepted into the Grave Robber's gang. Dwight Steen was a member and he told how BB had hit him so hard; "I'd rather have BB as a brother than an enemy."

BB knew he had to be cool so he started soaking street drugs into his system. By the summer's end he was wired to heroin.

Something peculiar happened August 15th: Dwight disappeared from the gang just as fast as he'd joined.


BB sat in a small diner thinking back on his experiences since being expelled from school. Dwight had been witnessed to by a street preacher; he was saved and in turn Dwight witnessed with great energy and excitement to BB. He in turn returned home to his Mom and told her the good news. She attended a crusade with her son and responded with enthusiasm to the altar call. These things had Bobby Blake's head swirling with a high which heroin could never even come close to matching.

BB's fries and burger came and as he took the first huge bite of the burger he noticed a man sitting alone in the corner. He was very well dressed; perhaps that is why BB stared at him. He saw that the man was reading literature scattered on the table in front of him. The Lord spoke clearly to BB in his Spirit, "You must minister to that man. Go and introduce yourself to him."

Bobby Blake was very zealous in the Lord.

"The Lord instructed me to tell you He loves you," he blurted out.

"I am saved, three years now. I'd love to talk to you, son, I've been wrapped up in my work for too long now, I haven't talked to a Christian since May," he offered.

A radiant soft glow enveloped the two.

"My name is Robert Blake Sr.," the stranger said. What's your name?"

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Member Comments
Member Date
Mo 09/14/07
I like the ending.
Jan Ackerson 09/16/07
Great story!

I wasn't clear what the makeup had to do with it...and since Robert Blake is the name of a famous actor, I'd suggest maybe a name change for your character--for a moment, I thought this story was about the actor.

I like your style, and your characters were memorable.
Laury Hubrich 09/17/07
I like this story -- lots of hope. One thing, though: Gang members usually can't just leave a gang w/o something bad happening to them. To go on and lengthen your story you could write about the problems he faces getting out of the gang. Just a thought...
Delores Baber09/17/07
Liked the ending, though it seems unlikely that the stranger would give the full name of the last person he talked to about Christ. I agree that there needs to be more of a struggle as he gives up drugs and quits the gang. It makes it seem as though, overnight, everything became rosey. Former prostitutes have a lot of issues to deal with after they come to Christ. Many go to counselors for a good while to forgive themselves. God heals our past, but there are scars.