Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “Don’t Try to Walk before You Can Crawl” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/17/08)
TITLE: Three Pieces of Paper
By Devin Walker
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Shuffling through the dirt with his shoulders, he looked at the girders overhead supporting the weight of the metal bleachers. He couldn’t remember how he got here, but he did remember why he couldn’t make the trip make sense. Three little pieces of paper. LSD.
They told him to only take one, but after 30 minutes with nothing happening he ate two more just to prove he could. That’s when everyone freaked out.
“I’ve been doing this for years,” Kevin said, “and if I took three hits, I’d lose my mind. You are about to be officially melted.”
He was right. About 30 minutes after his show of bravado the first hit kicked in harder than he could have imagined. And he began to panic. There was no way he could handle this effect doubled over.
Now he was under the bleachers not believing the wavy lines he saw, not listening to the chorus of demons lashing his brain with nonsense and spells, incantations and curses. “You should have started slowly, listened to your friends,” they taunted. It was impossible to stop the voices or the wavy lines or the bleachers’ rising madness overhead.
No wait, it was his madness that was rising, but the bleachers were still overhead. Comforting and confining at the same time. Since he couldn’t get out he was sure nothing could get in – except he’d brought all his demons with him. He was trapped here with them. It didn’t matter what was trying to get in because they were all right here inside his own world, his own construct.
And that’s all it was was a construct. Something his grandmother had put there. Something with angels and demons and God and heaven and hell and rules and punishment and love. Something he didn’t believe in anymore.
But his non-belief couldn’t keep the demons at bay here under the bleachers in the dirt on his back now could it. And here in the dirt he knew that it wasn’t really a construct at all but the really real, the place everyone tried to understand. That’s why people took this stuff anyway was to touch the spiritual realm, right? Well guess what? He found it and it sucked.
Start small they said. Why hadn’t he listened? He was smarter than them, that’s why. At that thought he heard a band of cacophonous laughter ring out between his ears. The demons were laughing again. His mind was about to break.
Then it did. At least light broke through the wavy lines and blinded him. There was a moment of clarity through the haze. A calm voice that told him all he felt was right. The demons were laughing at him because he was a fool. The bleachers were holding him in, and the wavy lines weren’t there . . . but he was.
The voices in his head had stopped, and he even thought he could hear a light whimpering from somewhere just above his spine. The demons were afraid. He could sense that, but if they were afraid, then he should be too. Then he looked into the light and saw as scarred forehead and he knew who he saw. He saw the love his grandmother told him about.
“Can you make it stop?”
“Yes. Do you want it to stop? There will be a price.”
“Anything. Everything. Just make it stop.”
“That’s exactly the price.”
“So everything she said was true?”
“Of course. Do you doubt it now?
“No. I’ve seen the other side. I’ve heard them speak, and now I hear them whimper.”
“I am the Way the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me. I have met you in this place because I love you. Usually they are the only ones here, the ones that taunt you. I have created in you a clean heart and steadfast mind. Now take them up and go tell your friends what you’ve seen here. They need to know, but they won’t believe you.”
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