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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: A Fool's Gold
By Samuel Connelly


He crouches in the corner of his cell looking into his hands. There are no windows; not the smallest hole or crack in the wall to allow the most minuscule blade of the sun’s warmth to knife through the cold darkness. His hair is long, matted, and smells of vomit.

His black eyes stare into his callous and cracked hands, blackened by his own filth, nails flat and chipped, fingers blood stained from years of desperate clawing into the impenetrable walls of this dungeon like cell. A tear yearns to fall from his blood shot eyes but they have long dried up, unable to give birth to moisture.

Not one can cry for him. He has found justice.

Once a great and mighty man but now only a fading memory in his own mind. All have forgotten him, none desire to remember.

He once stood as general of the monstrous armies that marched against the very Mount Zion. He spoke blasphemies against the Ancient of Days, without fear. He was the man-beast that nearly destroyed the race of God’s own children. He ran after a kingdom of his own. His treasure was in the defiance of the Almighty, and in the creating of his own malicious empire.

In his legendary madness he believed that he would be God. He had a wicked dream birthed in pure evil and he destroyed millions to obtain it. His dream became his unholy obsession. Like a brain sick explorer recklessly abandoning all logic and humanity to be the first to discover a fairy tale country, or a man giving up sanity for another drink of alcohol, in the same manner he trudged forward into his demonic crusade, leaving in his wake rivers of blood, pain, and despair.

Finally the moment came and he found himself standing upon the shaky pinnacle of the kingdom he forged through deception, lust, and murder. Looking out across the desert land, where once was Eden, his demon army chants- a vast expanse of darkness that is alive, moving, and breathing. With a shriek that splits the atmosphere he clinches his fist and defies heaven, changeling the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

And He gets an answer…

As the morning sun breaks through the darkness, cutting deep into the night and spilling golden radiance upon the dessert plain, a sinister choir of demented harmony rises from the shadows. Legions of creatures and other beasts without names jerk violently in utter anguish; their sorrowful and tormented cries cover the earth with a tangible fear which blankets the dessert like hot molasses.

The general, blinded by is insatiable hunger to obtain his dream pulls his sword from its sheath, at his side, and lunges towards the light of the King.

But he is seized, instantly, by bonds of righteous judgment, and slammed to the ground, with the force of an atomic blast.

Reality breaks through is skull like a jack hammer, and he remembers.
“Oh, what have I done?” the whisper escapes. Yet he refuses to repent. The chains that bind him sink into the broken surface of the ground and they begin to pull him down.

“Not the Cell! Not the Cell! Not the…” his pleading is cut off as he’s violently dragged through the earth’s hard crest and down deep into the core of the planet, wherein lays the Cell. Like a might iron beast waiting to be fed, it opens its metal jaws and receives him.

Now, in darkness, he waits for the Judgment. Naked, he falls onto his side against the cold Cell floor, still looking at his hands. All sanity is again lost, only hate and anger, self pity and delusions. Those hands, still clutching onto some remnant of an invisible vanishing kingdom; where he once thought he was obtaining his empire, his Golden Rule as demon king, now he sees clearly, though in absolute darkness, was all this time only…a fool’s gold.

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This article has been read 665 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sylvia Hensel 02/01/08
WOW!! EXCELLENT!!!Can't say enough about your story. Gripping to the end. It had me on the edge of my seat. The ending suprised me as I thought you were writing about Paul. This is a real winner. Looking forward to more from you. Next time I'll check you out in the Advanced catagory. Keep it up.
Sherry Castelluccio 02/02/08
Excellent writing. I did find a few typos that were a tiny bit distracting but this is truly a work of art. Masterful storytelling. Bravo! Encore!
Dorothy Purge02/02/08
Great story!
Marita Vandertogt02/05/08
What a powerful piece - excellent writing!
Joanney Uthe02/06/08
You had me eagerly waiting to see who the prisoner was. The MC was only one of the many choices that crossed my mind, others were his soldiers. Great suspense.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/07/08
Wow! Talk about Telling it like it is! The scene becomes so visual with this writer's talented wordsmithing. Great stuff! A couple little typos - but A Fascinating read! - And fits the topic to a "T"! Good Job.