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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Uncles/Aunts (04/17/08)

TITLE: Aunt Irene Strikes Again
By Tim Pickl


Aunt Irene was an older, by-her-rulebook church woman, and a bitter divorce from Uncle Bob sent her on an evil mission. She appointed herself as leader of a group of haughty church ladies who set out to make Bob’s life miserable.

Whenever Uncle Bob had enough NERVE to visit HER church, she incessantly whispered about him behind his back.

Everyone knew the routine. Irene always started her fiery tirades with, Did you hear what Uncle Bob did… and she spewed her vicious gossip.


Uncle Bob spotted the ladies on a glorious spring day in the church parking lot. “Good day, ladies.” He tipped his hat as he walked past them.

Scotty Johnson ran and hugged him, warmly. “Uncle Bob! Uncle Bob!”

Irritated, Irene inquired, “Victoria, did you hear what Uncle Bob is doing today?”

Victoria was soft-hearted, not as annoyed and high-minded as the rest of the church ladies. “He’s going to give First Communion to little Scotty Johnson.”

“Yes--but at their home! Can-you-believe-it?!? The Johnson’s ought not to come here any more.”

Victoria was surprised at Irene’s growing disdain, and tried to calm her down. “Well, he is following the Lord’s Supper—“

“Not if I have anything to say about it! The Council is going to hear about this, for sure!”

“I think you’re too late.”

Uncle Bob zoomed past them and sped away, headed for the Johnsons’ home.


Uncle Bob was a retired Minister, radical and feisty. He loved Jesus. He studied the Word of God and often prayed from his heart, every day. As he drew closer to Jesus, he loved to share God’s Love with action.

That day, Uncle Bob and Mr. Johnson studied the Bible, and discussed the good things of God. Finally, the Johnson family gathered around the table. Mr. & Mrs. Johnson, their ten-year-old son Scotty and Uncle Bob made a circle by holding hands.

“Uncle Bob, would you please pray for this meal?” Mr. Johnson gently requested.

Uncle Bob bowed his head, dramatically paused for several seconds, and then prayed a simple prayer. After he finished, everyone enthusiastically said, “Amen!”

Mr. Johnson announced, “Uncle Bob, thank you for visiting our home.” He looked at Scotty. “I know this is different, but I wanted to make your First Communion special, so we asked Uncle Bob to come here today.”

“Thanks, Uncle Bob.” Scotty excitedly said.

“Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson--and Scotty, for this opportunity to break bread with you. Please follow my lead.”

On the night when he was betrayed, the Lord Jesus took some bread and gave thanks to God for it. Uncle Bob took some bread, looked upward and thanked God.

Then he broke it in pieces and said, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this to remember me.” Uncle Bob broke the bread in pieces.

In the same way, he took the cup of wine after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant between God and his people—an agreement confirmed with my blood. Do this to remember me as often as you drink it.” 1 Corinthians 11:23b-25 (NLT) Uncle Bob held up the cup of wine and sipped it.

Then, he looked into each one's face and stopped, gazing into Scotty's eyes. He solemnly said, “The Lord’s Supper does not save us. It is a memorial. We do it to remember the price Jesus paid for our sin. His body was broken, and His blood was--”

Instantly, there was loud pounding at the front door. It sounded like two people knocking.

“Who in the world could that be?” Mrs. Johnson asked incredulously as she made her way toward the door, and swung it open.

“Ohhhh, it’s you.”

Looking like a bully who just got her way, Aunt Irene stood there with her arms crossed. Church Councilman Craig stood by her side, staring shyly at the ground. “Mrs. Johnson, we’re here to deliver a Cease and Desist Order to Uncle Bob.”

As Craig slowly reached into his briefcase, Irene impatiently slapped his wrist and grabbed the paper out his hand. She shoved the letter into Mrs. Johnson’s hand. “Here, give this to Uncle Bob NOW!” She clutched Craig’s arm and spun around and they both stumbled down the front steps and landed hard.

Uncle Bob appeared and helped Craig up, but Irene couldn’t move.

She had a stroke.

“Call 9-1-1!” Uncle Bob ordered.

Then, he earnestly prayed for her.


“Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall.”
Proverbs 16:18 (KJV)

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This article has been read 1225 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Fiona Dorothy Stevenson04/24/08
This reminds me of a not altogether similar incident many years ago. I trust that this had a happier ending than the incident of memory. Good story telling. God bless you.
Patty Wysong04/26/08
Bitterness will take root and destroy a person--from the inside out. This is a good example of that.
Jason Swiney04/27/08
Poor Aunt Irene. I was laughing at the Cease and Desist Order being given for the Lord's Supper, but then you quickly went serious with the stroke - so maybe the first part wasn't meant to be funny. I guess I wanted to see something happen to Irene (but not as serious as the stroke). I was also wondering why the Johnson's refer to Uncle Bob as "Uncle Bob".
Jan Ackerson 04/28/08
This is very well-written and entertaining, but it left me with some questions. Bob seems to be such a righteous man, and I'd like some explanation as to their divorce. Aunt Irene's bitterness just doesn't make sense, from what we know of them. So, just a tad more characterization for both of them would be in order, I think.

Great job with the action and the dialogue.
Lynda Schultz 04/28/08
I would agree with the comments already given. Though the ending was very serious, the lesson that our unrighteous acts and attitudes have consequences that are not always pleasant, was loud and clear.
Betty Castleberry04/28/08
This flows smoothly, and is well-written, although I have to agree that it does leave a few questions unanswered. I like the setting around the table. I could picture it clearly. Nicely done.
Lauryn Abbott04/28/08
Wow, what a powerful story. A very good reminded of how unforgiveness poisons the person holding it, not the person it is directed at. Like others have said, it leaves me wanting to know more of the story. Good job.
Debbie Wistrom04/28/08
Great out of the box entry here, this had me gripping my seat, not sure how her evil mission would turn out. Poor Scotty! Keep writing, you have a gift, for sure.
Joshua Janoski04/28/08
I really enjoyed the Communion portion of the story. I was really into it, and then suddenly I felt the interruption by Aunt Irene as she rudely pounded on the door.

The ending kind of surprised me. I guess I wasn’t expecting the stroke. I think with a bigger word count, you could have made this great story even better. I wanted to see what happened after Bob prayed for Irene.

Thank you so much for sharing. I enjoyed this.
Joanne Sher 04/28/08
I wish you had more words to expound on this one! I was intrigued by the two characters, and would love to know more about them.
Loren T. Lowery04/28/08
What a bitter and unhappy woman Aunt Irene is. Goodness, I hope the stroke helps her to see the folly of her foolish ways. Gossip is so destructive, but it counts as nothing as to what unforgiveness can do to both body and soul. You have shown this so very well by your entry this week.
Sheri Gordon04/28/08
I really liked the dialogue, and the character of Aunt Irene. You really had the bitter old woman down pat.

But the storyline confused me some. I didn't understand why a retired minister would be divorced. (I know that happens, but it didn't seem to make sense with the rest of his character.) So while I liked this little snippet, I didn't follow the story very well.

Very well written--I just want to know more. :)
Chely Roach04/28/08
This was a gripping story that well illustrates the ugliness of divorce. Obviously, not enough words allowed to fully give the back story, but I too really wanted to know the reason behind the divorce (but my guess was HER!). Great creative entry.
Janice Cartwright04/29/08
Tim, this confirms your gift as a good story-teller. Yes, I agree it was gripping; more than that I felt it was reminiscent of what happened to Ananias and Saphira in the Acts of the Apostles. I am going to take a stab that your reason for having everyone call him "Uncle Bob" might have been to tighten the topic. As to consistent story line, because you described your mc as radical I feel you succeeded in his characterization - divorce would be a plausible, if not ideal, outcome for an intense person like that, especially given the Pharasaical leanings of Aunt Irene.

Very good writing, Tim.
Joy Faire Stewart05/01/08
Excellent writing showing the bitterness and great and the ending was perfect. Good job on topic!