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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Telephone (07/17/08)

TITLE: Direct Line
By Fiona Dorothy Stevenson



“Don’t tell a phone, tell a..”

There was a shout of hilarity, mock cries for help.

She closed the door. Impossible to concentrate while a group of teenagers enjoyed an afternoon of “fun.”

Hardly had she settled when there was a sharp rat-tat at the door. An eye, supported by an ear, appeared around the doorjamb.

“Mom, we wondered if you’d like a cup of tea?”

She shuffled her papers into an orderly heap, “What you really mean, Rory, is that you lot would like drinks and snacks, and perhaps if we ‘butter her up’ the ‘old girl’ will come good. Right?”

A wide grin followed the eye and ear. “Right, Mom. You’re a sweetheart!”

An hour later she surveyed the wreckage of the kitchen. She had pushed the last protesting girls through the door, “You’ll be late for Youth Group. Go!”

She looked out into the damp, darkening evening, hearing engines revving, doors slamming.

“Lord, keep them safe. Speak to them, and draw them close to You.”

She straightened the living room, then the kitchen. The last glass polished, it was time to prepare for the after meeting “coffee crush.” Percolator, warm milk, trays of sandwiches and cookies. She glanced at the clock – time for a cup of tea before they came.

The telephone shrilled a demand. “Hello. Lawson home…” A voice interrupted, “Is Gina there?” “No. Gina went to Youth Group.” She heard a babble of voices in the background. “No, Mrs. Lawson, none of us saw her after we left your place. We phoned her home…” She heard the clunk as the phone was dropped, replaced her receiver carefully. With her hand resting on the phone, she prayed, “Lord, help me do what is right. Help me not to panic. Help me find Gina.”

A walk through the house revealed no Gina. Outside, she looked across the lighted verandah. No Gina. The rain soaked garden seemed empty. She walked to the drive, looked up and down. No …no, wait. She ran to the far end where a dark bundle lay beside a small shrub. She bent to the girl lying on her side. Gina.

Momentarily, panic surged. What should she do? She placed her hand on Gina’s face. Cold and wet, but she was breathing. With relief she returned to the telephone, dialing the emergency number. Listening to the ringing tone she thanked God that she did not need a telephone to speak to Him; she thanked Him for the convenience of the telephone, and prayed for Gina.

She was standing beside the girl when the ambulance came. Quickly the medics examined her, placed her on the trolley and into the vehicle. Trembling with concern and cold, Mrs. Lawson gave what information she had. The older paramedic patted her on the shoulder.

“It seems that she tripped and fell,” he pointed to the indications, “ catching her head on these bricks, and the youngsters didn’t realize she wasn’t with them. You say there were three cars?”

“And twenty-five young people. Gina is new to the group. I don’t know her surname, but when they come I’ll bring her friend up to the hospital.”

The ambulance had not long gone when the first car arrived. Suzy, the friend who had brought Gina to the church, telephoned Gina’s parents, arranging to meet them at the hospital. Driving Suzy, Mrs. Lawson again thanked God for His answer to her prayer, comparing in her mind the value of the telephone and her direct connection with the Lord.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Patty Wysong07/26/08
I loved the point you made about not needing a phone to connect with God. The humor was just right in the exchange about the drinks and snacks at the beginning.
Debra Martinez07/28/08
I enjoyed your use of conversation to carry the action of your story. I missed a few details the first time and had to re-read it, but its point was very clear. Thanks