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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Blue (10/08/09)

TITLE: Beyond the Blue
By Marc Smith


What an absolutely breath-taking day, Skye pondered. At least it appeared that way from the small oval window adjacent to her cramped seat on the airplane in which she was traveling. There wasn’t a cloud in sight and the brilliancy of the sun's radiant beams set the endless sky in the most stunning shade of blue she had ever seen. Oh how she loved to fly, although, it had been years since she had been in a plane. Her last flight occurred before she had moved to London and that pilot was the man whose funeral she was now traveling to attend.

“Life is too short and God is too good for us to frown, little lady” Granddaddy always said. Her entire life she couldn’t remember one time he ever seemed depressed or sad. All of her memories of him were wrapped in a heart-melting, fear-removing smile, wearing his pilot’s jacket and that old torn and tattered Air Force hat. Skye loved her Granddaddy more than anything. They saw each other nearly every day from the time she was born until the time she accepted the internship which moved her across the ocean. She had only seen him a handful of times since the move. Even when she heard he had fallen ill, her job precluded her from making the trip. Knowing that over the years she had changed for the worse, so much so that she didn’t even recognize herself anymore, she longed more than anything to talk with him and to hear him call her “little lady” one last time.


“Skye is a stupid name!” humphed a sulking little girl, forcefully crossing her arms.

“Well now, hang on there, little lady. What’s the matter?” inquired her Granddaddy holding his arms out to embrace her.

“Kids at school just always make fun of it,” Skye answered rashly. “’Hey Skye, where’s Sun’, or ‘Hey Skye, got any clouds on ya?’ It just really makes me mad.”

“Well, let me tell you something, “sky” is the name of my two favorite things in the world. One I can reach in my plane, the other comes home to me every day after school. And both fill me with all the warmth my heart can handle,” he encouraged with a wink.


Skye was pulled from her thoughts by a jolt of turbulence. She peered out the window at the formerly clear, blue sky that was now enshrouded with dark, foreboding clouds. The “Fasten Your Seatbelt” light blinked on as the weather worsened.


“What seems to be the problem here?” Granddaddy asked, peeking his head into Skye’s room. “Feeling a little under the weather?”

“Uh-huh,” replied Skye, pulling her comforter up under her chin.

“How about a nice hot cup of soup?” encouraged Granddaddy with a smile.

“But we were supposed to fly today,” Skye complained.

“Now don’t you worry about that, little lady. We can fly any day. We just need to get you better.”


Skye was once again jarred from her memories by a flash of lighting and a deafening crack of thunder. The pilot’s voice came onto the speaker “Ladies and gentlemen the weather has put us in a dangerous situation. We would ask that no one leave their seat.”


“Listen here, little lady, if you continue to see that boy you are putting yourself in a dangerous situation,” Granddaddy warned. “He is trouble.”

“Oh, loosen up Granddaddy,” Skye snapped. “He’s the coolest guy in our class.”

“Coolest or not when you were saved you committed to God that you would live a changed life. That is a very serious commitment and you need to honor it.”


Skye was ripped back into reality by the scream of malfunctioning engines and the blaring of warning alarms. The ocean outside her window was rushing closer and closer. Her heart filled with panic but was suddenly replaced by an indescribable peace. Her grandfather’s warning was all she needed. Bowing her head to her knees she prayed “Heavenly Father, Please forgive me.”

In that instant everything went silent. She opened her eyes to see the smoking wreckage of the plane sinking into the ocean below her. Lifting her eyes heavenward, she saw a familiar sight; a heart-melting, fear-removing smile, wrapped in an old pilot’s jacket and that old torn and tattered Air Force hat. His words to her filled her heart with warmth that not even the sky could hold. “Welcome home, little lady, welcome home.”

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This article has been read 393 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ruth Brown10/16/09
didn't expect the ending.Thank god for Godly grandparents.
Dee Yoder 10/19/09
Well, that is an unexpected kind of "happy" ending, and for those of us who know Christ, it will be a happy day when we got to heaven. I liked the flashbacks to show the relationship these two had.
Shilo Goodson10/19/09
This was a great article. I can easily imagine this as a scene in a movie.
Mildred Sheldon10/19/09
WOW What a story. Didn't expect that ending but enjoyed this very much.