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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Luggage (08/15/05)

TITLE: A Son's Travels
By Ronald Mosby


He sat and stared at the luggage. It was older now; the layer of dust tattling on its idleness. It was clearly flimsy now, barely able to stand on its own. Yet, in a time that seemed not that long ago, this luggage was sturdy and independent. He remembered that all too well. For he, too, was like that luggage in his youth.

He stared at the luggage and reminisced of the time when he stepped off of the bus, bags in hand. Rigid and stiff-necked, he refused to look back. He was a man, and he was going to succeed on his terms. He confidently walked the seven blocks necessary to get to the nearest motel. He had it all laid out, at least in his mind. As he entered he motel, his inquiry to the clerk about the room cost was insincere at best. He simply threw a handful of bills over the desk. It didnít take long for this to become his signature habit.

He quickly made a reputation for himself, this man of mystery. Where did he come from? Why was he here? The answers to these questions were not a top priority, at least for the opposite gender. For now, women battled to take their rightful place under his arm. And he enjoyed the attention. He was the main attraction, and he reveled in the glory. He was not the least bit concerned about the future; his indulgences occupied all of his time. It was this same glory that blinded him from the disaster that was about to occur.

At first, it wasnít noticeable. The friends, like his money, began to diminish like slow drips from a faucet. But the faster the money went, so did the friends. Soon, the slow drips became a steady stream. Then, the bottom fell out. The money was gone, and there was no other means of support. Alone, with no place to rest his weary body, he slept in alleys, on streets, or wherever he could find cover from the elements.

His odd jobs barely provided enough support for two scant meals a day. Now, he was nothing more than a withered shell of his former self. Yet, in the midst of his demise, he suddenly awakened. He determined in his heart that he would return to his fatherís house.

He began the long trek back home. He did a lot of walking, which gave him time to think. He had initially envisioned himself as a trailblazer; he came to realize he was merely a sojourner. He left a naÔf, but he was returning a man. Not much longer to go, but the joy and expectation began to turn into fear and apprehension. How would his father receive him? His journey slowed as he began to imagine his father, angered by his sonís impulsive behavior, standing there waiting to castigate this rebellious upstart. Truly, there was no excuse for his behavior. The young man must take full responsibility for his actions, and suffer the consequences.

He could now see the house from a distance. His approach became dilatory, for he was filled with mixed emotions. His father happened to be out tending the field, when he noticed his sonís deliberate gait. Words were unnecessary; his rush to meet his son spoke volumes. The young man practically melted in the warmth of his fatherís grasp. As he began to explain to his father how he erred, he saw his fatherís eyes well up with tears. He knew his father cared nothing about what happened in the past. The two of them were elated just to be in each otherís presence.

What memories this old luggage carried. There were a lot of lessons that were learned during its travels. The man gracefully wiped the dust from the luggage, grateful that both he and the luggage were where they belonged Ė in his fatherís house.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/26/05
This was well-written. I'd have liked to have read more about the man's internal struggle, in addition to the descriptions of his behavior.
Tisha Martin 08/26/05
This is a good story! I love the second sentece: It was older now; the layer of dust tattling on its idleness

Great work!
Deborah Porter 09/01/05
Ronald, I just wanted to stop by and let you know that although your entry didn't actually place in the Challenge, it did make it into what was a relatively small list of semi-finalists. This really deserves a pat on the back, considering that this was the largest week for entries we've ever had. Well done and I hope you'll keep rising to the Challenge. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Marilyn Schnepp 12/18/05
I liked the words "The hopeful trailblazer woke up to reality and found himself just a sojourner"; loved this take on the Biblical Prodical Son! My attention span is usually limited, but THIS piece kept me rivited to the end. Great story. Great job... and Very Well Written! Thanks for sharing.
Marilyn Schnepp 12/19/05
Is THIS the one you thanked me for? No Title on Msg. I'm at a loss.