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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Outstanding (04/21/11)

TITLE: Leaving Nothing to Chance!
By diana kay


Leaving nothing to chance!
Itís been a long hard day, up at dawn with the crucifixion squad. Hard work, the world and his wife are in town today, crowds pushing and shoving. Jewish festivals! I despair! Being posted to this woebegotton corner is hardly going to further my career. I would have preferred some coastal resort like Caesarea. This place stinks, literally, the shabby little streets and tumbledown houses are a disgrace. Ok, the temple is passable but hardly a tourist attraction and temple square market is a disgrace. Fights are always breaking out there over some issue or other. Only the other day I had to intervene when some crazy guy was shouting and turning over the stalls. Pity he got away, still thatís not my fault; I reckon the crowd were in on it. These thieves often work in groups, a cunning lot, Iíll grant that, but no match for the roman army.

Iíve got to pick up one outstanding case tonight. An informer has given us information about one of these troublemakers and Iím detailed to go with some men to a secret location just outside the city where this guy is hanging out.
The commander wants him picked up and dealt with pronto. Should be fairly straightforward, our informant tells us he does not suspect a thing. We have had our eye on this dissident and his cronies for a few months now. Heís been travelling around the area causing unrest and speaking against the government. Heís a Jew of course, but not orthodox, even the temple priests and rabbis want him put out of circulation. We have had a request from them to apprehend him. And we do try to keep in good relations with those guysí just makes our lives easier if we can work together with the locals.
Should be a straightforward job and then in a week I will be taking that outstanding leave, Iíve made a booking for a package to Caesarea, sun, sea, sand and women of course.
So that jobs done, bit more trouble than I thought but nothing we couldnít handle. Weíd been told they had no weapons but a foolish idiot pulled out a sword and attacked one of my men, thought for a moment he had sliced right through his ear but it must have been a trick of the light as no damage done. The ringleader came quietly, did not seem to know what had hit him. We have got him down in the cells now. We let the high priests have a go at him first; heís more an issue for them than us. Pilate will be dealing with him after breakfast. Not sure what the verdict will be, not sure I care. One less Jew is hardly going to make an impact; another one will just take his place. Still I have got my leave starting Monday so I just need to get through the next couple of days work with no disruptions, the last thing I need is for all leave to be cancelled due to some riot. Iím in the commanderís good books at present and I want it to stay that way.
One last job today before I leave for my holiday. Tomb duty should be a doddle, a nice quiet job just outside town, standing around ensuring no one tries a bit of tomb raiding. The smell is dire but the flowers and perfumes take the edge off it. It turns out that weíre guarding the tomb where that guy we picked up in the garden has ended up. No idea how heís got into one of these upper class tombs. I didnít take him to be one of those posh geezers but he must have friends in high places. Bit of a surprise when I found out it was him, he didnít look the type. I have no idea why anyone would want to break into his tomb, must be richer than I thought. Still my lads have pushed the stone over good and proper, no one is going to get in there. It is sealed up tight. I am not leaving anything to chance. Got two guys on duty at all times, my paperwork done and my bags are packed and Iím ready to go just a few more hours hanging around here then it is Ceasaria here I come!

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This article has been read 525 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Loren T. Lowery04/29/11
He only thought he'd left nothing to chance, didn't he?
The reads like a passage fro Jesus' Passion at Easter. Nicely done. My one comment would be to break up the paragraphs so they are easier to read. For me, I would have liked to have seen some dialogue, too - you've certainly got the skill. But that's just me, because I think you've done a fine job here.
Anita van der Elst04/29/11
I liked the down-to-earth flavor of this MCís monologue (log entries, perhaps?). Remember to capitalize country names like Roman. I agree that a little more white space would be helpful to the reader.
Virgil Youngblood 05/01/11
The title fits the story well and I like the way you wrote it. I fail to see the connection to the challenge topic though. An interesting read as we celebrate Easter.
Lillian Rhoades 05/03/11
Absolutely loved the MC's voice. Ditto on the spacing. Space between paragraphs always makes for an easier read.

Keep an eye out for the use of commas instead of a period. Ex:...days work without disruption. The last thing I need is to have all leaves cancelled. (Noticed I left out those unnecessary "to be" words.:-)

You obviously have a natural talent for story telling. The
words just flowed, nice and natural. Great job!
Beth LaBuff 05/03/11
Wow, very creative work on this story that was from the "other side." As I'm reading I'm going through the Bible stories that tie in. His vacation was pending (using that aspect of "outstanding"). And he waited and waited. You skillfully left us wondering what happened to his vacation, BECAUSE we KNOW what happened at the tomb. I enjoyed this very much!