Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Blowout (04/28/11)
TITLE: Choices -- Cancelled
By Kathy Stevens
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The large coliseum is eerily quiet at first. Everyone is waiting for the lights to come back on, or for someone to make some kind of an announcement. Thousands of people do not stir, somehow afraid to even breathe. In another minute, a hum starts to grow. “What is happening?” People begin to murmur amongst themselves.
“I . . . I’m not sure, Margaret. Keep holding my hand so we don’t get separated. I guess it was some kind of a blowout – a fuse or something. Everything just suddenly went black. There are a lot of people here and we don’t want to get caught in some kind of panic. Maybe they’ll have it fixed in a few minutes.”
“But it’s so dark – I can’t even see my hand in front of my face.”
Shelly feels a tug on her jacket and a whisper in her ear. “Psst – Shelly, Margaret, come with me, quickly.”
“Don’t talk, just follow. Brad sent me.”
“Shelly . . . . I’m afraid.”
“Shh . . . come on.”
Somehow in the growing unrest of the crowd, they slip past the security into the darkness of the night. The moon is the only light afforded them, and they can now see more of the shadowy figure they are following.
“Where are you taking us?”
“Please! Don’t speak!” the indistinguishable voice demands.
“Shell . . . .”
They follow through alleys and into doors. They pass through hallways and down dimly lit stairways until they finally come to a room with only candles for light. As her eyes adjust to the dim glow, Shelly recognizes her husband. “Brad! I am so glad to see you. I was so afraid.”
“It’s all right, I sent these people for you and Margaret. They are Christians who also missed the Rapture. We believe in it now, but it is too late. My parents and yours tried to tell us, but we missed it. All I know now is that we cannot take the mark of the Beast or we will spend eternity in hell.”
“A mark? What are you talking about?”
“Remember how your mom used to warn us? It is in Revelations 14:11. It says, “And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever, and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name."
“I remember now, but isn’t that supposed to be 666 or something like that? I haven’t seen that.”
“Have you seen the bands that some are wearing on their foreheads?”
“Yes, but it is squiggly lettering that I don’t understand.”
“It is the number 666 in Arabic, and it means Allah.”
“Oh, no! Mom said that if we take the mark of the Beast, we belong to him, and we cannot have God’s mark. We will go to hell. Oh, Brad, what can we do?”
Margaret’s eyes are getting bigger with everything she hears. “Oh, no, we’re all going to hell! I wish I had received Jesus when I had the chance.” she begins to cry.
To comfort her, brad says, “Margaret, this kind man who brought you here is now a Christian. He too missed the Rapture and he wants to hide us from this new regime.”
“What will become of us?”
“We will have to die a martyr’s death to reach heaven now, but we want to make every moment count. We have to warn all those we can. That is why I sent this man to get you out of the coliseum. They are going to give the mark to everyone there.
“He arranged for the fuses to blowout in the coliseum and has other connections. Others were also taken out to obscure places. The plan is to warn as many as we can to not take the mark of the Beast. We must tell them about Jesus and save them from hell.”
“But . . . but the NWO will kill us.”
“Yes – if they catch us.”
Heavy sobs of regret come from both girls. “I so wish I could go back to the time before the Rapture. I wanted to have fun first. Mom and Dad were old and Jesus was okay for them, but I wish . . . I wish . . . .”
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