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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: rain (10/17/05)

TITLE: Thunder of Mercy
By Larry Elliott


Another downpour dropped a deluge of water on the already soaked landscape. Jim’s transfer landed them here only a couple of weeks earlier. The church had no parsonage so they found a nice little house, though it was several miles away and near the secluded county line. Sally was still unfamiliar with this part of town, so she probably should not have tried a shortcut- especially with her daughters five year old Jennifer and Susan- twelve.

Jim had stayed after the service to meet with the board.

Things were fine until she drove through a large puddle in the road. The car quickly began to sputter and stall then died a few yards farther.

She tried several times, but it would not start.

They heard a roar of distant thunder. Only something was different. It was more a constant rumble, getting progressively louder. Sally had heard that tornados were common in this area. Surely God would not leave them marooned in ones path?

“I’m scared, mommy.” Jennifer cried.

“Me too.” Susan agreed. “Real scared. What are we going to do?”

“I don’t know, I don’t know.” Sally almost lost control. She tried the ignition again. It turned over, a lot slower now, but did not start. She tried the phone- still no signal. “Let’s pray.” She said.

The roaring was much louder now and Sally saw why. Heading their way were several headlights, but not in pairs. It was motorcycles- very loud motorcycles. The kind she had seen in outlaw biker movies.

“Oh God.” She prayed silently. “Let them pass. Please.”

And they did. About a half dozen of them rumbled by, vibrating the entire car, slicing through the water like it wasn’t there.

“Thank you, God.” She sighed. Then they stopped.

“Oh no.” Sally accidentally voiced her concern.

“Mom?” Both girls cried in duet.

“It’s ok, girls. Everything’s going to be fine.” She did not sound very convincing to herself or her daughters. “Just stay calm and don’t cry. Daddy will be along any minute now. Ok?”

“Ok, I guess.” Susan sighed with a tremble.

Some of the bikers turned around, headlamps blazing through the rear window. None rode back through the water. They just sat there, engines now emitting a less formidable loping growl.

A loud rap on the driver’s window caused them all to jump and scream in unison. Heart pumping way too fast Sally turned to see a bearded face peering in. He stood straight- more resembling mountain than man. His shoulder length hair was soaked- water dripped off his nose. Sally’s next move was uncertain. He motioned to lower her window and she complied, though only a couple of inches.

“Hello ma’am. What seems to be the problem?” He asked politely as he leaned forward again.

“Uh, umm, well we drove through the water and the car just… died.” She answered still shaking.

“Pop the hood.” He said and walked to the front.

As he turned Sally's attention went to his right hand. He was carrying something, though she could not make out what.

The safety latch clicked and the hood opened. They heard tapping, banging and scraping sounds.

“Mom, what’s he doing?” Susan asked.

“He’s fixing the engine so we can get home, honey. That’s all.”

A strange hissing sound came from the engine compartment, then more tapping. They jumped again as the hood slammed shut.

The man reappeared and said, “Try it now.”

She turned the key. It made a sluggish grinding sound and her hopes sank.

Then suddenly it started. Cheers came from the back seat.

He motioned to lower the widow more. As she did he stuck his hand inside. Sally stiffened and the sisters hugged each other tighter.

“Take this. It’s computer duster, canned air basically. You had water in your distributor cap. If it happens again use this to blow out the moisture.”

“Oh, Ok.” She took the wet can.

“Would you like one of us to follow you till you get where you’re going?”

“Uh, no thank you. We’ll be fine now. My husband is right behind us.”

“Ok then. God bless.” He turned to wade back to his friends and she noticed a large patch on the back of his jacket- a cross and a bible with the words ‘Christian Motorcyclist - Riding for the Son.’

“Thank you.” She yelled after him- he turned and waved.

“Mommy, did God send that man to help us?” Jennifer asked.

“Yes sweetie, I believe He did.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Miller10/25/05
Your story is wonderful. I liked your title too! :D
Jan Ackerson 10/25/05
Very nice! The mother's anxiety was palpable, and the little girls were realistically written. A few punctuation errors to clean up--but this is a well-written story with a good lesson.
Shelley Snyder10/28/05
A good story, and goes to show that we should not look on a person's exterior and assume they are a certain type of person. God can use anyone from little children to bikers in order to do His work. Good job.