Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Thump (05/30/13)
TITLE: God Has Not Give Us A Spirit Of Fear
By Rhonda Ritenour
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"Hear what?" mumbled Kathy.
“I think there is something outside. ” Chrissy whimpered.
"It’s nothing. Please go back to sleep. You're just freaking out because of the scary stories Josie told earlier."
Chrissy tried to calm herself by listening to the slow deep breathing of her cousin’s as they slept, but it was impossible. She had heard something and it sounded like it was close to their cabin. Yet, Kathy could be right. She did have an active imagination and even the tamest of scary stories struck her with fear, often causing nightmares.
It was so unfair. Why was she the only one affected? The rest appeared to be so brave. She was such a coward. If only she could stop this trembling, maybe she could relax and sleep in peace like the rest of them.
A split second after closing her eyes, they snapped open. She’d heard the sound again. <i>What am I going to do? It’s something dreadful! I know it. What if it’s a bear? Or a madman who’s going to kidnap us? Or worse . . . the ghost Josie spoke of?</i>
<i>Of course it isn’t. It’s probably just the farm dogs, keeping watch like they always do.</i> Knowing they were out there gave Chrissy a renewed peace of mind. Nobody would mess with her cousins’ big dog, Max.
Breathing deeply, determined to fight her fear, Chrissy settled back onto her pillow. But, to her dismay, she heard the noise again. <i>Oh, Lord!</i> she finally cried, <i>What am I to do?</i>
Suddenly, Chrissy remembered. <i>I’ll pray the way Grammy taught me to do when I feel afraid or have a nightmare.</i> Rocking back and forth in her sleeping bag, she sang, <i>God has not given us a spirit of fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear . . . but He has given unto us, a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a sound mind.</i> Whispering, she prayed fervently, “In Jesus name, go away!"
<i>There! That ought to do it!</i> she concluded proudly.
But the mysterious noise grew louder. It sounded closer to the cabin door. <i>Where were the dogs? They were supposed to protect them!</i>
As the noise approached the door, Chrissy determined, <i>That’s it! I'm waking them up!</i>
Shaking her three other cousins, Chrissy ignored their grumbling until they too heard the incessant “thud . . . thud . . . thud” beyond the cabin door.
Finally, there was a single, solid thump on the door. <i>Was the knob moving?</i>
All four girls gathered tightly in the far corner. Chrissy’s heart thumped wildly as the door slowly creaked open. A chorus of screams filled the tiny cabin.
As abruptly as the screams started, they stopped. "Pappy?!" they cried in unison, dashing toward him.
Smiling, he responded, “What in the world has gotten into you? You would think you’d seen a ghost."
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