Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL (don't write about the song) (04/02/15)
- TITLE: Flat Or Round?
By Catherine Craig
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Coming from speakers perched high above, suspended from the arched ceiling, his voice carried. “...It’ll count twenty-five percent of your grade. I’ll expect you to define what a soul is, describe the state of your own, and if it’s not “well”, how you intend to bring it to its optimal state.”
A collective sigh rose from some eighty students scattered across the amphitheater style seating. Crystal slumped back, and closed her eyes. This was not what she’d signed on for, taking the Intro to Theology class as a last-minute elective.
“Whatsa soul?” drawled a familiar voice from the row behind, as the class bell signaled class ending.
Crystal stood and stretched. Grimacing, she half-turned, taking in scraggly shoulder-length hair and torn jeans. Shrugging, she stepped into the aisle, commenting, “Pete, who cares? It’s just a class.”
She stifled a scream as someone grabbed her by the arm. Shocked, Crystal had all she could do to remain upright as she was dragged roughly along, immersed in the sea of students exiting the double doors of the auditorium, and then through an open door into a vacant classroom.
“How dare you!” she sputtered, her face hot with rage, glaring at the culprit who’d snatched her. “Who do you think you are?”
“I heard you, Crystal, and your stupid careless answer you gave Pete,” shouted her cousin, Nate, in a hoarse whisper, his green-flecked eyes locked onto hers. “You, of all people should know better with both our mothers dead!”
Crystal jerked her arm from his hand, rubbing bruises from his man-handling. “You’re crazy, out of your head. Sure, I care that they died. But, what’s one got to do with the other? They’re gone; nothing you or I can do is going to bring them back!” She hated him at that moment, for reminding her of the grief she’d buried if nothing else. “Like I told Pete, it’s just a class.”
“But they went somewhere; they didn’t just end…,” Nate cried, throwing up his hands. A muscle jerked in his cheek as he stood there, staring at her wild-eyed. “Aren’t you even a little bit curious about what happens after death?”
Crystal backed up a step. Grief did weird things to people. “Yes, they did,” she said with finality. Mom and Dad had both firmly believed death was the end; back to the ground their mangled bodies had gone after the car accident. Thankfully, it had been a closed-casket funeral.
“Hey you two; watcha doing in here? You’re gonna be late for your next class,” a voice chimed in from out in the hallway, breaking the tension. In stepped Pete, almost as if on cue. “What’s goin’ on? I caught sight of you draggin’ Crystal in here. Are you crazy, Nate?”
“She says our parents are dust; I say they aren’t!” Nate spat out the words, and in a more reasonable tone, added, “The homework assignment made me think. I don’t want them to end; I don’t want to end. There has to be more.”
“You can’t argue with three generations of atheists,” Crystal added dryly, causing Nate to glare at her – again – as she glared back, adding, “God can’t be proved.”
“Yes he can,” said Pete, straddling a chair and motioning for the two to join him. Crystal tore her eyes away from Nate’s to sit down. “God can be proven. Besides it takes more faith to believe in Evolution than it does Creation anyway. Have either one of you ever taken the time to read the Bible your family trashes?”
“No,” said Crystal and Nate in unison, shaking their heads.
“Wouldja mind if I explain a little about what I’ve read?” asked Pete, searching Crystal’s eyes as if he could read her mind. She nodded, surprised at this side of him, but doubted she’d hear anything that would change her mind.
“I guess…” Nate acquiesced, sitting back down.
“All right, my rhetoric begins,” Pete said with a grin. “In England, a supposedly Christian nation who for years claimed the earth was flat, when the Bible said it was round…”
Crystal, in spite of herself, leaned forward…
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