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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)

TITLE: In High Places
By Shari Armstrong


A heavy boot kicked the bunk. “Time to get up. My turn!”

I rolled over. “Leave me alone,” I peered at the offender through slits, “Too bad they couldn’t give us more room so we didn’t have to hot bunk!”

“Phil, you know as well as I do that the cargo takes up the majority of the ship. Space is at a premium.”

Carl was right, but that didn’t mean I had to like it. I believed in the colony project, so I had to sacrifice having private quarters. “Eight hours should be enough sleep, but I’ve been having trouble sleeping.” I got up and grabbed my shaving kit. “Weird dreams.”

“Dreams, huh? I’m looking forward to a few of those.” Carl curled up under the blankets I’d just left.

I shook my head, “Not these. I keep dreaming that there are things flying around the ship.” I changed into my uniform.

Carl snorted, “Aliens?”

“I’m not sure? I never really see what’s out there, but more like I feel it. Sometimes, I wake up and I feel ok, but other times….”

”Other times, what?”

”It’s like what’s out there is trying to stop us.”

Carl threw a boot at me. “You’re just goin’ space crazy. Get to work.” He rolled over and was snoring almost instantly.

I walked past the Captain and his wife’s quarters and then the ladies’ quarters. The eight of us had really gotten to know each other well over the last few weeks. Better than we may have wanted.

Anna’s voice greeted me. “Good morning, Phil.” She looked at me, “You didn’t sleep well again did you?”

I shrugged. “Not really.”

“You really should tell Erin about your dreams. At least she can prescribe you something to help you sleep better.”

“No, I don’t need pills.” I was relieved to reach the command center, so we could stop talking about it.

“Good morning, everyone.” I said.

Jody stood up from the workstation we shared. She smiled, “I’m going to check the cargo. I just want to verify some of the readings I got earlier.”

The captain looked up, “Morning, Phil.”

Erin left her station and placed a hand on the back of my chair, “If you don’t talk to me voluntarily about your sleeping problems, I’ll have the captain order you to see me.”

I rolled my eyes, and faced her. “It’s not a big deal. I’ve just been having some odd dreams.”

”That’s not the point. If any of us aren’t working at our best, we put the whole team at risk. Ty and I were discussing it...”

“What?” I jumped out of my chair, “Since when is my personal business suddenly the ship’s gossip?”

“It’s not gossip. He’s also a qualified medical professional and I was consulting with him.”

”He’s a veterinarian!” I felt someone standing behind me. I turned. “I’m sorry, sir.”

”Son, come with me.”

“Yes, sir.”

We walked to the galley, and he motioned for me to sit down. He grabbed two mugs, filled them with coffee, and put one in front of me as he sat down.

“Cassandra and I were discussing dreams as well.”

I started to respond, but thought better of it and drank my coffee and listened.

“She has been having odd dreams also.”

I about choked on my coffee. “She has, sir?”

He nodded. “Do you believe in God?”

I was confused, “Well, yeah, but what does God have to do with this?”

“We believe we were called by God to lead this team. Ever since we signed up, there has been one problem after another. Like someone was trying to stop us. There are forces out there that we can’t see.”

“What are you talking about?”

”Spiritual warfare.”

“Go on…”

“I think what you’re sensing are the angels and demons surrounding us.”

”You’re serious about this aren’t you?” I actually started to feel less crazy.

He nodded and took another sip of coffee. “You heard all the jokes about ‘Noah’s Ark’ when the project was started. They thought we were all a bunch of fools. God has a reason for this. In Ephesians it says, ‘For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.’*

“I still don’t get it.”

”It doesn’t get much higher than we are. I think we can sense God’s presence here more. And evil’s.”

”So what do we do?”

”We pray.”

* Ephesians 6:12 KJV

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This article has been read 2825 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 01/30/06
It is true. The devil is working overtime to foul things up for Mankind. In fact, he began his sinful ways...In High Places! (heaven) Nice story and well written.
Jan Kamp01/31/06
Interesting story. Sounds like the beginning of a Sci Fi with a Christian slant. Run with it.
Cheryl Harrison02/01/06
Enjoyed it. Kept my attention all the way through...so when do we get to buy the book?
Corinne Smelker 02/02/06
cool take on the topic - I figured we would get a lot of 'outer space' entries this week, and even though yours was, it was different enough not to be boring - well done
Jan Ackerson 02/02/06
Oooh, I like this! Great dialog, great take on the topic, great suspense, great character devolopment.
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/02/06
This kept my attention all the way through! I really enjoyed it--great job!
Linda Watson Owen02/02/06
Hey, I do believe I could get into sci-fi with you writing it! :) I want to hear more of this story! Great job!!
Jeffrey Snell02/03/06
Very cool! I loved how you combined Christianity with science "fiction"...it isn't done very often but you pulled it off. Good job!!
Pat Guy 02/03/06
Me too! I'd like to know more! This was a great read and I thouroughly enjoyed it. Great job!
Debbie Sickler02/04/06
I enjoyed this too. Maybe if you expand it, you could take us into his dreams at the beginning. That could make an interesting 1st chapter!
Suzanne R02/07/06
Ooooh ... goosebump reading! Well done! I agree ... this needs expanding.
Julianne Jones02/07/06
Very creative and enjoyable but I want more! Well done.
Crista Darr02/08/06
Wow, intriguing. Wish I knew what he was dreaming. I like how you showed that the angels were there too, not just the enemy. Great job.
Brandi Roberts02/12/06
Ooooh! I liked this! Well-written, Shari! gave me goosebumps at the end "We pray."
Caitlynn Lowe06/15/06
Oh...wow! Very interesting! Reading this makes me even more excited about your Novel Challenge project. ^_^
Joanne Sher 03/29/07
Great characterization and description. I felt pulled in completely. Thanks for pointing me this way!
Patty Wysong03/29/07
Neat, Shari! I'm not usually into anything remotely scifi, but you had me hooked! :-) I loved how you tied in the spiritual warfare--too true! :-)
Julie Arduini03/29/07
I agree with the above, my guess is it's hard to attempt Christian and Sci-Fi much rather pull it off. You did a great job doing so. The last line was powerful.
Tabiatha Tallent03/30/07
From beginning to end, I was hooked. I loved this.
Sara Harricharan 01/29/08
Wow. This was really great! I liked how you managed to create a space feel in the 750 words and not lose me in the whole scheme of things. I really liked Phil, he was funny, especially how close everyone was on the ships that warrented a bit of word getting around before he was ready to give notice of his dreams. Really fun reading! ^_^