Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: End (02/13/06)
TITLE: The Saloon
By Edy T Johnson
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This certainly wasn't how I had pictured Hell. It was dark and smokey, to be sure, but that could be expected in an old crowded wild-west saloon. Yet, I knew I was in Hell, just the same. Even with all the people around me, I found Hell to be a lonely place. I couldn't see a friendly smile anywhere, even the man behind the bar seemed to purposely avoid looking at me as he poured drinks for his customers. Everyone, busy with his own preoccupations, ignored this one desperate teenager that was me.
Somehow, I heard or maybe just understood that there was one way to get out of this place. Even as I searched, in vain it seemed, my heart held hope. Somewhere, there must be one person that would help! Somebody, surely, would do the impossible, and tell me what was written on my back.
Yep, that was the secret. If I could find one person in Hell that would have mercy on me and tell me the message I carried on my back, I would be free. It didn't work to try to see my own back reflected in the wall-sized mirror behind the bar. The light was too dim, the mirror too crackled, and my eyes too near-sighted to make out what might be written there, for others to see, but not me. This was a most unusual and interesting nightmare.
At last, the man of my dreams broke through and rescued me. And, I clung to his back as we galloped out of that bewildering dream. But, I don't know how it all came to pass.
Because, I never did discover what was written on my back, in my blind spot. People did look at it, but turned away, unwilling to help me. Could it have been a message from the Word, that these folks didn't want to know, I wondered. And, I speculated what that Word might have been.
"For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?" (I Peter 4:17) Perhaps that was the message. Or, it might have been "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen." (Matthew 28:20) Yes, I think that must have been it. Even though lonely in a crowded wild-west saloon named Hell, I was never alone. My Brother-Friend had promised to be with me to the END. And, He was there! And, so I awoke, awestruck at my remarkable teenage dream, which I still vividly recall nearly 50 years later.
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