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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: End (02/13/06)

TITLE: Endure
By Lawrence Travis


As he was driving, Billy noticed someone walking down the sidewalk on his right. The appearance of the pedestrian made Billy turn his head away. She was young and beautiful. She looked like she had stepped from a magazine, with blonde hair and shapely form. Her legs were bare from her sandals up past her knees, her thighs more uncovered than covered by her skirt. Her top, like her skirt, left her body quite naked to the eye: in some places literally, by revealing skin; in other places figuratively, by a close fit allowing easy perception of her shape.

Billy saw that much of her in the momentary glance before he looked away. He groaned, "When will it end?"

Billy had left the pizza shop with three orders. It was his first delivery run of the day, a bright summer day in which a pretty girl's blonde hair could look like the very rays of the sun caressing her face. On sunny days in that part of town, many pretty girls walked in public with less covering than most people wear in the privacy of their homes. Billy was not happy about it.

His first delivery was to someone at a public swimming pool. Near the pool, the green grass was flowered with colorful swimsuits worn by young women and girls. There were also male sunbathers and swimmers, but they didn't bother Billy. There were so many girls, and it was hard to rest eyes anywhere but on smooth legs or a bikini top. Billy stared down at the ground, watching a troop of ants march without guide, overseer, or ruler. The woman expecting the pizza noticed him and came to pay for it. She came wet from the swimming pool, and her swimsuit let too much of her bust glisten in the sun. Billy had difficulty completing the transaction calmly.

His mood worsened as he delivered the second order, two small pizzas out to Indian Hill. He passed a billboard advertising a refreshing drink. The billboard showed a small group of men and women on a boat. The three men were around the periphery of the picture, one bringing drinks and another looking off into the horizon, the third lounging back on a folding chair, his hands behind his head and a wide hat down over his face. The two women, both in white t-shirts and tan shorts, both attractive for a living, stood in the center of the ad, their legs the color of caramel and their eyes looking straight at Billy. He wanted to curse the whole advertising industry.

He arrived at the large, beautiful house and parked in the long driveway. Two pretty girls answered the door. They had dared each other to greet the pizza guy in their underwear. Billy had had enough.

So as he was driving to the last address and saw the young woman walking on the sidewalk in her revealing outfit, he was at the end of his rope. Was it too much to hope that he could drive for thirty minutes without seeing a horde of scantily-clad females?

He got the third order delivered on time. The woman who answered the door had a Bible in her hand.

Billy was surprised. "Are you a Christian?"

"Yes," she said. She could see Billy was upset. "Are you all right?"

Her voice was warm and her eyes kind. Billy opened up. "I don't know if I can take it any more. All over town I see girls without enough clothes on. It's making me sick."

"Well, I guess modesty isn't very common these days." The woman paused a moment. "I'm surprised someone your age is so concerned about it. Most young men like to look at girls..."

"I do!" Billy's voice was strained. "That's the problem. I'm sick of it -- I'm sick of myself! I know that looking lustfully at a woman is just as bad as adultery, but I can't seem to help it." He hung his head, ashamed.

"I see," she said slowly. "Are you a Christian?"

"Yeah. I look away. Honestly, I do. But it's always too late, after I've had a glance. Sometimes I can't resist having a second look." Billy's voice was shaking. "I just want all the temptations to end."

"One day He will end your temptations, but now you must endure temptations."

Billy sighed. "I know." He wept.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 02/21/06
Interesting twist on the theme: enduring to the end. I would have wished for the kind lady to have given him a pair of "Biblical Blinders: with which to help him on his way, though. Nice job.
Jan Ackerson 02/22/06
Would a young man talk to a complete stranger, and a woman at that, about this problem? I'm not sure...the writing here is very good, but it made me squirm a bit, probably the effect you were going for!
Marilyn Schnepp 02/22/06
In my opinion, which is exactly what this little box is for (smile) - this is akin to SCI FI, which is something I'm not into...as it is fiction, "off the wall type stuff" and unbelievable! And that is what I see here...an interesing story, but "unbelievble". I know what the author is trying to relate...but this is a one in a million shot! Just chalk it up as one small opinion. However, the writing is very good. No flaws. Just great writing ability.
Garnet Miller 02/23/06
I'm not sure what you were going for. I understand feeling beaten down by temptation. It seems like the thing you want to avoid is always in your face. Paul talked about it when he said that the thing he wanted to do, he didn't, but the thing he didn't want to do, he always seemed to do. We all have that.

I do think that this guy may have talked to the female customer if just out of sheer desperation over his experience. I don't think he would have gone into such detail about his problem. The writing is very good.
Anita Neuman02/23/06
Very good writing here. The character's frustration jumped off the page (screen) and you've given some great insight into the struggles that a lot of men face.

Although I'm rather self-conscious in a bathing suit, I now feel it is my duty to be seen as often as possible to distract men from their lustful thoughts. One look at Pasty McLardo here will cure them of that! :-)
T. F. Chezum02/24/06
Nice story and nice moral theme. I agree with what others have said about him opening up to a female stranger, but it is good writing.
Shari Armstrong 02/25/06
I don't think you failed at all to get the point across! I could relate to this (my hubby delivers pizza part-time, but I don't think he's had the underwear at the door yet, but when my cousin used to deliver, one lady would actually drive by the shop, make sure my cousin was working, go home, order, jump in the shower and answer in a towel! She never ordered unless he was working.)

Anyway - I agree, tooooo many women have never heard of the word "modesty". I wear more to bed than most wear in public lol. Our daughter's not allowed to wear a skirt unless Daddy approves of the lenght -we started this at 3 years old!
c clemons02/26/06
Good writing, but I don't think God wants us walking around enduring to the end. What kind of life would that be? I would have liked the lady with the Bible to have given something more, maybe 1Cor.10:13. The ending left no hope.