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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Enter (02/27/06)

TITLE: Trapped
By Jessica Schmit


“Would you shut up for two minutes! We’re not going to get out of here any faster with you screaming at me!” Al shouted at Clara, his wife.

“Don’t you dare talk to me like that. We’re going to…”

“Just stop! I need quiet for a few minutes.”

Clara shot a dirty look at Al before settling down into her all too familiar corner. She tried remembering the good times. The times before the darkness had become her dreary companion, but no memories surfaced. A single tear ran down her check, unmasking her inner agony.

“Don’t cry Clara. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have yelled it’s just…”

“It’s just we’re never going to get out! Never Al! We’ve been in this…dungeon, forever.”

Clara’s voice bounced off the metal walls of their secluded cage. Four walls, no higher than six feet high and five feet wide, served as their current residence. The walls were void of any entrance or exit and mocked the couple’s dismal fate. There was no light, no heat, no carpet or tapestries. Nothing but the two of them and their nemesis-the darkness.

“Al? Please…I just want to know why we’re here.”

Al looked at his wife. The luster and shine of her gorgeous blond hair was gone. Clara’s smooth face was hardly recognizable, hidden beneath layers of filth. Her favorite designer jeans bore the imprint of an untimely fate with an almost certain death-this room.

“I don’t know Clara. I try to remember who took us…how we ended up locked in this room, but it’s like my memory skips over that part of my life… I’m beginning to think that we had no life besides this prison. “

The darkness couldn’t disguise the life Clara saw slipping away from Al.

Clara traced her fingers over the imprints of her hope, five numbers, which were engraved in the metal wall that she propped her back against.

“Al, you can’t talk like that. I know the secret is here. It’s hidden in these numbers...”

“Don’t mention those stupid numbers again! We’ve exhausted every idea of what they could mean and what has it done for us? Nothing! “

Al slammed his fist against the floor, sending shivers up Clara’s body.

“5, 14, 20, 5 and 18,” Clara said aloud as she traced the numbers with her index finger.

“Don’t talk about them Clara!” The tone is Al’s voice made Clara tremble, but she persisted.

“Al, those numbers have to mean something or they wouldn’t be on this wall!... Come on, think!”

“I have and I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s hopeless Clara. This is our fate.”

A faint knock disturbed Al’s words.

“Did you hear that Al?”

“Hear what?”

“The knock! Someone knocked!”

“I never heard anything.”

Clara sat back down, defeat rising up within her.

I need to get us out of here. It’s killing Clara. The darkness, the hopelessness… God? If there is a God. I need help. I have no idea how we got here, or where this is, but we need out. Please, I can’t do anything. I…I need your help.

As Al finished his prayer, a wave of peace settled within his spirit.

5 …14, 20, 5, and 18. Hmmm. 5…14…wait a second…

“Clara! Clara I know what it is!”

Clara looked over at Al. “This is not the time for sarcasm…”

“I’m not joking. It seems so obvious now that I know! Ok, Clara take the alphabet and assign a number to each letter starting with the number 1. 1=A, 2=B and so on. So that would mean that 5=E, 14=N, 20=T, 5=E and 18=R. It’s “ENTER.” The key is “enter.”

“Enter? But it’s too simple…”

Clara was interrupted by a soft knock.

“There’s that knock again!”

Clara scooted over so Al could squeeze beside her. Together they placed their hands on the numbers written on the walls and shouted the key word “enter,” together.

Slowly, the door opened. A light so glorious and radiant almost blinded their eyes and through the light came an outstretched hand which displayed a scar in the middle of His palm. A powerful, yet loving voice broke through the silence, *“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come **(enter) in and eat with him, and he **(enter)with me.”

*Revelation 3:20 NIV
* *Parenthesis mine

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This article has been read 1309 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Paynter03/07/06
A gripping read. A clever twist to make the word 'enter' an imperative.
c clemons03/08/06
We (the reader) are not clued in to where this couple may be trapped and why. The scripture you gave Rev.3:20 is used but misquoted to fit the theme of "enter", take care not to use scripture to fit your purposes. You have good imagination though.
Cheryl Harrison03/08/06
There are so many parallels in this one...captivity, darknses, hopelessness...the things that crush the hearts of those without Christ. Then there is the need for quiet so they could figure out the answer and also so they could hear the knocking. Reminded me of Psalm 46:10..."Be still and know that I am God..."

The gradual awareness and then the desire to cry out to God are indicative of someone beginning to hear the voice of truth. Then the understanding of the only way to freedom.

There are a few things that you might consider tweaking. I agree with the comment about the designer jeans...I wasn't sure what the meaning behind that particular description was. And if you decide to use the passage of scripture about Jesus knocking and entering, you might consider reworking the end a little bit so it will fit better.

One other suggestion (just a thought)...somehow weave the working of the Holy Spirit into the descriptive mix.

Good work! You are a good writer.
James Clem 03/09/06
You already have good comments, so I'll just leave quietly.
Clarissa's comment is precisely what I was thinking.
This is a good writing, but it is working so hard to stick to topic. The way out of this room ("ENTER" to Exit - you should work for Microsoft...press start to turn off)... focus... umm, the way out is 10,5,19,21,19.
Dialogue is very good.
Jessica Schmit03/09/06
Note from author:

I feel I need to explain a little to me fellow readers. 1). This is an allegory of "entering" into a relationship with Christ. Before salvation a person is surrounded by hopelessness, doom, filth etc...Only by entering into that relationship with Christ can one be free.
2). The verse is not misquoted it's taken straight from the NIV version. I acknowledged that "enter" (found within the verse) was mine, but I put that in there to further communicate the point that entering in a relationship with Christ is a two way street. "...I will come in...(to come in can mean "to enter in) and "...he with me.." We have to be willing to enter into that relationship and the code was there to reinforce the point that when we look, when we reach out to Him, He's there waiting and willing to reveal Himself to us.

All that to say, sorry if I was too abstract. I honestly didn't think I was.Thank you all for your encouraging and helpful comments!
Jan Ackerson 03/10/06
An intriguing blend of allegory and realism, and an interesting read.
Sandra Petersen 03/10/06
You had my full attention, wondering exactly what prison this couple was in and how they got there. I, too, had difficulty understanding the comment "Her favorite designer jeans bore the imprint of an untimely fate with an almost certain death-this room." What imprint? But for that, the article worked for me all the way up to the last paragraph. After their anxiety and despair, I don't think Jesus quoting Revelation 3:20 would 'do it' for them. Al and Clara wanted to be released. You didn't show that they were. Suspenseful writing up to the end.
Jessica Schmit03/10/06

I just reread that sentence about the jeans. Opps! I accidently deleted the sentence I had written before it. I had written about how they(jeans) were ripped, dirty etc...And that(the current condition of the jeans) was the imprint. I was referring to the dismal state the jeans were in and comparing them to thier hopeless situation.

I must have missed that when I was trying to shorten this story in fit in the word limit.

Karen Rice03/11/06
Jessica, I really like this!

What made you choose metal walls instead of tradional ones?

You planted a pretty clear picture in describing circumstances while giving voice to the characters.

AND, I can't help but laugh while reading your response to the delete. Makes me feel more human in my errors.
T. F. Chezum03/12/06
An interesting read. Good visual and dialogue.
Shari Armstrong 03/13/06
Very cool - and congrats :)
Sally Hanan03/16/06
This was a very creative one Jessica, and scored high marks with me last week. the best part was when the guy said it was so easy, yet they had been trying to figure it out for so long.
Beth Muehlhausen03/19/06
I was with you! All the way! I know the feeling of entrapment, and the reality of something that seems like a secret code, and just not "getting it" - then realizing freedom is all about God's reaching out to us, and our receiving it! Nicely done! I really, really enjoyed this one. :-)