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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)

TITLE: Sins of the Father
By April Bailey


Wallace Parsons amassed great wealth during his life … that’s how they described my father at his funeral. How strange it seemed to be eulogized by an ability to “amass great wealth” instead of by adjectives which described characteristics of humanity. Gentleness, kindness, patience – no such words were spoken this day. Love of money, love of power, love of success – these consumed his heart, leaving not even scraps for a lonely son.

The room was filled with strangers, businesspeople and sycophants, still lapping behind memories of the legend. There was no problem through which my father did not arise victorious. He drew power from challenge, like a rogue wave sucking in great amounts of water right before plunging into villages, ending the hopes, dreams and lives of countless thousands. Perhaps only those laid flat in the wake of Wallace Parsons were not in attendance.

A king among men, he seemed unflappable … unstoppable. In the end, however, it took only a tiny piece of lead to down this respected, feared man, the task completed most effectively by a single gunshot to the head. It was said to be a random act of violence that still had authorities scrambling for answers, another civic benefit of wealth.

“I love you, son.” Unspoken words haunted me from my father’s ornamental box, but I knew better. I would not be teased by ghosts. He was gone, and any chance I had of actually hearing my father speak those words went with him.

As the viewing drew to a close, the time had come to say my final goodbye and I approached his casket amidst sniffs and sighs of sympathy, the sole survivor of a man so admired. Gazing upon the face I’d sought so often for counsel and affection, now admittedly a bit more pallid, I found it seemed no less lifelike than when he looked through me while blood still filled his veins. I leaned in as if embracing a lost loved one and slipped his pearl-handled pistol from my breast pocket into the coffin beneath his body.

My father amassed great wealth during his life ... now it was my turn.

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This article has been read 539 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 07/13/06
Wow! Double Wow! What more can I say?! Sensational masterpiece of Surprise wrapped up in such a short Span of Space! "GREAT"(...to use the Topic.).. ENTRY!
Steve Uppendahl07/14/06
Very good job with a huge impact on the reader. I love surprise endings, and you pulled out a great one.

I would've liked to have known a bit more about the father/son relationship, or lack thereof. (Perhaps a flashback, dialogue, etc?)

Excellent work.
william price07/14/06
I didn't see that coming. Nice writing. I too would have liked to read more, but maybe the ending wouldn't of had the impact. I'm just not sure how this ministers, but it got my attention, no doubt about that.
Delores Baber07/14/06
What can I say, but that I agree with the earlier comments. Keep sending examples of your gift/talent for expressing powerful insights!
Amy Nicholson07/18/06
Whoa! Excellent piece of writing here! Keep it up!
Donna Haug07/19/06
powerful ... ugly, but powerful. An excellent reminder that the love of money is the root of all evil ... and gets past down from generation to generation