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

TITLE: Entertaining Angels
By Cheryl Beckwith
07/13/06


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There were so many kids in the mall today. I had to admit I was looking forward to school staring back up in the fall. I came here as often as I could to get some exercise in.I was walking at a pretty steady clip, when I heard a commotion and at the same time my eyes caught sight of a group of teenagers that were carrying on wildly. It seemed as thought they were yelling at each other. One particular girl caught my attention. She had the typical, jet black dye job on her hair and several face piercing. Her shirt was too small and her pants were too big. Her belly button obviously sported a piercing as well. Just looking at that belly piercing made me wince. The other kids were yelling at her and she was yelling back. I realized my pace had slowed some and a few of the kids turned there attention to me and looked as if to say, “What are you looking at lady”! I picked up my pace and finished my walk.

When I got back to the spot where the hassle had been, the kids were gone and all was back to normal as if it never happened. I continued walking to my car and thinking about that girl. I wondered what her life was like and why were her peers so upset with her? I was deep in thought when I hit the parking lot. As I was driving away from the mall I saw her again. She was sitting all by herself on a curb, with her arms hugging her knees. I stopped the car and sat there for several minutes trying to decide what to do. Should I ask her if she needed a ride? What if she thought I was a weirdo? What if she was a weirdo? After all, she did look strange. It occurred to me that I probably looked a bit scary to her. I pulled up next to her and asked if she was alright. She didn’t look at me but she shook her head back and forth to say no. Then she spoke and said she was hungry and did not know how she would get home.

My mind was thinking of a plan while I was trying to decide if I could trust this person to not pull a knife on me if I let her in the car. I decided I had seen one too many cop shows “Just do the right thing” I said to myself, “and get her out of here”. I silently prayed for guidance and protection while I was at it. “I can give you a ride if you want” I blurted out. She finally looked up at me. I don’t know if it was to see if she could trust me or to see if I really meant it. She climbed into my car and made herself comfortable. “What are you hungry for” I said? “ How about the Olive Garden” she said with a grin. “You’ve got it” I said. She gave me a surprised look and started to say that she was just kidding but I was off and heading straight for the Olive Garden.

We had a short and quiet trip and once we were seated in the restaurant we introduced ourselves. I asked her about the fight in the mall. She told me she had just become a Christian and her friends were giving her a hard time about it. She shared with me what kind of life that Jesus had brought her out of .She had been involved in drugs and other dead end things but now she knew that God was taking care of her and I was living proof of that. She told me that she had just been praying for protection and a way home when I came up in the parking lot. Her friends had left her behind. I was an answer to her prayer. I shared with her that I was also a Christian and that Christ had also given me a second chance at life. We both had come from similar backgrounds in different generations and God had brought us together to share our lives on this day. We both agreed that only a love as great as God’s could have changed our lives and brought two people like us together.


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Marilyn Schnepp 07/14/06
I do hope this story is True - for it shows just how great God is; two people, both praying to God; one for "help & a ride home", and the other for "guidance & protection"...and both prayers were answered. Well written. Thanks for sharing.
Cheryl Beckwith07/14/06
I do walk at the mall almost every day and I do see the teenagers but this girl is in my mind.I wrote this story late at night and the next morning when I was at the mall I thought of the girl and really felt like she would be there.Thanks for your kind words.Cheryl
Steve Uppendahl 07/17/06
Very nicely done story. I think it's great you brought realism into your fiction. I like to do that myself.

My only suggestion would be to add some dialogue. You summarize what the two of you said, but I'd rather see it verbatim. Besides, dialogue brings the characters to life more (in my opinion).

Very good story overall. Keep it up.