The small flat is silent and dimly lit. The cursor blinks on the empty word processing page like a heartbeat. Hunter Gates lights a cigarette as he considers the right words to type. A swirling cloud of exhaled smoke fogs the small room heís sitting in. A sweating glass of iced tea sits next to his computer on top of a black leather bound Bible. He slowly takes a drink and sets the tumbler back down.
At least it makes a good coaster.
On the other side of the laptop lays a 9mm revolver. His quivering right hand caresses the coolness of its blue steel. The irony of the props in front of him causes Hunter to cast a wry grin.
Only God could have scripted this scene. A Bible sits silent, never opened to my left. A gun lays harmlessly still to my right. A blank computer screen, symbolic of the answers I donít have to impossible questions, is sandwiched between the two solutions, neither of which I have much experience using.
Hunterís hands hover over the keyboard waiting for direction. He starts to type.
As I write this I am faced with a great dilemma. As you know, I am in trouble. I appreciate all of your support and prayers, but I do not think I can spend the next 20 years in prison. I seriously doubt the jury will have mercy on me when my trial is over. Iíve spent every penny I had on my defense and on bond money to keep me out of jail to this point. I have nothing left but the scalding reality of my actions.
The only thing Iíve ever had in my life was writing. It was always so easy creating fictional characters. But now, as I write about myself, I struggle for the right words. I donít know how the story will end. I have no control over the plot. I canít delete words already written. They are facts now eternally printed. I got drunk, drove when I shouldnít have and killed a mother. I know I deserve punishment. Iím not even sure at this point if I deserve to live. Itís not the prison time I fear; itís the guilt of living. Iíll never forget the expressions on the womanís family in court. I know they hate me. But, if truth be known, their hate for me is nothing compared to the hate I have for myself.
Even as I type this I do not know what I am going to do. I have a Bible to my left and a newly purchased pistol to my right. If you end up reading this youíll know I chose the right.
Hunter quits typing and gazes at the Bible under his iced tea.
God, if I give the gun here one chance, I know itíll work. So Iím going to open this Bible and see what it says. Iím not afraid to die. Iím not afraid to be punished. But, I am afraid and I donít know why.
Hunter removes the iced tea from the Bible and picks it up. He leafs through the pages and points his finger at a scripture. After he reads it he snaps the book closed, sets it down and picks up the pistol. His finger trembles on the trigger. He closes his eyes. Then he opens one eye. He sees the cursor still blinking on the computer screen waiting for more words. He lays the gun back down.
Okay, God, Iím a writer myself and I know you canít judge a book by one sentence. So, Iím going to give it another chance. By the way, I already knew the punishment for sin was death. But, there must be more to the story. I havenít even met your main character yet.
Hunter shuts off his computer, picks up the Bible and goes to bed where he reads until he falls asleep.
Four weeks later Hunter is writing another letter, but this one is with a pencil on paper.
Just want you all to know that I have chosen life. Iíll explain what that means later. But, I want to say I know Jesus loves me, though I still donít know why. I am going to continue writing in prison. Iím working on a novel called Dueling Solutions. Iím not sure how itís going to end yet, but I know God will help me find it.
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