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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Art (01/18/07)

TITLE: Child of God
By Timothy Oesch


Candle light danced thoughtfully over the numerous paintings that lined the walls of the Victorian era mansion, the pictures acting as doorways into a mythical world of delight and grandeur that has never existed but in the minds of men. The floors were rich with burgundy and lined with gold. Opulent Chandeliers shone as stars from the heavens, casting a pale light over a handsome fellow by the name of Mr. Finch, whose footsteps echoed ominously in the silence that had so long held sway over this living memorial. Feasts the likes of which it is hard for us to imagine once sent laughter, the very echo of mirth, from the Grand Hall into every conceivable nook and cranny so that the air itself sang with delight and even the mice, whose lives were hard to be sure, found time for merriment amidst dodging the prying eyes of the household cat, Ginger. It was simply the sort of place that one could wander about for years and yet never grow tired of its company; rather like talking to a beloved grandparent who cannot but help retelling the tales of their youth.

Mr. Finch had acquired this vast estate by chance when it was bequeathed to him by an old friend’s grandmother, Mrs. Harsithe, whose fence he had regularly mended. At the time he had thought peanut butter and jelly sandwiches a smashing reward for his hard work, but even in his most hopeful of dreams he had never imagined such fortune could befall him. For all of those years he had thought the elderly lady to be nearly impoverished, but as he came to find out the cold corridors and lonely halls of this stately manner were simply not to her liking. Why she had chosen to live in a drowsy suburb just outside of Manhattan he would never know and didn’t particularly care seeing as how people have a right to live where they like. More important was the question of why she had given the thing to him. A lack of direct family was the obvious answer, but an unacceptable one in light of a letter that the late Mrs. Harsithe had left to him.

The letter itself read something like this, “Dear Harry, how I do thank you for tending to my fence all those years ago. I don’t think you’ll ever really understand what that meant to a lonely old woman such as myself, but perhaps I might repay you yet. The house, a lovely place to be sure, my lawyer and more “official representatives of the grand state of Virginia” than you’ll be able to bear (they want to turn it into a sort of tourist attraction, but much like myself that house doesn’t want to be bothered with all sorts of people nosing about in its business) will fill you in. Go to the second floor, third corridor and observe the picture you will find precisely thirteen paces from either direction. This is my gift to you, may it be as great a blessing to you as it has to me.”

Naturally Mr. Finch had expected to find a painting by Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent Van Gogh, or some similarly timeless artist, but what he actually found sent a tremor of horror down his spine, for before him hung the One from Whom he had been running nearly his entire life. In a frame some ten foot by ten there were four pictures separated by thick lines of gold embroidering telling the tail of Christ from birth, to crucifixion, to resurrection, and finally depicting Christ as judge. Though not themselves the most poignant depictions, the images shook the aging man’s soul so that he was struck motionless as tears rolled slowly down his face and the love that he had once felt for God as a child burned like fire within his heart, causing him to fall to his knees and cry out to the Creator of all things Who willingly sacrificed Himself so that we may not perish, but have everlasting life. Some forty years ago, in a Church nestled amidst pizza parlors and barber shops, Mr. Finch, then known as Harry, had given himself unto Christ and now, after years of frantic flight, he had been overtaken. What first began as fear soon turned to joy and horror to praise, for he was born anew not a child of men, but a child of God.

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This article has been read 573 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Chrissi Dunn01/27/07
This reads like the first chapter of a novel. The descriptions of the house were intriguing and vivid. Just one suggestion - Use shorter paragraphs to make it a little easier to read.
Shari Armstrong 01/28/07
Some great images here, wonderful characters. (some of the sentances seem a bit rambling and occasionally hard to follow). Loved the ending.
Leigh MacKelvey01/28/07
I liked this style of writing. It seemed Victorian, with the longer sentences and the decsriptions embedded within. I was wishing the setting was a Vitorian time period, but I don't think you meant it to be. I'd love to see something writen by you in that time period! I was so glad to get your 'Hint" so I could enjoy this!
Jan Ackerson 01/29/07
Nicely written, a style of writing not often seen here. I enjoyed it.
Jacqueline Zerres01/29/07
Most enjoyable, but some of the sentences were lengthy. Very descriptive, though, with a touching finish.
Joanne Sher 01/30/07
Wonderful, wonderful description. I enjoyed the longer sentences for the most part, but did get a bit lost in some. Just a preference thing, though. Thanks so much for sharing!
Donna Powers 01/30/07
Very descriptive passages and an interesting story. I enjoyed the ending, and I like the way you "paint" a scene. Thanks for sharing this
Marilee Alvey01/30/07
You have great talent for description, something I really lack. That having been said, the sentences were too long. I got lost in them and felt weary trying to straighten each one out before I could move on. Chop them up a bit and vary their length. It will help the reader follow the story line. It's too beautiful a story for people to feel bogged down and quit reading! That having been said, I want to repeat: you are a talented writer, and it's clear to see that one of your fortes is description!
Timothy Oesch01/31/07
Thanks for all of the comments! They've been really helpful; I'll try to use a more varied sentence pattern next time......
Sara Harricharan 01/31/07
Kudos! I liked this very much, the touch of mystery kept me reading all the way through. A few more spaces would have helped for easier reading-but very well done! ^_^