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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Reading (01/25/07)

TITLE: Rabboni!
By Timothy Oesch


The air was thick with gloom as a sullen woman walked slowly through the darkness of early morning, the stars’ light dimmed by mountains of grey, bulging clouds. Her heart was heavy with sorrow, for only three days earlier the Light of the World had fallen from the sky and all the vast depths of the universe left to weep at His passing. Her name was Mary Magdalene and she was traveling to visit the tomb of her Lord. Why had He suffered so? His righteousness was beyond all comprehension, His heart pure, and His words true; yet the villains had hung Him there to die the death of a criminal, a death to which He had walked like a lamb to the slaughter. The very thought of it caused tears to fester in her eyes and a terrible sadness to well up in her heart, yet she could not speak of it. No, if it were to be put into words her strength would fell her and her heart burst as it cried out to God in unbearable anguish.

All seemed but a distant blur as Mary walked steadily onward, each step bringing her closer to the place where she may give honor unto the Messiah. Many spoke ill of Him, but she still believed; she would always believe. None who had dwelled in His presence could speak otherwise unless their eyes were veiled to the testimony of their own soul, for simply to be near Him was an inexpressible joy and His words sweeter than honey to all who believed. At last she came to the tomb, but upon seeing it her heart faltered, for the stone that covered the entrance had been rolled away! What could this mean? Had thieves defiled the body of her Lord?! Swiftly she ran to the entrance and peered in. He was gone!

With all haste she ran to fetch the disciples, of whom she found Peter and the beloved of Christ. Chest heaving she told them what she had seen and they ran as swiftly as they could to see it for themselves, Mary retracing that forlorn path for the third time that day. Upon seeing it the disciples found no reason to tarry and returned to their homes, but Mary was so stricken with grief that she simply wept. A strange light drew her attention and she looked into the tomb where she saw two angels clothed in white. “Woman, why are you weeping?” they asked.

Did they not know? “Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him,” she replied in a downcast voice. Suddenly another strange presence summoned her attention and she turned to greet it. What was the gardener doing here at a time like this?

“Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” the Newcomer asked.

Perhaps this man knew where her Lord lay. “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.”

“Mary!” the Other said.

As He spoke Mary’s heart was so filled with joy that it spilled out as tears upon her face and her body grew weak for the splendor of it. “Rabboni!” she declared in a triumphant voice as the very heavens sang, the clouds breaking and the sun rising in the east, blotting out the deathly dark that had for so long held the world within its icy grip.


“Dorris? Dorris?” a deep, rickety voice called out. “Are you in there?”

“Yes, yes,” she muttered in a slightly perturbed voice. “What do you want?”

“I thought we might, eh, partake of a cup of coffee? That is, if it sounds a suitable idea to you, my dear.”

“That’s a splendid idea,” Dorris replied in a sympathetic voice. How could she have ever spoken so harshly to the old dear? She loved to read, to imagine, to go on grand adventures with noble knights and nefarious dragons where the fate of entire kingdoms rest in the hands of an unlikely hero, but most of all she loved to read stories from the Bible, for it was there that she could obtain, to whatever small degree she was able, a glimpse of the glory of God that caused the same tears of joy to flow forth from her eyes as those of Mary when she stood before the risen Lord and declared from the very depths of her soul, “Rabboni!”

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Myrna Noyes02/02/07
Lovely story! Your first two paragraphs were so descriptive! I especially liked the phrase "...the Light of the world had fallen from the sky and all the vast depths of the universe left to weep at His passing."

I noticed a couple "mechanical" errors that proofreading would fix, but felt your piece was well-written. Thank you for sharing this! :)
Jan Ackerson 02/02/07
I definitely wanted to know more about Dorris, and was very intrigued by the last part of this. I wonder if you'd consider doing a flip-flop here: a much shorter Biblical paraphrase in Dorris' mind, and more exposition of her character.
Birdie Courtright02/02/07
I love the way you brought a poignant story from the bible into the topic, but it did throw me a little. I think Jan's right, a small intro to the character would help to transition the reader. Great writing! I enjoyed reading this.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/03/07
Searching for the topic "reading"...it was found delightfully in the last paragraph. Sweet story, that was an enjoyable read.
Donna Powers 02/06/07
A lovely story and I also enjoyed this short glimpse of Dorris. Thanks for sharing this
Mariane Holbrook 02/06/07
Nice job! Kudos! I like your work.
Julie Arduini02/07/07
I agree with the other comments, nicely done and would like to know more about Dorris. Those first two paragraphs were some very strong writing, very.
Sara Harricharan 02/07/07
This was great 'biblical fiction' definitely made it more real. The ending was sweet ^_^