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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)

TITLE: Guerilla Tatics
By dub W


Caleb sat cross-legged at the head of the damp bed counting the rotations of the belt driven fan. Below his room, at the end of the alley, a Mariachi band played a lively tune, occasionally a hidden voice would call out a name and the band would continue, but, the music never seemed to change.

There was no use trying to sleep. The hotel had not provided a mosquito net and it was too hot to rest without the windows open. The slow moving fan provided only a slight relief in the still air. Caleb tipped his last bottle of water to his lips. Two days ago he had purchased several bottles before boarding the plane out of San Juan. By tomorrow he would be forced to either drink the local water or find a pot to boil the water claimed from a clay pot. “Lord, where is my contact?”

Somewhere in the night angry voices were followed by a gunshot. The music stopped momentarily, a soft laugh bubbled up, then the music resumed with more gusto. Caleb closed his eyes and dozed momentarily. He awakened suddenly to a pounding on his door.

“Quien es?” He shouted into the darkness.

The pounding stopped and only the street music continued.

Seconds later, a head appeared in silhouette in the window. “Senor? You come with me, now, please hurry.”

Caleb grasped his backpack to his chest. “Who's asking?” He had been recruited for a special missionary project and trained in both the Bible and in wilderness survival skills, but he hadn’t considered such a beginning.

A leg propelled itself over the windowsill and a small boy stood in Caleb’s room. “I am Miguel. I am sent to get you. You come with me now, please.”

“Out the window?” Caleb was not expecting a midnight escapade. “Where are we going?”

There was a pause, “I don’t know, but you are to come with me, it is very dangerous here.”

Every bone in Caleb’s body said, “forget it.” But, he walked to the window and watched as the young man scamper out onto the balcony. The music got louder as Caleb followed the boy.

The young man headed down a wooden ladder into a dark alleyway, and then turned and waved for Caleb to follow.

“Well, if it’s robbery, they picked a poor man, I haven’t even got the cost of soda.” Caleb grabbed the old ladder and immediately ran a splinter into his hand. “God, get me out of this and I’ll, oh phooey, I already made that deal.” He laughed to himself and climbed down to the ground. The end of the alley framed the Mariachi band like a picture; the music seemed to swell in the darkness.

Caleb followed his young leader through alleys and backstreets until they came to a cluster of small huts; in the background, the city was rocked by a series of explosions that lit the night sky.

Miguel tapped Caleb on the arm, “Your hotel.”

“Where are we, and why did you come for me?”

Miguel laughed softly and dropped to the ground. Soon, several young men and women joined Miguel, surrounding Caleb. Finally, an older man joined the group.

“Ah, Miguel was able to get you. I was afraid we would have to raid the hotel, but I don’t like to be that close to the army.”

Caleb looked around at the band of youth. He thought he must have had a dismayed look on his face.

The older man laughed and stretched his hand to Caleb. “Welcome, my friend, you have come far, we have work to do.”


“We are guerilla missionaries. The priest who taught these children was murdered, likewise all of our preachers. We have adapted the ways of the people who blew up your building. We come in small numbers, at unexpected locations, and conquer small targets, like the children.”

“Guerilla missionaries?” It finally added up to Caleb, all of the secret and intense training.

“The word of God is a pretty powerful tool.” The older man put his hand on Caleb’s shoulder.

In the background the children began singing a joyful praise song. Caleb thought back to the mariachis. “This is the sweetest music I’ve heard tonight.”

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This article has been read 969 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharlyn Guthrie03/15/07
OK, I can breathe now. You kept my attention to the very end. I especially liked this line, “God, get me out of this and I’ll, oh phooey, I already made that deal.” Nice job!
Julie Arduini03/16/07
I felt like I was right there---scared to death! Vivid, strong writing. Well done!
Keith Wallis03/17/07
Aha, Guerrillas in their midst. Certainly kept MY attention.
Jacquelyn Horne03/17/07
God bless America! We don't really know what trouble is. This is a very thought-provoking story. Good description here. Good writing.
Leigh MacKelvey03/18/07
Me ... I liked it! I was on a mission trip to a dangerous part of Mexico, so I know the danger in the story was realistic. The comparison of the Mariachi music to the Christian music was a wondeful concrete way to give us the feeling of sin vs. peace. You write with a talent for the writing of a page-turner book! ( hope you're onto that!)
Joanne Sher 03/19/07
So amazingly descriptive and engaging. A very unique take on the topic. Great writing.
Loren T. Lowery03/19/07
The atmosphere, the dialogue both had me right there. Intense writing held me to the end.
Jan Ackerson 03/19/07
What I like most about this--and about all of your work--is that you don't write ABOUT the topic, but you write a great story in which the topic plays an important part. That's why no one else ever has similar ideas to yours, and why you stand out. Another excellent story.
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/20/07
This is a really well told story. I love the contrast of music you used. I could hear them both!
LaNaye Perkins03/21/07
Okay, I can breath now too! I love the suspense and how well you told this story. “Guerilla missionaries” indeed.... love that concept! Great writing!
Sara Harricharan 03/21/07
Nice. I liked the title of this, but had to read it twice to follow the story. It was pretty good, but one little 'prick' stuck with me. When did he take the splinter out? Did I miss that... or is it just me being picky? ^_^ Otherwise, Nice.
Shari Armstrong 03/21/07
An enjoyable adventure -suspenseful. Loved this line “God, get me out of this and I’ll, oh phooey, I already made that deal.”
Joanney Uthe03/21/07
I love the idea of guerilla missionaries. Great discription. Made me want to turn on a fan.
Cassie Memmer03/22/07
Ohhh.. I had to read it twice. I didn't catch the first time that his hotel was what was blown up--I'm a bit slow sometimes! Marvelous intrigue! Miguel 'saved' him 'just in time!' Wow! Great writing, as usual. Wonderful!