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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)

TITLE: A Familiar Stranger
By Christine Dunn
04/08/07


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“ It couldn’t have simply disappeared!” I shade my eyes from the fading sunlight, and continue along the country road. One foot follows the other, as I walk almost without direction, my mind in a haze of jumbled reflections. “How could this have happened? I mean, what sort of sick people would do such a thing?”

My friend throws an arm around my shoulder, as he too paces in a daze. This quiet road has often been a place of contemplation for us, and while treading it, we have solved many a problem here. The impossible case set before us today however, leaves us almost speechless, and a solution seems more distant than the village we amber aimlessly towards.

“I suppose there are a lot of strange folk around.” My friend warns me. “And let’s face it - It’s not like he was the most popular man in some circles.”

“So, you think it was enemies who stole it?” I shake my head in disgust “But - how? How would they even have got in there in the first place?”

“Beats me. Those guys would receive the death penalty if they were caught!”

I nod my head in agreement. “It just gives me the shivers thinking about it. We don’t know what sort of people are out there.” I begin to feel a little afraid on the deserted road. I can almost hear the sound of footsteps nearby, but remind myself that it is probably the echo of our own.

“Hey.” My friend whispers, confirming my fear. “Don’t look now, but I think we’ve got company.”

Sure enough, a tall shadow is cast nearby, as someone approaches quickly. We walk in silence until the stranger appears beside us.

“Hello.” I mutter, yet gaze straight ahead. Hopefully he’ll take the hint and leave us to talk in peace.

“What’s up?” he asks, studying our faces. “You both look pretty tired and sad.”

“Haven’t you heard?” my friend barks, in an almost aggressive manner.

I too examine him impatiently. Surely anyone in the surrounding area wouldn’t have to ask.

“Why, it’s the talk of the whole region!” I recall the painful events. “A famous prophet, born in Nazareth was crucified at Calvary on Friday. He performed miracles and healed the sick. He even raised one of our dead friends to life again! He truly was a man of God.”

“As if that wasn’t bad enough,” my friend, Cleopas continues, “we have just heard that his body has gone missing! It was in a sealed tomb nearby, but someone has actually managed to roll the large stone away. Now, some ladies we know claim to have seen angels there! They say Jesus is alive. I think they just can’t bear what tomb robbers have done!“

“Enough of all this foolish talk.” Cleopas is interrupted by the stranger. I stare at him. What authority has he to speak like this?

“Didn’t you say that this man performed miracles?”

We both nod our heads.

“And isn’t he a man of God?”

We mumble in agreement.

“Didn’t you also say that he raised a friend of yours from the dead?”

I again stare blankly at the man. What exactly is he trying to point out? And that’s when it suddenly clicks!

“I seem to recall that Jesus, the man you are referring to, once said that people would kill him, but after three days he would rise again.*”

I stop as we reach the village of Emmaus. Could it be? It must be true! My heart pounds as I take in what the stranger continues to explain. It’s obvious that he certainly knows Jesus, far better in fact than we ever had. His knowledge is outstanding.

“Well, this is clearly where you’re stopping for the night.” The learned man points to the village ahead. “I think I’ll walk on for a while.”

“No, please stay.” Cleopas too is eager to hear more from this man. “Come and eat with us.”

Thankfully, he is persuaded, and follows to my house, where I lay the table with what humble food I have left.

So Jesus is alive! As I hold the bread in my hands, contemplating excitedly, everything I have heard, the man motions for me to stop. I watch in amazement, as he proceeds to take the bread, and break it evenly into three pieces. I have a wonderful, indescribable feeling in my heart. There’s something very familiar about this stranger….




* Author’s note: Reference about Jesus predicting resurrection from Mark 9:31 (written in own words). The scene is taken from Luke 24:13-32. This article is not a literal account of the Biblical scene, but rather the author’s own perception of how events may have unfolded.


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This article has been read 822 times
Member Comments
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Joanne Sher 04/12/07
This was very nicely done - I am surprised at how long it took me to catch on to what this was about - a testament to your wonderful writing ability! I caught a few grammar issues and a few misused words, but otherwise this was strong. I somehow found the present tense distracting, but that may have just been me. Nicely done!
Lynda Schultz 04/13/07
Well done. It had the feel of a modern day story with the truth of the Biblical one. Good dialogue.
Marilyn Schnepp 04/14/07
The wonderful story of the two disciples from Emmaus(sp?) Great Bible story and you have made it into a more personal story, of how it could have been, or might have been. Really enjoyed it and it kept my interest throughout. Good job!
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/14/07
What a great way to retell a Bible story!
Catrina Bradley 04/14/07
I like your take on this familiar and uplifting story. I think you meant "amble" instead of "amber". :) Good job re-writing this episode from your MC's view point.
Amy Michelle Wiley 04/16/07
Great story! I love Biblical fiction.
Birdie Courtright04/17/07
I loved this! I can just imagine being there when the mystery was revealed! Nice job!
Jan Ackerson 04/17/07
Very nice--I really enjoyed the gradual realization of what familiar story I was reading. You made it quite fresh and real.
Sara Harricharan 04/17/07
This was a good mystery! I didn't know exactly who was who and what was going on until I got the first name and then everything started to click. This is a great piece of writing!
Julie Arduini04/17/07
Oh the title says it all. Great job, captivating.
Loren T. Lowery04/18/07
I have always been touched by this Biblical story and was not disappointed in the way you presented it. Good writing.
Rita Garcia04/18/07
Fresh perspective. Enjoyed the read! Great job!