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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: Mommy, Please Don’t Fight with Daddy
By Peter Stone
08/03/07


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I contain myself no longer. “You make me..”

“Yes dear?”

“So…so…angry!”

My husband sighed. “Whatever I’ve done, I’m sorry, OK?”

I pulled our little one’s hand, “Don’t dally James!” And to my husband, “I told you I wanted to get here by ten. You took so long getting ready it’s almost eleven thirty!”

“Sorry, I kind of got distracted.”

“Always some lame reason. When are you going to change!” I spat.

“Mommy, please don’t fight with Daddy,” implored our four year old.

My husband answered gently, “Carol, I have always been like this. Why do you make such a big issue of it these days?”

I swerved to avoid another tourist. “Dear, you’ve got a problem with meeting a deadline. You know you’ve got this problem. And I asked you to make a special effect.”

George held up helpless hands, “I am trying dear. But as we are here now, let’s drop this and enjoy ourselves.”

“Enjoy ourselves!” I protested, “we’ve come all the way here to another state, primarily to spend the whole day exploring this vintage heritage settlement. And now we are going to miss a whole hour and a half!”

My husband bent down to touch James’s arm. He pointed at the building we were heading for, “See that, son? Used to be a flour mill until they turned it into a prison.”

“There’s lots of water around it, Daddy.”

“You’re right, little fella - water full of sharks. No prisoners could ever swim across the lake to escape.”

“Don’t try to change the subject, George,” I threatened.

George breathed out slowly, “I’m not, honey, I’m trying to enjoy our time here. Why don’t we talk about this tonight? Now that we’re here, let’s explore this colonial convict settlement to our hearts’ content.”

I was a runaway train hurtling downhill. “Uh uh, not good enough. I’m still angry with you for making us two hours late to the gold mining town last February.”

“Darling, that was five months ago! I already said I was sorry.”

“Well, your apology obviously meant nothing or you would have made a bigger effort today. Not to mention making us late for James’ pre-school interview, my mother’s on Christmas day – again –and all because you can’t get your act together!”

George would not rise to my barbs, “Carol, I told you on our first date that I suffer from a mild form of attention deficit syndrome. I really am doing my best.”

We were passing through the tourist attraction’s unique radial exercise yards and were approaching the cross-shaped prison itself. I barely noticed. “I think you’re doing it on purpose, George, just to get at me.”

“Now you know that’s not true.”

I rose my eyes. “Why don’t you put some passion in your voice, George, you know how much it irritates me when you talk like a lamb!”

My husband did not answer but I knew what he was thinking. His Christian faith taught that a gentle answer turns away anger. Even this annoyed me. Rather than using his own brain he was letting that book dictate his actions!

Extremely loud bangs ripped the midday air asunder. Three tourists in front of us pitched over, blood literally exploding from them. Hundreds of people shrieked in terror and fled in all directions. More loud bangs and more bodies hit the ground.

Looking past my husband’s large frame I saw a tall man with a machine gun in each hand, heading in our direction. Every few seconds he paused and gunned someone else down. His red, frantic eyes locked on mine. I froze.

But with deft movements George thrust James and me to the ground and lay in front of us, his back facing the threat.

Even louder bangs. George’s body jerked spasmodically.

“I love you,” he said with his last breath as blood from his mouth and back seeped into the cobblestones.

My anger melted out of me to join my husband’s blood on the ground. Waves of guilt and anguish swamped me and I scarcely noticed the gunman walking away from us.

“Oh darling,” I whispered to his still form, “even when I treated you so badly, you still answered with love - the love of your Jesus. I can never make it up to you now, and I’ll carry this guilt forever. But I’m giving my life to your Jesus and I’ll join your church. When you see me again in heaven you will find me a new person.”


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This article has been read 879 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Christine Dunn08/09/07
Such a sad and shocking ending! This was well written.
Marilyn Schnepp 08/09/07
Unless I'm mistaken, this is obviously fiction - and I'm glad; but it does have a very good message; "a soft word turneth away anger". ( "effect" instead of effort - but otherwise nicely written)...and talk about nagging?! Wow! (*.*)
Sherrie Jackson08/09/07
Wow! Talk about shocking. I had no idea things would take such a turn. The wife's nagging was the perfect setup and diversion.

Just one suggestion - I think the last paragraph might have worked better as narrative rather than dialogue. I just don't see someone having such coherent thoughts during a gunman's raid.

But wow, way to go on this story. I'll definitely remember it for a long time. Good luck!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/10/07
I really like how you showed the husband acting out his Christian faith. I could not help but think about what terrible memories the nagging wife would have of her last comments to her husband. This is really a sad, angry story.
David Butler 08/10/07
A powerful but tragic way of demonstrating Christ's sacrificial love paying the ultimate price, even when we were in rebellion and in emnity against Him. Brilliant!
I can't think of the particular scripture that says this at the moment, but maybe that could be added as a footnote.
Lynda Schultz 08/10/07
The ending was a bit abrupt and I think, unrealistic. I'd agree with some of the previous comments about reworking it. Before I got to the gunman part, I was sure this woman was suffering from PMS or symptoms of menopause — she sure sounded like it!
Bonnie Way08/10/07
The first half of the story was really good - great dialogue from all characters, good descriptions of the background. But I found the ending, and the woman's reaction to it, very unrealistic. Needs more work here.
Michelle Burkhardt08/10/07
I didn't know what was happening with such an abrupt change. I did like her angry dialogue in the beginning.
Clyde Blakely 08/13/07
Obviously the wrong person got shot in this story!

I liked it though. The ending? Well, considering the word count limit placed on us someitmes the endings just don't fit. Expanded and in "thought" would have been better, perhaps.

Gal. 5:22. God bless and keep writing.
Mo 08/13/07
I read this last night, & it has stayed with me. The beginning just sounds SO REAL!
Peter Stone08/17/07
I made the mistake of writing this article when I was very sick. When I re-read it later I could not believe the ending I put on it. At any rate, I've re-written the article with a more suitable ending. It is in my normal articles called 'Do Not Try To Change the Subject.' The link is
http://www.faithwriters.com/article-details.php?id=67379
Regards,
Peter Stone