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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)

TITLE: Halfway to Heaven
By Joanne Sher


Voices seemed to ring out discordantly from every direction.

"Wiederholen, bitte."


"Haud agnosco."

"I don't understand."

What had just happened? Uz had no idea, and there wasn't a person in hearing distance, it seemed, who could fill him in. He wasn't confident there was a soul on Earth who could explain the change that had just taken place.

Uz looked about, finding the physical surroundings unaffected. The sun still shone. The flowers still bloomed. The ziggurat, not yet fully constructed, was still in view; with the sun reflecting off the tar binding its bricks together. The people were physically unchanged since the last time he'd looked -- not ten minutes earlier. Yet, at the same time, everything had undergone such a metamorphosis, such a radical change. Uz wondered if anything would ever be the same again.

At first, he thought it might be a dream or a hallucination. Yet, it seemed so real. One moment he'd been chatting with his wife Sera about the weather and its effects on the building project, and the next minute every sound coming from her mouth was incomprehensible.

He asked her to repeat herself, but she seemed as baffled by Uz's words as he had been with hers.

"Ich verstehe nicht," Sera had said.

Uz could say with complete confidence that he had never heard words even remotely similar to those come from anyone's mouth, much less his wife's.

He'd then turned to his friend Jovan, a foreman for the ziggurat.

"What's going on here?"

Uz would never forget the look of sheer perplexity on Javan's face. It was as if his friend had no idea who Uz was, much less what he was saying.

"Quod? Quod?" Javan's hopelessness was evident on his face and in his tone. "Revolvo, commodo."

Uz glanced at his wife, but found her as baffled at Javan's proclamation as he was. It appeared that not a soul could understand the words of any other human being anymore.

How would they be able to get anything done? How could anyone meet the most basic needs if no one could communicate with anyone else? Body language could only go so far. Of one thing Uz was certain: there was no way they'd ever finish the tower.

Sighing, Uz gestured for his wife to follow him. The pair walked dejectedly from Shinar, leaving their dreams, and a tower halfway to heaven, behind.

Based on Genesis 11:1-9

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This article has been read 1806 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 08/23/07
I knew someone would write something about Babel. It must have been quite the scene, but God will be obeyed, no matter what. Good work.
valerie chambers08/23/07
Oh this was AWESOME--I will never think about the tower of Babel without thinking about UZ
Emily Blakely08/24/07
Your title and story captured my interest. Excellent job of telling a classic story.
Betty Castleberry08/24/07
I think what makes this story really good is that you truly showed us how confusing it must have been at Babel. I can feel the frustration, and I never thought about that before. Very well done.
Kristen Hester08/24/07
You did a great job with this familiar story. I so enjoyed it. I don't think there's a better story to portray confusion. If you had enough words I would have loved to see Ur find at least one person who spoke his language. It would have been fun to hear their conversation. It could have even been someone he didn't like or an x-girlfriend. Ha ha. But of course, there aren't enough words. This was wonderful!
Jacquelyn Horne08/24/07
A different take on confused. A good job retelling how it might have been at Babel.
Leigh MacKelvey08/24/07
I especially love the title! Great writing, deserving of a place!
Sharlyn Guthrie08/24/07
I loved how you demonstrate the confusion in this piece. I have to admit I was confused for a bit until I realized what the story was. Great job.
Dee Yoder 08/24/07
So unique! It never occurred to me that a story of the Tower of Babal would be perfect for this topic, but of course, it is. Once I realized where the story was going, I knew it was a perfect match for Confused. Never thought about how God managed to change it all, but, in an instant, seems like His way!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/25/07
Now this is real confusion. You brought out the feelings that must have been present in this situation with real clarity.
David Butler08/26/07
Now why didn't I think of that? Babel = confusion, of course.
In the past, all I thought of was the just judgement of God on their foolish and pathetic efforts to become divine, independent of Him. You've added an element of compassion for them, in spite of their foolishness. I felt sorry for the wife especially.
I wonder if it could have been arranged that his wife and immediate family spoke the same lingo, but could understand no-one else?
Lynda Lee Schab 08/27/07
Love it! I am also one who never considered Babel - but what a perfect idea for "confused." Excellent writing - you made the scene (and that particular Bible story) come alive for me. Well done!
Dianne Janak08/27/07
How creative! Love it we all wonder why that didn't occur to us! Signs of a masters piece! Love it and hope it places! Deserves to...:)
Beth LaBuff 08/28/07
I love that you used the story of the Tower of Babel. Your title is perfect. I enjoyed "trying" to figure out what each of the languages were. :) Nice writing!
Joy Faire Stewart08/28/07
Perfect entry for topic. Though I knew how it must end, I was engrossed in the story from the beginning. Excellent writing.
Linda Watson Owen08/28/07
You have written an absolutely wonderful interpretation of this familiar Bible story! You made the characters really live in this! So believable! Great job!
Ann FitzHenry08/29/07
I love it when Bible stories are brought to life. You did a great job with this one. Loved it!
Julie Ruspoli08/29/07
Oh, very clever Joanne. What an interesting way to tell this story. I thought for a minute you became confused when writing it, should have known better. : )
Great article, A+.
Brenda Welc08/29/07
Masterfully done! Well written and very creative! Great job.
Patty Wysong08/29/07
:-) I've known that story for almost as many years I've been on earth, but I've never stopped to think about it. Great job! :-) Hugs!
Jan Ackerson 08/29/07
Wouldn't that be terrifying? Not being able to even understand one's spouse? I think someone (you?) should write a novel about that--"After Babel." This is really great.
Loren T. Lowery08/29/07
This is tereffic and shows that God's purpose can even be found in confusion.
Sara Harricharan 08/29/07
You certainly picked a confusing time that we can all relate to! I liked the realistic touch and feel to this old story. Especially when poor Uz is trying to talk to Sera. Good job here. The atmosphere, everything. Neat. ^_^
Rita Garcia08/30/07
Lisa Holloway08/30/07
Very good story. Congratualations on your EC!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/30/07
Congratulations, my friend. Have you noticed?? You just keep getting better and better!
Loralee Scott08/30/07
I've always wondered what that day must have been like! Thanks for taking me there!
Sheri Gordon08/30/07
Congratulations on your EC -- this is really clever, and very well written.
Ann Renae Hair08/31/07
Your creativity in this article inspires me in the art of writing, stirring something inside as much as any painting or photograph. Great job. Congratulations!
Catrina Bradley 09/01/07
Congrats my friend! Love this story, and how perfect for Confused. Hubby agrees. :) Wonderful writing, as always.
Love, Cat
Brad Paulson09/06/07
This may be a record for the most comments I have ever seen on an entry. Rightly so, this is brilliant