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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Encouragement (among believers) (11/08/07)

TITLE: Shop of Serendipity
By Corinne Smelker


After he climbed the stairs, he realized his first instinct was correct. The exterior of the musty bookshop belied how large the interior was. How often have I walked by this place? He continued up the black cast-iron winding staircase marveling at the sheer number of books that took up habitation everywhere there was a spare molecule. I wonder if they procreate? Seth giggled, but quickly controlled himself as he mounted the last stair.

On the floor below him the old man with the half-moon glasses and the shuffling carpet-slippered gait hobbled over to an antediluvian phone, clearly an original fixture to the wall, picked up the receiver and spoke. “He’s almost with you. Yes. I am sure he’s the one.” With a click he replaced the receiver. He could hear in the distance the young man whose destiny was about to change yodel, “Holloa. Anybody there?” Smugly he sat back in his wooden chair, and crossed his arms. Yep, it sure felt good to still be useful.

Seth reached the landing and faced pile upon pile of books, a narrow passageway wending between them the only indication that this might be more than a store-room for dead words. “Holloa,” he called again, reluctant to set foot on who knew what.

“You’re here.”

Seth, startled turned around to find a young athletic man behind him. “Hey, how did you get there? How come I didn’t hear you?”

“That’s not important now,” said the stranger. “What’s important is that you’re here.”

“Me?” Seth asked. “Come on now. I wasn’t meant to be here in the first place.”

“Really?” the other asked.

Seth was indignant, “But of course! I was meant to meet Jenny; but got lost. She’s waiting at “Delicious Delhi Delights” while I’m here. And she warned me one more time of being a no show and we were done! Ummm. Where is here again?”

“World of Words.”

“Yeah. That.” Seth moved forward a little, closer to the piles of dust-covered tomes

“Do you know that words have power?”

“Huh?” Seth was truly puzzled now.

Eagerly the other man grabbed Seth’s arm, “Yes. Come with me, I have something to show you.” Unthinkingly, Seth capitulated. A dingy passage led to a blindly bright room. Anchored in the middle of the room was a pedestal where the light was centered.

“There it is,” Seth’s guide said reverentially. He gently pushed Seth forward.

Slowly, almost reluctantly Seth stumbled up to the dais. Anticipation turned to disappointment as he spun back on his heels. “It’s just a bible! What kind of joke are you trying to pull?”

“Just a bible? No! It’s more than that! Those words carry the life of God in them! Why do you think it’s chained to the stand?”

“Ok. Whatever!” exclaimed Seth walking back to the perimeter of the room. “Hey Leggo!” he yelled as his companion grabbed his arm.

“You must listen! You claim to be a believer and yet you don’t even know the power of this book! It carries life, hope, refreshment, consolation, support, inspiration, comfort, cheer…”

“What is that to me?” Seth interrupted.

“Seth. You carry the Word in you. You can be the beacon of hope, you can rouse people’s spirits, you can make them feel better, just by speaking His Word. But when was the last time you read it and even believed it for yourself?” Seth shuffled his feet lamely. He had no ready answer.

His companion continued, “Look how you talked yourself into the doldrums tonight. Jenny would be willing to give you another chance, but you’re ready to talk yourself right out of it! But the Word within you tells you something different, if you only listen to it and act on it. Have you forgotten the comforting words of the Psalms? How about the admonitions of Paul to the Philippians? Come on, Seth – you can do better than this! Words have power and One Word has the most power of all. Tap into that Word! Stand on its truths and you will see your life change!”

He tapped Seth on the shoulder and suddenly he found himself standing in front of “Delicious Delhi Delights” looking into Jenny’s bright blue eyes. “Seth? Seth!” She hugged him tightly. “I was about to give up on you. Where have you been?”

“I’m not really sure, but boy, do I have a story for you!”

Word count: 734

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This article has been read 936 times
Member Comments
Member Date
william price11/15/07
I don't usually like stories where I don't know who "he" or "she" is. Its tricky to pull off, but you did masterfully. I guess that is why you write in this level. Very anointed. Excellent job! God bless.
Joanne Sher 11/16/07
Wonderful job of creating the sense of place. I got a touch lost in the beginning, but that was probably just me. Love the admonitions - so authentic!
Seema Bagai 11/21/07
I could picture the store and the stacks of books. The beginning was a bit confusing. Overall, an anjoyable piece.
Laury Hubrich 11/21/07
This was very interesting. I had to do a little re-reading but wouldn't have bothered if I didn't like your story:) Thank you for sharing!
LaNaye Perkins11/21/07
This was very intriguing. Well done!
Peter Stone11/21/07
Great story. I was a little confused at first about who was who, but that cleared up with the second reading. I'm guessing that the stranger is an angel? Loved the ending.