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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: The Kiss of Death
By Johnna Stein


He deserves this. He’s a hypocrite and a fake. He’s just a miserable human being. I can’t believe I ever fell under his magic spell. Oh God, I feel so deceived. He appears like an ordinary guy, yet his magnetism draws crowds who hang on his every last word.

Can’t say I wasn’t warned. Oh, plenty of people cautioned me at first. But, I was swept away by his soothing voice and lofty promises. Looking back, I see how hungry I was for a hero. How many valuable years of my life have I wasted chasing the wind? I got sucked in and it’s been a turbulent, sometimes frightening ride.

In the beginning, I trusted him with my life. I would have followed him to the ends of the earth had he asked. I actually enjoyed communing with him and our close circle of friends. We shared a unique intimacy which I now know was merely a façade, part of his trickery. The others still show unwavering devotion, but I detect a lingering trace of doubt sometimes. Once he is exposed, they can no longer deny the truth.

There is some consolation knowing I am merely one of thousands beguiled by his false proclamations. Thank God his hypocrisy has been unveiled by the authorities and they vow to render the appropriate discipline, even possible ex-communication. I find it hard to believe his humble beginnings will conclude quite dramatically, with such extreme measures.

The authorities chided and tested him from the start, but I put it down to jealousy and fear on their part. Their heated debates entertained us; he usually spoke the final decisive word. Trapping him in a contradiction became their sport. Eventually, they knew they could ensnare him.

Whispers from the crowds and pointing fingers reveal once favorable public opinion has reversed. “Is he part of the cult?” “I hear they believe in human sacrifice?” “They have to be imprisoned; it’s unlawful what they’re doing.”

Their accusations ring true. I feel the blood of anger rise in my cheeks and know with certainty that I am the one who must end this mockery. I am not going down with him. Why couldn’t he have used his power in a constructive way to maneuver into a powerful position? With his magnetism and charisma, he could have risen to the pinnacle of success as a politician or world leader.

No use wasting more energy on ‘would haves’ and ‘should haves’. No turning back now. I know this is the right thing to do. My heart is pounding and my hands are clammy. I’m hoping the authorities’ promises of immunity are genuine; they seem trustworthy.

I must say he totally deserves what’s coming to him. I refuse to feel sorry for him. I am not responsible; he’s dug his own grave. Man, if he were half of what he claims to be, he would be able to escape from his fate.

Now, as planned, I go into hiding and wait for nightfall. The officers have surreptitiously surrounded them from all sides. Just as we conspired, they catch him off guard and unaware. I embrace him adieu with a kiss on his cheek, knowing I have been specially chosen for this privilege. Everyone scatters like mice in a field and I set out to collect my due reward.

Well, that went remarkably quick. In and out of their headquarters in a flash. I guess they will keep their word. Twice I glance over my shoulder to check for surveillance, just to be sure. I am alone.

Why am I suddenly overcome with doubt? I should feel relief. The weight of the world is crushing me, like the tower of Babel teetering on my back. My chest is tight; I can hardly breathe. As I finger the edges of the 30 silver coins in the leather pouch, they feel like cold metal daggers slicing my fingers.

I fall to my knees by the side of the road as I violently retch up the lamb, bread and wine I consumed earlier that evening. The retching continues until rancid bile is all I can heave.

Whispers from Jeshua’s knowing words fill my mind. “What you are about to do, do quickly.” He knew! He knew all along. Oh what have I done? More truth from Jeshua’s words echoes in my tortured soul, “I tell you the truth, before Abraham was born. I AM!”

*John 13:27 (NIV)
*John 8:58 (NIV)

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This article has been read 572 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 02/21/08
Amazing!! Absolutely amazing. I was sooo convinced of this persons evilness, until I read about the kiss (then I'm thinking how did I miss it with your title). I love your writing!
Sara Harricharan 02/22/08
Ooooh...you have us totally fooled here! I like this different look here and where he was throwing up his dinner...for some reason that just struck me as the perfect reaction and it set everything into perspective. Nice work! ^_^
Chrissi Dunn02/22/08
Excellent. I didn't catch who this was about until later in the piece. I suppose if I'd thought about the title, I might have come to my conclusion sooner. But there were some amazing descriptions in this piece, and you captured his voice perfectly. Really well done.
Sylvia Hensel 02/23/08
This piece is so very good. A real winner.
Joanne Sher 02/23/08
Just excellent - perfect title, and your characterization and POV was excellent.
Jan Ackerson 02/24/08
Extremely creative and written with great skill.