Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bridge (07/31/08)
By Chely Roach
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Many of the weary faces surrounding her were friends. They were arrested with her on that beautiful September morning when their church was raided and burnt to the ground. Tricia’s husband had stayed at home that Sunday with their son who had the flu. She had not heard from him since. That was the hardest thing…not knowing. Not knowing if they were alive or dead, free or captive. For better or worse, her parents did go to church with her that fateful morning. Their only earthly solace in captivity was each other’s presence; the opportunity to whisper prayers and sob in familiar arms was a gift. A gift in the midst of a nightmare.
From where Tricia stood, she could not see the beginning or the end of the abominable procession. When the line began to slow, she was midway across the bridge. Her skin was raw from the cold, as well as from the stinging mist of salt water. It whipped them ferociously from the legion of voyeuristic helicopters that hovered on both sides of the bridge, transmitting live via satellite to the only station that still existed. On every major bridge, in every major city around the world, the treasonists were assembled. Their venue of execution was another derisively symbolic gesture, emphasizing the last tyrant’s self acclaimed trademark—the bridge. It was on every Eternal Regime Ambassador’s uniform, every military plane or vehicle, every piece of currency.
When they finally came to a halt, the accompanying soldiers led each of the captives to the sides of the bridge. Attached to the railing every three feet were coiled, hundred foot nylon ropes. Tricia bit through her lip as the noose was placed over her head and tightened around her neck.
The feedback of several hundred loudspeakers engaging at once broke the somber silence. A monotone voice demanded, “All kneel for the Eternally Willful King.” With a resounding reverberation, thousands of knees met the pavement in obedience. Many of the bound bowed themselves, unwilling to face their execution.
A different but gravely familiar voice came on, “You that have finally submitted to my glorious authority will be spared today, but only if you graciously accept the mandatory protocol.” Weak, unbelieving hands raised their shackles and were released from their noose and tethers. They all wept tears of false joy. Tricia prayed for them. “You that remain, you claim allegiance to the one you call the Living Water, but I am above Him. I make Him obsolete. I am the everlasting bridge of all people…all nations. Bow to the true savior of the world!”
The crowds cheered in response, but Tricia felt nauseous from the blasphemous speech. The woman on her left whimpered, “I can’t do this, Tricia...this is all wrong! We weren’t supposed to be here for this. Why weren’t we raptured? Maybe this one is the real messiah...”
“Don’t say that!” Tricia scorned, “Everything that has happened was prophesied, it’s just not exactly how we assumed it would be. The Bible isn’t wrong…we were wrong. Jesus is still coming! This—right here today—could be the rapture…” But it was too late. The woman knelt. A soldier unbound her and both women sobbed; Tricia feared their separation was now permanent. “No, Mom! No…”
“Your time has come, you blasphemers!” The false one bellowed through speakers heard around the world, “Ambassadors, commence the beheading of these apostates, and we will celebrate as their corpses wash out to sea.”
Tricia shuffled to the edge of the bridge at gunpoint. Filled with the Holy Spirit, she raised her cuffed hands to the overcast sky, “I beseech you, Adonai, to give your humbled martyrs comfort and peace in our final moments. Lord Jesus, use this day to draw in your Remnant…please come quickly. In your holy name I pray. Amen.”
With a collective shove, the last generation of saints traveled their last hundred feet—bound for Paradise.
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