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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Charade (08/14/08)

TITLE: Where is the light?
By Scott Sheets
08/18/08


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"We have to let you go." The words still echoed in Susanís ears as she moped on the paint peeled bench waiting for the bus. Four years she had given to that rotten company and now they were Ďtaking a new direction.í Thatís how she felt about her life; it was taking a new direction- south. Two weeks prior her boyfriend Ďlet her goí and a month before that her best friend moved away. Losing her job was just rancid icing on her moldy cake. And she got to eat it too. How nice.

Susan stared at the bustle of the city: parents scurrying about with their children, young business execs pacing like cyborgs with their blackberries and jawbone headsets, and prissy fairy tale princesses shopping with their daddyís credit cards. It made her sick. Susanís dad left when she was twelve and the drunk never came back. He was probably dead now anyway.

"Mind if I join you?" a casual but sharply dressed man in his thirties inquired.

"Itís a free country," Susan replied.

"My nameís Jared." He sat down beside her with his open hand extended.

"Susan," she replied with a curt smile and brief handshake, "nice to meet you." She shifted herself on the bench to face away from him, hoping he would get the hint. He didnít.

"So where are you heading?"

Nowhere fast, was the first thought that popped into Susanís head, but she refrained. "Home," she said.

"Oh, you just get off work?"

He wasnít getting the hint, so now he was going to get the whole load. "Well, if you really want to know, I got fired today and Iím going home to figure out if my lifeís worth living. So, how are you?"

"I am so sorry," the young man replied. "I had no idea. Thatís terrible. Could I, likeÖbuy you dinner or something? Donít misunderstand me; I just really want to help."

The manís face radiated sincerity and his eyes glistened with pre-tear moisture. Maybe he really did care. And besides, he was good looking. What did she have to lose. She didnít have anything to eat at home anyway.

"Why not. Where do you want to go?"

"Oh, I know a wonderful cafť a couple of blocks away. Do you mind walking?"

"Hey, weíre at a bus stop. I walk all the time."

Susan and Jared rose and strolled toward the cafť.

"You know Iíve been where you are," Jared said. "Not the exact circumstances, but wondering whether lifeís worth living."

"You seem pretty together now. What happened?"

"I found the light. The cafťís right up here. Iíll tell you about it after we order."

The stimulating conversation complemented the cafťís homey atmosphere and delightful fare. Susan had never considered the insights Jared articulated. It made more sense to her than anything else in her life right now, thatís for sure.

"So explain to me again how I can live in this light," Susan requested.

"Godís everywhere, Susan. Heís inside of you. You just need to look inside yourself and find the God that is in you."

"But what about Jesus? I was taught as a kid that you need to believe in Jesus."

"Sure, you can believe that Jesus found enlightenment, but heís not the only way. He modeled the way. In other words, Jesus tapped into the God within him and we should do the same. The lightís in you, Susan. Recognize your own divine power as Jesus did his. Start living out of that power. When I started doing that, my life turned around. Yours will too. You should check out this church."

Jared handed Susan a glossy business card portraying a resplendent angelic being on the left and the elegantly scripted words in the center, "Church of the angel of light. Come experience the God within you."

Jared paid for the meal and the two prepared to part company.

"Susan, I sure hope you check out the church."

"I will, Jared. Thank you so much. I feel a lot better."

"Iím so glad I could help. Good luck, Susan."

Jared marched out of the cafť and turned down a deserted alley. Suddenly, a hellish creature with membranous wings and twisted talons confronted him.

"Master," the fiendís guttural voice inquired, "was it successful?"

"What do you think, you foolish imp? Humans are idiots. They follow anything that Ďfeelsí right. Forget truth. The Church of the angel of light, indeed. Sheíll have no clue sheís worshipping me."


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This article has been read 434 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/22/08
Yikes--good one!
Christine Dunn08/22/08
Wow - I didn't see that twist coming! I thought Jared was a Christian at the start. A good lesson - We need to help those in need, before someone else with not so good intentions gets there first!
Catrina Bradley 08/23/08
Uh oh. This give me an icky feeling as to how easy it is for the evil one to deceive. Some really excellent writing here.
Clyde Blakely 08/25/08
An excellant example of a charade too many fall into. A ? mark after "What did she have to lose" and "Why not", with one spelling error noted (spell check might have pick these up). I really liked the flow and the message.
God blass and keep writing.
Sunny Loomis 08/26/08
Very good story. Jared seemed nice enough during most of the story until the end. Then we see who he really is. Nicely done.