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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Countdown to Christmas/Advent (10/23/08)

TITLE: While the City Sleeps
By Marilyn Schnepp


It was Christmas Eve. The sidewalks and streets were eerily quiet as I pulled my cab over to the curb and parked beneath a street light adorned with colorful, blinking Christmas lights. I glanced at my watch. It was almost midnight.

I turned off the motor and took a deep breath. Dangling down from the rearview mirror swung a little Christmas tree deodorizer that filled the cab with the fresh scent of pine. I nonchalantly flicked the ornament with my finger to make it spin and exude more of the sweet aroma as I sat back and marvelled at the tranquility and peace as the big City slept.

Suddenly the silence was broken...."Twenty-Five!" called the Dispatcher.

"Twnety-Five," I answered.

"2026 Gadsden Drive. Meet the police at that location."


When I arrived at the location there was a police car out front. The policeman came over and explained to me that an "over-the-road" truck driver had just gotten in town and had come home to see his estranged wife and bring his little girl a Christmas present - but his wife had a gentleman friend and would not allow him to come in. Thus there were words, anger and a call to the police to remove him from the premises.

"Due to it being Christmas Eve," the policeman explained, "I didn't want to lock the poor guy up, but he's got to leave before there's trouble; so would you take him to a hotel? He's got the fare."

The long-haul truck driver got in the cab. It was obvious he was both tired and angry, but he thanked the police officer for his kindness. "I drove all day to get here so my daughter would get her present, and now I'm not going to be able to see her face when she opens it up in the morning."

My heart went out to the heartbroken father, but as I was dropping him off at the Sunset Motel, I wondered if I should wish him a Merry Christmas, but before I could say anything, the Dispatcher called.

"Twenty-five." I answered.

"Pick up lady at 221 Paradise Road. Apt 14."


A middle aged lady was waiting outside of the apartment house in the cold.

"Take me to the closest motel, please," she said as she got in with a small suitcase. "I traveled all the way from Chattanooga to surprise my daughter for Christmas, and when I get here she is having a Pot Party with a bunch of hoodlums, drinking and smoking, and you wouldn't believe what all was going on in that apartment. I just couldn't stay there."

I listened as the lady sobbed and wept in the seat behind me; and once more, I dropped another lonely guest off at the Sunset Motel. How could I say "Have a Merry or Happy Holiday" under such difficult situations.

So much for the advent of ...."Peace on Earth and Good Will Toward Men."...

There are always two sides to every story, and this is that "other side", the dark side. A true story that is sad, but eye-opening, and gives one a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes in those lonely and empty streets of a big City - while the rest sleep in Heavenly Peace, awaiting the advent of dawn...and the joyful and happy celebration of our Lord and Savior's birth.

May God Bless them all....

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 11/04/08
I have to think there is some symbolism in the name "Sunset Motel." This is so sad.