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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Australia or New Zealand (01/15/09)

TITLE: His Playground
By Rick Higginson


He read over the transfer orders with a scowl, and absently blew a large smoke ring. “New gal, huh? Why’d they take you off the Hollywood detail and send you here?”

The transferee brushed back greasy-looking hair and fidgeted nervously. “I was in the Porn Department. While there’s more porn than ever, the internet and technology has shifted a lot of production away from Tinseltown. With the growth down here, our superiors decided to start bolstering your ranks.”

Heaving a sulphurous sigh, he leaned back in his chair and gave her a leering appraisal. “So tell me, hot stuff, before I give you the orientation; what do you know about Australia?”

“It was settled as a giant prison, so it has not historically been one of our enemy’s strong positions,” she said, affecting a suggestive pose. “I hear we have a definite advantage here.”

The big demon stood up and glowered at her. “You can forget that line of thinking right now, toots,” he said, poking at her with a jagged claw. “We may have managed to import a lot of our kind of people to this place, but don’t even entertain the thought of overconfidence while you’re working on my beat.”

She shriveled back. “Yes, my lord.”

He grinned at her deference. “Let’s begin the orientation,” he said with a sneer, and the office vanished.

They stood in a wild area, surrounded by trees and all manners of wildlife. “What is this place, my lord?” she asked, leaning to remain hidden within his shadow.

“The pitiful ones call this land Australia, but do you know what our enemies call it?”

“No, master; what?”

“They call it - ‘His Playground’,” he said, nearly choking on the words.

“You mean Him? They call this His Playground?” She sidestepped farther into the shadow, and looked around with frightened eyes.

“Yeah, Him.” The big demon issued a stream of curses. “This is where He had – it galls me to say this – fun during creation. This is where He placed some of His most unusual and bizarre designs, and some of His most – beautiful.” He spat on the ground.

“But – does He still come here?”

The overseer grabbed her by the hair and yanked her around in front of him. “Open your eyes, trollop, and look around you. Do you think those beacons you see are made by the fleshy ones? They’re all His warriors, and despite all the evil we might smuggle in, they’re still guarding this place.”

“But I heard-”

He lifted and turned her, dangling her face close to his own. “You heard this was easy duty, toots? You heard this was like working in a great, big prison, with the evil of the mortals solidly on our side? You heard this was some back-water continent that escaped the attention of the enemy? You hear me, now. You had the easy duty back in Hollywood; our forces have a solid hold on that place, but now you’re on the front lines right in His Playground, and you’re going to have to fight for every advantage you manage to scrape up.”

“My lord, I-”

“Silence!” He held her higher and turned her to face a nearby hill where more beacons were now visible. “They know we’re here and they’re watching, so take a good look; it may be the last time you get to see them without battling them.”

The scene vanished and they were again in the dark office. He dropped her to the floor and kicked at her. “I’ll start you in the city with our vice section, and I’ll see if you can perform to my standards.”

Scrambling to her knees, she bowed with her face pressed against the rough floor. “Thank you, my lord; I will do all I can to please you.”

He leaned down over her. “Yes, you will, because there is only one place to go from here.” He cackled next to her ear, and then whispered. “You might just wish for the respite of hell after serving in His Playground.”

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This article has been read 635 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Charla Diehl 01/22/09
Oh, this is chilling, interesting and leaves the reader knowing that evil lurks everywhere. We must be on guard always and pray for all nations to know God.
Joanne Sher 01/23/09
Oh, this is GOOD. So enrapturing and fearful and wonderfully written. Wow.
Sandra DeHoogh01/23/09
Captured all the way through; great read
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/24/09
What a unique take on this topic! Very well done. I love the idea of HIS playground.
Beth LaBuff 01/24/09
Great word choices and details, "sulphurous," "blew a large smoke ring." And I love the "fun during creation" idea. That made me smile. Excellent writing!!
Jan Ackerson 01/25/09
Really squirmy--just as you wanted it, I'll bet. As always, top-notch writing and creativity.
Chely Roach01/25/09
Ooo, very prickly! Great take on the topic, and a perfect ending. Loved it.
Catrina Bradley 01/25/09
Ooh, you made the characters TOO lifelike. [shudder] Excellent job on this topic
Karlene Jacobsen01/25/09
I like the reference to "His" playground and all the most interesting creatures living there.
This was so enjoyable, Frank Peretti style.
Joy Faire Stewart01/25/09
Oh, the descriptions are so vivid...very creative and fabulous writing.
Diana Dart 01/26/09
Totally creative and captivating. I love the images - a sulphorous sigh, greasy-looking hair (that one threw me right at the beginning), kicking, yanking, etc. The mood was perfect too.
Joshua Janoski01/26/09
Very edgy! I would have liked to know what happened next. You pulled me in quickly, and it was hard to be let go. I could see this being a piece of a larger work. Great job setting the scene.
Glynis Becker01/28/09
Fantastic dialogue. In just a few words you really set a scene...a little spooky, too!
Eliza Evans 01/28/09
I don't know what to say. I'm a bit floored I think.:)

Your word choice for description and dialogue particularly for the "big guy" made me laugh (sorry)... but it is just so perfect.
Gosh. Wow.
Well done.