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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)

TITLE: Lonely
By Gerald Shuler


There is an unusual brilliance in the evening’s moon shine as I sit on the hillside and watch the heavenly orb track slowly, methodically across the sky. The depth of its shadows intrigues me as I trace out colorless mountains and valleys on its surface. At times, I wish I were there instead of here.

“Moon, I know you well.” I say, as though the celestial property could respond. “We share a common, haunting trait, you and I... we are both alone. You have no other moon to share your journey just as I have nobody to share mine. Perhaps you should invite me to travel with you... we would be a pair, wouldn’t we?”

I suppress a sad laugh at the thought of the moon being my soul mate. Does the moon also feel deep loneliness, I wonder, as I so intensely do? “No,” I say aloud, “you can not be lonely in the same way I am. Though you are, indeed, alone, only the living can be lonely.” Unintentionally, I sigh deeply. Only the living.

A few clouds try to skiff their way into the scenery, temporarily hiding the moon. For a while I watch the clouds blow over head. How long before they will be too burdened to carry their load and the rains come? No matter. The morning fog will supply enough moisture for my garden so the scarcity of clouds is of no concern.

I look down from my sky watching and notice a pair of rabbits at play at the base of a nearby mulberry bush. They are having a wonderful time. Somehow, deep inside my being, I envy them. Well, maybe it is not so deep inside. It is painfully obvious to me that the rabbits have something I am missing. They have each other.

“Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Rabbit,” I say to them, amused at how their ears shoot upward when I speak. “How is your family doing? Are they nursing enough? I look forward to seeing them when they venture out onto the hillside.”

Of course, the rabbits do not reply to my inquiries. They merely scamper farther down the hill in search of some succulent foliage to chew. Once again, I am left to endure my thoughts.

Tonight is strangely active. Over the next hour I have the opportunity to speak, as I did to the moon and the rabbits, to a steady stream of animals, each happily meandering with their mate. Perhaps it is simply the mood I am in but I notice, with a deepening degree of sadness, that I am the only one who is completely alone. Why must I be in this place where no other human being exists? Why have I been given a job in such a place? From the very beginning of this task I have labored in solitude, but my enthusiasm had sustained my emotional balance back then. Now, after so long alone, the desire for someone to share my thoughts with is becoming far too dominant in my mind.

As in times past, I force myself to stop dwelling on these thoughts. God knows what is best. I will trust in His good knowledge and continue doing my job. He who began a good work in me will be faithful and just to bring it to a good end.

Thankfully, the brilliance of the stars once again grasps my attention. They actually do seem brighter tonight, almost as though God were about to speak some profound proclamation.

I, though, am only briefly caught away by their beauty. I find myself suddenly becoming quite exhausted. It has been a busy day. I will rest for awhile and see what new thing tomorrow might have in store. Yawning, I lean my head against the base of an old oak tree. Before I even realize, I am nearly asleep. Just before slumber caresses me entirely, though, I seem to hear the voice of God. Am I hearing correctly?

“Sleep deeply, Adam. It is not good that man should live alone. Tonight I will take from your side a new beginning. Your loneliness has come to an end.”

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This article has been read 1171 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kimberly Michalski 04/23/09
An interesting take on the beginning. Nice.
Seema Bagai 04/23/09
I could relate to the MCs loneliness. Then, the last lines added depth to this piece.
Jae Blakney04/27/09
I enjoyed reading it, but also thought it was unlikely that the animals would be so unafraid. Then came the twist at the end to prove me wrong. Well done!
Bryan Ridenour04/27/09
Really nice take on the beginning and the end of loneliness. Well written.
Jan Ackerson 04/27/09
Gerald, this is outstanding! I don't know why I didn't tumble to the twist at all, but the aha! moment was extremely satisfying! Loved it!
Betty Castleberry04/27/09
It was all I could do not to skip ahead to see what was happening. I loved the twist, loved the descriptions, loved it all.
Carole Robishaw 04/27/09
I totally enjoyed this take on the story. No reason why it couldn't have happened just like this!
Carol Slider 04/27/09
Your descriptions are absolutely gorgeous and the ending is a wonderful surprise! Exceptional!
Tallylah Monroe04/28/09
You've done it again. One of my favorites this week. Beautiful writing.
Sharon Kane04/28/09
Superb writing. I like nothing better than reading about a well-known Bible passage from a totally new perspective that puts life and emotion into it. You delivered perfectly.
Carolyn Crook04/28/09
I loved this! It didn't even dawn on me who or what was speaking until the end.
Although I was surprised, it made complete sense.

Great story!
Rachel Rudd 04/29/09
Wow! That was extremely well done...I didn't know who it was until the end! I thought someone had lost their mate at times and then I wondered what kind of post this person was on to be all alone...Alaska or something? Hehe...so well written and well done!
Holly Westefeld04/29/09
Very nicely done, and you certainly got me with the ending.
Lollie Hofer04/29/09
This is an incredibly well-written story. The ending absolutely blew me away! The emotions were so raw and honest. You certainly passed the first person, present tense lesson with flighing colors.
LauraLee Shaw04/29/09
This is exceptional, and I'm so glad I didn't read the comments before reading. It would've spoiled my surprise. "Wow" doesn't cut it.
Joshua Janoski04/29/09
You really had me puzzled regarding where this was going. At first I related it to my own loneliness before I found Jamie. Then I started to get suspicious as to who this person was, and then you hit me with your ending, and I was like WHOA! Very nice take on the topic! I like that God gave Adam a mate.
Chely Roach04/29/09
Oh my...this was incredible. Absolutely lovely, with a wonderful ending. Loved it!