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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

TITLE: The Last Thing I Said
By Brian Russell


My stomach growls, raging for food that I can’t buy. The asphalt is cold and hard and the rain doesn’t care that I have no shelter. At least when it rains, no one can see me crying.

Cars drive past, splashing water onto my clothes. Feet walk by; no one looks down at me. I don’t blame them. I’m nobody now.

The last thing I said to my dad: “I’ll never come back to this dump.”

Dump? What I had was a good life. I realize that now, but I thought I could make it big in the city. I had dreams and ideas. My dad just wanted me to be happy. Now everything’s so…

For a while, I worked at a big name company making triple digits. I called people, selling them things that I thought existed. The job was great. I had a huge apartment, a big screen television, women, drugs; everything I’ve ever thought of wanting, I had it.

The last thing I heard from my boss was on the television as he was being put into a police car, handcuffed: “No comment.”

No comment? I thought I had such a good life. Embezzling, misrepresentation, false stocks. This is my legacy. Black-listed by employers, no one would hire me. Now everything’s so…

My apartment kicked me out. Drugs and women were all I had left. Then it was only drugs.

My body shakes constantly. My legs wobble when I stand, and I don’t know where to go. My arm is swollen and puss is oozing from a scab. The needle must have been dirty. I need help. This is bad.

Crawling toward the hospital, a car stops next to me. A door opens and feet step out of the driver’s side door.

The last thing my dad said to me: “If you ever need help, let me know.”

Need help? I’d almost forgotten what a good life I had. Everything is so bad…

The feet stop in front of me. I wince as I look up into the rain; familiar eyes peer down at me. Kindly eyes. The man takes off his coat and puts it around me. His strong hands slip under my body and he picks me up.

The first thing my dad said to me: “Let’s get you home.”

Home? What I had was so bad. I realize that now, but I thought I could make it big in the city. I had dreams and ideas. My dad just wanted me to be happy, so he came to help me. Now everything will be good.

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?” - Luke 15:4

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 05/16/09
I like how you unfolded this parable (stomach growl, rain, embezzling, drugs). Your ending reminded me of the prodigal son. I wanted to rejoice with the dad (over finding his son and taking him home.)
Marilyn Schnepp 05/17/09
I assume this is fiction, but it Does, Has and Will continue to happen in Real Life, also. I was moved to the point of tears. A writer that can emote this much emotion from their reader is indeed a Writer with a Capital "W". Extremely well written, perfect scripture, and excellent title. Kudos!