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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)

TITLE: Very. Mysterious.
By Laury Hubrich


I may be only ten, but I’m not stupid. Something was going on. Usually when I walk into church with mom and dad, I get real excited; like God’s waiting for me. That gives me goose chills. Today I have a different kind of chill.

I felt it on the way there, too. My brother did his five-year-old best to torment me but I was focused on the front seat. When it got quiet in back, Mom gave Dad one of ‘those’ looks and he clammed up. It was all so very mysterious. That’s my new spelling word. M-i-s, no, M-y-s, oh, never mind. Anyway, it is. Very. Mysterious.

Grandpa Joe met us at the door. He scares me. He pulls my hair when he thinks I’m too loud and he takes away my dessert; says I’m too fat. Mom gets mad but nobody can stand up to Grandpa. I’ve seen him do the same thing to adults. He had a stroke. Dad says he hasn’t been the same since. Don’t know if I should feel sorry for him or for the rest of the world.

More people came and huddled together like football teams do on T.V. Mom shooed us off to class. Noah went. I didn’t. No one noticed. I’m short and they were busy. When Pastor walked by – well, you should have seen their faces. Wow. I knew for sure something was up. Noah has the same look when he’s in trouble. Green gills from guilt. That’s Grandma’s saying.

They all scattered after that but by then I was so sick I had to run to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet. and held my stomach. It hurt awful. Not the normal kind of hurt either, like from when I eat too much. It was more a hurt like something bad’s gonna happen. I shouldn’t have been scared I’d miss something. Clues followed me through the door. I heard someone come in.

“What are you going to do?”

“I have to believe Joe. He’s been here forever. How well do we even know Pastor?”

It was Miss Katy and Miss Becky. I knew them since I was little. Liked them, too. They whispered. I kept real quiet so I could hear. I shouldn’t have worried. They were loud whisperers. No secrets kept around those two.

Katie said, “But Joe’s been known to lie, Beck.”

My stomach finally let loose. Ugh. I heard them gasp and then the door slammed shut. At least I knew I was right. Something was happening. I must’ve made it stink good in there. The door opened and then closed real fast a couple of times. It was a good thing. God started to talk to me in that bathroom.

Wow. I was excited. I never had God talk to me before. After He said all He had to say, I figured I had a job to do. I didn’t know how or when but I knew what to say. I looked at myself in the mirror and then I got scared. “Why me, God? No one will listen to a kid.”

The longer I stood the more brave I got. I left that stinking old bathroom humming, “Be bold, be strong.”

I stood in back. I saw heads together. People whispered. I could tell where the trouble-makers sat. Dad and Mom were right there in the middle of it all. Grandpa Joe sat at the edge of his seat, like he was ready to jump up and do something crazy.

I walked down the aisle while Pastor prayed. A long prayer. I think he was scared to stop. Don’t blame him. Just as soon as he said, “Amen,” Grandpa leapt to his feet. I beat him to the stage, though, and whispered in Pastor’s ear.

He handed me the microphone, “Jesus loves the little children and Jesus loves all of you. He doesn’t want you to fight. He wants you to praise and worship Him. That’s what God wanted me to say to you.”

Grandpa froze then I saw tears fall down his face. I held Pastor’s hand and walked him down the steps with me. I slipped my hand through Grandpa’s. People huddled again; this time for a good reason. I heard them pray as I squeezed myself between the bodies. I did my job, now it was up to them. I was out of there. After all, I had junior church and we were having jelly-filled donuts.

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This article has been read 882 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marita Thelander 09/10/09
Well, if God can talk to a Donkey, I suppose he can talk to a little girl sitting in the bathroom.

There are way too many cute phrases in here to choose one, but the first one that caught my eye was [i]he did is five-year-old best[/i].

Gotta love church politics.
Chely Roach09/10/09
Okay, I love the title. :)
What a great message with a wonderful comical twist; the venue of God speaking to your MC will have me giggling all night. Fantabulous stuff.
Catrina Bradley 09/10/09
Your MC has a raw, honest voice that MADE like her, and the writing is phenomenal. I was a bit let down by her revelation; I was expecting something more profound. But then I thought about the simplicity of her message to them from God, and I realized the simplicity is revelation itself. Love it.
Seema Bagai 09/10/09
Funny piece. I liked the MC's voice. Very believable. Good job.
Charla Diehl 09/15/09
Really like your spunky MC and the wonderfully simplistic message she delivered.
Mariane Holbrook 09/16/09
What a great piece! You should place first on just the title alone. So clever and creative, just like the rest of the story! Kudos!
Jan Ackerson 09/16/09
Well-written, with a very engaging voice. A great lesson, too!
Betty Castleberry09/16/09
Your MC is a brave little girl. I'm not exactly sure what was going to happen, but I guess we don't need to know details. Loved the voice in this piece. Kudos.
Dee Yoder 09/16/09
The honesty of kids is hard to ignore. Funny and poignant--a great combination!
Lisa Johnson09/17/09
A little child shall lead them... that's what the Good Book says. Your story should be told in alot of churches I believe. Too much schism going on. Congratulations on yuor level placing and EC placing.
Beth LaBuff 09/17/09
I love your mystery. So fun and clever, Laury. Congrats on your EC!
Sharlyn Guthrie09/17/09
Clever story! The bathroom scene (or stink) made it all quite believable. Congrats on your EC!
Catrina Bradley 09/17/09
Congratulations!!! :)