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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Red (10/01/09)

TITLE: Burn Daddy, Burn
By larry troxell
10/04/09


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Iím joining Jesus tonight, except first, Iím stopping in hell to interrogate my Real Mom and watch my Real Dad.

How long before Current Family grasps Iíve ignited a fire in my upstairs bedroom? Iím pretending to read my red-letter Bible from my Real Grandma; however, Iím guarding Current Little Brother. No baby should ever be hurt by anyone for any reason.

I moved in with my Real Grandma after my Real Mom allowed my Real Dad to assault me. He went to hell after he was killed in prison and my Real Momís there, too. She joined him after dying of a drug overdose.

My Real Grandma loved me, but she eventually told the state she was too old to handle a small child. She gave me a Bible, pointing out that the sentences in red were the words of Jesus, and I should pray about what they said on how to live my life instead of focusing on what my Real Dad did. I believe she grieved for my Real Mom who let my Real Dad burn me with cigarettes after he performed sinful acts.

I believe I see a question mark in Current Momís eyes. Does she smell a hint of smoke? Current Little Brother is yawning while Current Dad is snoring in his recliner.

After I left my Real Grandma, numerous foster families pretended to love me but were only after the extra money. Last Mom just wanted to appear beautiful for her husband, a deceiving deacon at the big downtown church. Last Dad caused me to bleed after my 12th birthday party. He threatened he could prevent me from reaching Heaven if I ever told what immoral acts he did. I didnít tell but I demanded my social worker locate me another home.

ďFrank, the house is on fire,Ē Current Mom screams. ďRun, now!Ē I watch as she barrels out the front door with crying Current Little Brother. I canít believe Current Dad is wrestling to save the fireproof safe in the coat closet. Stupid!

Doesnít anyone even notice me? Clinging to my red-letter Bible, I head upstairs. Iím coughing from the smoke and my eyes are burning, yet Iím strolling into hell, and then on home to Jesus. Fire is lapping the closet where stacked newspapers under the clothes are now ablaze. Flames are spreading rapidly as they breathe the night air through the window I left open.

At least I know Current Little Brother is safe. I tell myself everything will be all right as I struggle to reach the burning bedroom. Jesus seems to be so nice when he talks to me in the red sentences; still I want to know from him, in person, how to be happy.

When I reach hell, Iím asking my Real Mom why she allowed my Real Dad to hurt me over and over when I was a baby and all I could do was scream. I blame her; all the same Iím not forgiving my Real Dad. I want to observe him wrestling with the never ending fire as I cheer, ďBurn, Daddy, burn!Ē

ďI love you, Jill.Ē

Is that Jesus I hear? I feel someone wiping my face with a cool wash cloth, trying to comfort me; it sounds like tears in Current Momís voice.

ďJill, youíre in a childrenís psychiatric hospital but everything will be fine. We have a new house and we want you to continue being part of our family as quickly as the doctors release you.

ďGod saved your life, Jill. I found you collapsed at the top of the stairs, clasping your red-letter Bible, and repeatedly crying out to Jesus.Ē

I guess I didnít reach hell. I sort of like this though.

ďHey, youíre waking up. Here, sip your favorite Mountain Dew Red I brought you.Ē

I smile at Current Mom who Jesus has sent to protect me. No more trips to hell.


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This article has been read 494 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mary Alice Bowles10/09/09
Kind of a shock to the nervous system, but these things really do happen and I am so sorry for these children.

Jill, looks like you are in the hands of a forgiving current mom. That is what Jesus does best, forgive.

Thank you Jesus for the blood that you shed on Calvary, now we can be free!
Jan Ackerson 10/09/09
This is excellent! Very literary, and extremely compelling. Top-notch writing, absolutely.
Allen Stark10/09/09
Quite a compelling story and unique perspective. I only hope the piece wasn't a personal essay. Your writing easily helps to form mental pictures. Nice job.
Mark Bell10/10/09
Good, clear imagery. The first part reads more along the form of a diary or perhaps suicide letter, though. The change to the family rushing out was a bit abrupt from the original form, as was the transition to the hospital. Still, it was all very real in the imagery and expressions. An excellent reminder of how unreal so many can be who hide behind the mask of the church.
c clemons10/11/09
Good writing. I like your style.
Rachel Phelps10/12/09
You captured the intensity of the child's hurt and rage in a clear, startling way. I like the way the pacing and words kept me off-kilter through-out. The stark nature of the story is captivating.
Colin Swann10/13/09
A very disturbing piece - but true to life for some. Compelling reading and well written. Colin
Shilo Goodson10/13/09
Wow, amazing!! This was great writing. I could feel the child's pain. I am glad that the girl was able to find a loving family at the end. I only wish that all children could have that.
Sherrie Coronas10/14/09
Wow. This is really, really well done. A fantastic read..and yes, shocking.
Mona Purvis10/15/09
Oh, Larry. Intensely raw, savage even. But, so well written and AUTHENTIC.
I am in the middle somewhat of a situation that this is so similar to. "Friends" who fostered a young girl and within the last month I have learned that he is a pedophile and has many victims including the child.
Your story tore the emotions right out of my heart.
Mona