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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Black (10/15/09)

TITLE: The Parable of the Blackie Cousins
By Kate Oliver Webb
10/19/09


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(With Apologies to C. S. Lewis)


It was an unhappy day for the Blackie cousins: they had just been assigned to Podunk City in Nebraska.

“Your fault, Buzzy!” shouted Baldebub (“my friends call me Bubba”) Black.

“Weren’t!” Buzzard Blackie shouted back at his cousin.

“You coulda got that last guy,” Bubba harrumphed. “In Noo York City, of all places! THE place for temptation, if ever there was one.”

“The Prince told YOU to do it,” Buzz grumbled. “You know temptations there better’n I do—you’ve been assigned there lots, remember? Now we got this gal we gotta get outta The Light’s clutches. Gals ain’t so easy, bein’ soft-hearted ‘n’ such. Out here inna middle-a nowhere—we gotta create our own temptation, cuz they ain’t thick on the ground in the middle-a nowhere. I mean—Noo York, well, there’s lotsa stuff there to trip up a guy; ‘n’ a GUY, they’re easier somehow, ya know?”

“Quit yer bellyachin’, Buzzy,” Bubba said. “She’s gonna be easy, BECAUSE she’s soft-hearted. I got a plan, don’t worry.”

They popped up in a little bookstore to catch a conversation between Bonnie Wells and Cora Flowers. It seemed Cora had belonged to The Light for some years, but had been unable to persuade Bonnie to believe in Him. When business was slow (and in Podunk, how could it not be, occasionally), Cora tried to take advantage of the situation by sharing little tidbits of her faith with her friend. But Bonnie was sophisticated, well-read, had even traveled to countries which had birthed world religions and had studied them in depth. Cora’s experience was limited to the local Community Christian Church which, according to its advertising, preached “Christ and Him crucified.”

Bubba elbowed his cousin, said: “This one’s gonna be a breeze, Buzz. This Miss Wells has been around the world; she’s been tempted, but she’s got a moral streak a mile wide. That means we got to use the one Big Temptation: get her to believe there is no God. Simple.”

“Simple,” Buzz echoed. “Huh. Like how?”

Just then all attention was drawn to a horrible screech followed by the mother of all crashes. Screams followed, along with unintelligible shouts and sounds of running feet. Cora and Bonnie were drawn irresistibly to a chaotic scene just outside the shop’s front door. Bonnie’s eyes lit immediately on two small lumps on the sidewalk, nearly at her feet. Rushing to them, she discovered two tiny bodies, boys of perhaps two years of age, bloody and lying in twisted heaps.

***

Two weeks later, Cora and Bonnie were back in the bookstore, talking during another slow period. Bonnie had been angered and deeply disturbed by the car accident which had killed two little boys in front of their shop.

“Cora, if God exists, how could He let such things happen?” she asked for the third (or thirtieth) time, tears again welling up in her eyes. “That’s been the thing I’ve been asking all along, you know. I mean, you believe in Him, that’s bringing you peace—but honestly, can you say you can continue to believe in Him when such things happen? And they happen all the time.”

One thing Cora knew for sure: nothing she could say would change Bonnie’s mind. Cora’s own belief in God had nothing to do with whether such things happened, or didn’t. Her faith was based on simple trust in the love which He had revealed to her heart. This was something she couldn’t explain, even to herself—it was just a fact.

So she prayed silently: “Lord, I’m asking you to send your Holy Spirit to guide Bonnie to your truth. By your Spirit, please make yourself real to her, because there’s nothing more I can say.”

The Blackie cousins hung back in the darkest corner of the shop, listening and watching. Buzz gasped, “Oh, now she’s done it…” and Bubba leaned against his cousin, holding his stomach and moaning.

Cora said one more thing. “Bonnie, there’s nothing I can say to convince you, except to tell you that God loves you. He would have sent Jesus to die on that cross, even if you were the only person in the world. What will you do with that love?”

In the shop’s dark corner, there was a small sound of sizzling. Where there had been two distinct dark figures, there was now one greasy, oily black stain.


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This article has been read 426 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 10/26/09
I really liked the countrified demons--really unique characters.

I felt a huge disconnect between the amusing first half and the shocking accident--almost like two different stories. And I'm not sure if Cora's words would have convinced me, after such a horrible accident.

Either the hillbilly demons, OR the witnessing Christian would be a wonderful story--it's probably just me. Superb writing that really drew me in.
larry troxell 10/27/09
two stories in one. you're great with dialogue.
Mona Purvis10/27/09
Having the accident occur in their presence with two children being killed and then not following up in any way with it left a big hole in the story.
I think the story was "too big" for the word count and if you had more words at your disposal this could be very good indeed.
Mona
Myrna Noyes10/27/09
Buzzy and Bubba were very interesting characters, and I enjoyed "listening into" their conversations! This line made me laugh: "Out here inna middle-a nowhere—we gotta create our own temptation, cuz they ain’t thick on the ground in the middle-a nowhere." :)

I also liked the ending, where the power of prayer blocked the demons' attack. Great last line!
Joy Faire Stewart10/27/09
I found the writing to be very interesting with great detail to dialogue. Good ending to the story.
Kellie Henningsen10/27/09
I liked the story -- I've enjoyed books by Peretti that deal with the spiritual warfare going around so this kind of writing draws me in. There did seem to be some disconnect in the story but there was much about it that was really well written!
Beth LaBuff 10/27/09
I think I've been to that town... or one like it. :) I liked your ending very much!
Diana Dart 10/28/09
Intriguing characters with great voices. Very genuine feeling. Maybe a bit light on topic?? Could be just me.