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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)

TITLE: Exorcisms and Earthquakes
By Melanie Kerr


Artie (I would say Dear Artie, but we both know that would be assuming relationship we donít share)

This is my letter of resignation. I know that you havenít asked for one, but we both know itís required. No one gets away with embarrassing you and I think we can both agree you were deeply embarrassed this morning.

Nothing gets by you, and no doubt all my business dealings with the Company were known if not openly acknowledged. I wouldnít say that I earned a great deal but every little bit helps. No one lasts long in our profession and the pension isnít a big one.

I have never been as good a judge of a man as you, and the little fella with the thinning hair didnít seem a threat. We have had out fair share of preachers come to town, delivering their fire and brimstone sermons. Who could have anticipated what this one would do?

There will be no more backhanders from the Company from their lucrative little scam. They should have kept a better rein on the slave girl. Itís funny how she could see everyone elseís future, but she couldnít see her own. She would have given the little fella a wide berth otherwise. I wonít go into details about what she said about him. Well, you heard it, didnít you? She was shouting it loud enough.

Did you see the look on the Company bossí face when the little fella ordered the demon to leave? Itís not often you see someone get the best of him. I know youíll call me soft, but Iím glad that she is free. There is something in all of us that longs for freedom. You donít need to be demon possessed to be used by someone.

The Company certainly knows how to stir things up. It was like some desert whirlwind. One minute all peaceful, and then we were in a war zone. I am sure you will appreciate that I acted swiftly. Emotions were running high. The Company can be quite creative in how they deal with people who cross them, so I took the path of least resistance.

Flogged and imprisoned, I thought that was the end of it. Everyone wins, except for the little fella in the prison.

I should have remembered that little fellas sometimes have big friends. I donít normally think of earthquakes and acts of God being related in any way, but I have since changed my mind.

For just one nightmarish moment I thought about all those prisoners scattering back to the gutter once the chains fell off. You remember all those bodies from Seleucus the Slice. Imagine him back out on the streets of Philippi.

Even if the earthquake wasnít divine, those hardened criminals sitting there in the prison with no chains, listening to the little fella singing Ė thereís your miracle. Not a one of them missing! Some say luck, I say miracle.

No doubt you will have got the report from the jailer. Donít you find that amazing? To keep someone like Seleucis the Slice in chains you have got to be a bit of a psycho yourself and yet thereís the jailer was washing wounds and inviting the little fella to tea.

I never thought Philippi was an exciting place to live, but exorcism and earthquakes donít happen every day.

I guess the little fella wasnít so little after all. The man had some big moves all of his own. Youíd have thought heíd just be glad to be out of prison and on his way. We never anticipated him calling for you.

How was I supposed to know heíd turn out to be a Roman citizen? Oops! OK, so we cut a few corners. We never asked any questions. We bypassed the trial. The punishment was a tad enthusiastic.

I have to take my hat off to you! A personal escort to the edge of town! You know how to do all the pomp and ceremony bit and that is what makes you a great magistrate. You almost managed to pull the dignified pose off, but letís be honest, the little fella with all his bruises looked like the man in charge.

And that gets me back to my resignation. Iím going to be joining the little fella for a while.



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Member Comments
Member Date
Sheri Gordon01/22/10
Loved the take on this Bible story. Very interesting to read it from this POV. I was wondering how you were going to work the "oops" in--very clever.
Gregory Kane01/24/10
I enjoyed this very much. Some wonderful understatement. And the use of the Company conjured up images of Prison Break or some such, all very fitting. My only doubt with your story is whether it's really an Oops. But that said, it's creatively pushing the boundaries
Rachel Phelps01/24/10
One of the most creative takes on the topic I've seen this week. Well done!
Barbara Lynn Culler01/25/10
Very creative version! Would have loved to see your characters witnessing the exorcisms and earthquake!
Ruth Brown01/26/10
You are a gifted story teller.
Just a touch of mystery,surprise characters,all very well done.