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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Grrr! (01/28/10)

TITLE: Roaming, Seeking Whom He Might Devour
By Loren T. Lowery
02/01/10


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A Denver hotel room: 2 AM

Ring – Ring

A voice groggled with sleep answers, “Hello?”

“Honey, it’s me.”

“Susan? What time is it?” He sits up in bed. “Are you okay?”

“I know it’s early, but I couldn’t sleep. I’m so excited. Yesterday the postman delivered that new CD I ordered. I haven’t listened to it yet…I wanted to do that when you got back home.”

“CD? What CD?”

“You know, I told you. From the TV evangelist, JJ Doe. The one who preaches about prosperity. It was only $20.”

There was a sigh, followed by a long pause. “No, you didn’t tell me about it. Susan. You know we’ve talked about this and you know how I feel about these 'name it and claim it' evangelist. They’re charlatans after your money.”

“Jeff…”

“No let me finish. It’s bad enough you listen to them on TV, but to bring their false teachings into our house by buying their CD’s is another thing. It’s like opening doors to the devil – opening our home to discord.”

“Jeff, please I don’t want to argue.”

“Then why did you call me all the way from Atlanta…”

“There’s something else,” she broke in, her voice anxious. “I heard a noise.”

A noise, what kind of noise?”

“I don’t know. Like a lion or bear or something. Like a growl.”

“A lion or a bear? Sweetheart, we live in the middle of downtown Atlanta atop one of the largest complexes in the city. The zoo is what ten, fifteen miles away?”

“Jeff, please don’t be condescending. I know what I heard….oh my gosh. I heard it again. Jeff it seems closer…I’m locking the bedroom door…”

“Susan? Susan? Are you all right?”

“I’m back. I’m frightened, Jeff. Oh no, I heard something crash downstairs. Oh, Jeff, help me please. I’m so scared…help me.”

“Susan, you’ll be all right. Go wedge a chair under the doorknob and lock yourself in the bathroom. Then call 911. Then call me right back.”

“I…I can’t. I’m shaking too much. I don’t know what to do…”

“Susan, I’m hanging up and calling 911 for you.”

“No don’t…don’t leave me!”

“Go put that chair beneath the doorknob and lock yourself in the bathroom. Now!”

Heart beating wildly in his ears, Jeff clicked off and dialed 911.

“This is 911, what is your emergency?”

“This is Jeff Stone. My wife just called me from 2202 Pendleton Ave., Apartment B, Atlanta, Georgia. She says there’s an intruder in the house and is too shaken to call 911 herself. Please call Atlanta and have them dispatch someone right away.”

“Yes, sir. I’m dialing now. Please give us your wife’s name and the number she was calling you from.”

Denver: 2:25AM

Hands shaking, Jeff’s voice trembles in the speaker of his phone, “Susan, Susan, please pick up.” Click. “Hi, you’ve reached Susan; I can’t come to the phone right now…”

Disconnecting, he speed-dials again. Moments later, a man answers. “Hello?”

Jeff’s voice panicked, “Hello, who is this!”

“This is Sergeant Oliver Davis with the Atlanta PD. Who is this?”

“I’m Jeff Stone. You’re on my wife’s phone. Where is she? Is she okay?”

“She’s fine, Mr. Stone. Just a little shaken. Here, let me put her on.”

“Jeff, Jeff, I’m so sorry. I was so frightened. They’re looking around now. Can’t find anything. Nothing’s been broken into…but I know I heard something…I know it.”

“Its okay, Sweetie. You did the right thing calling me. I’ll take an early flight out this morning and be in Atlanta around noon.”

“No, you don’t have to do that. I’ll be fine.”

“No, I want to. In the mean time, do something for me.”

“What?”

“Go downstairs and throw that CD from JJ Doe out of the house. I don’t want you opening it, listening to it…nothing. Just throw it out.” There was a long pause. “Susan, are you listening to me?”

“Yes, but I don’t see why…it’s just a CD.”

“Please don’t argue with me – and it’s not just a CD.”

“Why do we always have to fight about this? It’s like throwing $20 in the trash…”

“False teachings, exactly where it belong.”

Atlanta 6:30 AM

Susan speaking to herself. “I’ll just hide it here in the bookcase. Jeff never looks in here; and I’ll only listen to it when he’s not home.”

Behind her, a shadow floats across the wall, its stealth not unlike the gait of a prowling lion; its black silhouette, pulsating with a deep, hungry growl.


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This article has been read 614 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Danielle King 02/04/10
Oooh! You've terrified me! That really freaked me out! Full marks for keeping me in suspense all the way through, but that ending!!! 'Scuse me while I just nip home to sort out the book case!
Danielle King 02/04/10
Sorry. Fully recovered now. Forgot to say very well written.
Barbara Lynn Culler02/05/10
Shades of Frank Peretti!
Creepy
I want to hear more.
Lyn Churchyard02/05/10
You had me on the edge of my seat! The suspense, fear factor and general feeling of "oogyness" was great. This has potential for a much longer story, well done.

Verna Cole Mitchell 02/06/10
Well done suspense for bringing "demonic activity" into the house.
Margaret Kearley 02/08/10
Excellent. What a lesson you have depicted so clearly, illustrating that challenging verse from 1 Peter. The message has really stuck with me. Well done.

Chely Roach02/09/10
Oooh, goose pimply goodness...definite chill factor. I was enthralled with each scene change, desperate for her to listen to her husband. Excellent writing, as always.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/09/10
Wow! All I can say is it's just getting dark and I'm all alone in the house; now I've got the creeps. Excellent story. I swear something is lurking behind my back. I'm going to turn on all the lights. You certainly convinced me that evil does exist.
Fantastic writing.
Scarlett Farr 02/10/10
WOW. . . .
Sarah Elisabeth 02/10/10
This was very well written and suspenseful...loved how you formatted it
Edmond Ng 02/10/10
A frightening piece! The message gets across pretty clear of the trouble we are inviting with false teaching. You have successfully captured the fear within, and gripped the hearts of the readers. Personally, I'll prefer a closure that is less disconcerting, but on the whole you did very well in drawing the readers to the crux of the story and the meaning behind.
Carol Slider 02/10/10
I also thought of Frank Peretti... spiritual evil made flesh, so to speak. Very suspenseful, very well done!
Gregory Kane02/13/10
An excellent message with a brilliant last paragraph