Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Hotel/Motel (09/12/05)
TITLE: Gideon's Trumpet
By Benjamin Stephens
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It’s been four months since anyone paid any attention to me. That night had special meaning for me. Payton came by and drank himself into a stupor. Things had been hard for him, he said as much. He gazed into the television and watched shows that left scars on his mind. Thankfully I couldn’t see a thing from where I sat, but I heard him crying.
When he came to where I sat, I noticed a gun in his hand. He placed the gun to his temple, spittle mingled with tears as he contemplated his past and present and saw no future. He didn’t say anything, but suddenly his hand dropped to his side and he rummaged through a drawer looking for some stationary, there was a note he wanted to write. That’s when he heard Gideon’s trumpet.
Sheila dropped by and brought company. They forgot that I shared the same room and these two enjoyed the company of another’s spouse. I had never met the man before but Sheila was a frequent guest and every time she has ever been here there is a pain that has found a permanent place in the gathering wrinkles near the corners of her eyes.
He left early and Sheila sat in the chair nearest me, I was more than willing to speak to her. I had words of hope she needed to hear. She looked for a phone book, but she heard Gideon’s trumpet.
Jake had never been by to see me before and he seemed out of place. In the darkness he called out the name of his beloved, Trisha. I could see she had marched on without him and he was lost. He refused to carry on a conversation with me at first, he simply talked at me. His eyes refused to focus through the tears.
I sat in silence and watched as the old man’s grief unfurled like a stadium banner. It was safe here, no one else would know. As he placed a handkerchief to his rheumy eyes he began to hear the call of Gideon’s trumpet and he paid attention.
Sometimes weeks will go by and I am left to consider my usefulness, but these memories keep me at my post where I sit silently waiting for someone to feel my embossed letters and learn that their best hope is often found in their lowest moment. A moment when things were so bad they could finally hear Gideon’s trumpet.
My pages are bent and bruised, my cover warn and sometimes dusty. If you turn to page 752 you will see tear stains - there are other pages when the hope of Gideon’s trumpet beckoned to willing ears and broken hearts and placed celebrating angels on alert.
So, when you drop by and wonder why I sit and wait, please know that I may not be here for you. It may be that the couple whose marriage is crumbling has a need for a blast from Gideon’s trumpet. Possibly it’s a traveling salesman who is not meeting his quota or a runaway who really needs to call home.
Then again, I could be here for you - are you listening?
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