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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)

TITLE: The Last Trump
By Colin Swann


“I'm in the doghouse!”

Just then the pensioners' two dogs shot off after a startled hare. It left Ben and Bess as if they were at a standstill and sped up onto the high fields. The two faithful canines returned with flapping tongues and slobbering chops.

“In the doghouse? Why's that Joe?”

“Oh, I forgot our anniversary – Agnes won't talk to me now! I told her I'd a lot on my mind - what with Ben's bad reaction to his jabs. What do you think I should do Wilf?”

“Look! This is bad! It will need much more than a bunch of flowers as a peace offering. You need to grovel and tell Agnes you're a thoughtless nincompoop and that you're extremely sorry and would rather die than it happen again. That's how I get round Flo after a major blunder.”

Joe looked apprehensive: “Mmm, I'll try if she'll let me.”

Wilf glanced over at Joe. “Shall we change the subject? What did you think of that young woman shouting out 'Hallelujah' while the Reverend was speaking? I don't know where she came from but I hope she finds her way back.”

“Me too – can't do with that stuff. And that headscarf she wore looked ridiculous. I know the Queen wears one but she'd never wear it in church, that's for sure,” said Joe.

“No Joe, can't do with all that happy-clappy roly-poly stuff. St Peter's has never been the same since they took the pews out and brought that guitar band in.”

“You never hear about the Holy Rollers any more – all that dancing and rolling on the floor foaming at the mouth - good riddance I say,” said Joe

By Badgers' Brook they stopped - leaning over a gate they watched Farmer Brown doing his annual muck spreading. After a while Joe said, “He's not been to church since the rain spoiled his wheat crop last year. He never even turned up for the Harvest Festival. We'll have to pray he gets a good crop this year. Vicar says he's one of our best givers; we need him back!”

“Some strange things have happened over the years Joe. Remember when Big Mary's knees let her down and she got stuck in the pews and couldn't get up off her prayer mat. I thought we were going to have to dismantle the seating. We nearly pulled her arms out of their sockets before she shot up – remember the pews shuddering?”

Joe was cheering up with this light conversation. “Yes, and her false teeth fell out as well. She got full permission not to kneel after that. I only pretend, what with my bad knees – just put my head down like in the trenches.”

Wilf was already smiling at his thoughts: “What about Scruffy Jake? I've never been glad to see the passing away of anyone – but I was pleased when his stench was expunged from the church. All that breaking of wind and the smell of his scruffy clothes - what did you think of him Joe?”

“I'd never speak ill of the dead but I was glad when he'd gone. Embarrassing in front of the ladies! I don't think he could help it though – it only happened when he got up to sing, but he never hit the right note! I know it's only a natural function the Lord has given us but it just didn't seem right in church. I hope they've got some settling powder up there. The only blast I look forward to hearing in church now is the Last Trump – could do with that right now to escape from Agnes' anger.”

The two old saints turned back to the topic of the wounded Agnes. “It wouldn't hurt to give her a bunch of flowers though before you start snivelling and you might get a bit of sympathy if you play on your arthritis – do a bit of moaning and groaning.”

“That doesn't work; Agnes is a big believer in exercise to get the old joints going. One time I fell and hurt my back though and Agnes fussed me like a mother hen. That was a genuine fall - I could pray for one with a soft landing!”

It took Joe a whole week's grovelling and a bad cold to get back on track.

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This article has been read 778 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jeanne E Webster 10/21/10
Loved the humor here. It took a whole week, huh?! LOL. Must have been a biggie. Nice story, well written and most enjoyable. Blessings. :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/21/10
I enjoyed that it was the tough old men gossiping. Although in truth you showed gossip doesn't benefit anyone. But it was a nice setting and a pleasurable read.
Connie Dixon10/24/10
Funny. Hope this is entirely fictional but unfortunately, most of these things have happened - somewhere. Enjoyable read.
Joan Campbell10/24/10
I really enjoyed these two old characters having a good (make that bad) gossip about all and sundry. I also liked how you let the conversation stand by itself, without turning it into a sermon on gossip, thereby allowing the reader to learn their own lessons from it. Great job!
Dee Yoder 10/24/10
I, too, appreciate that the reader gets to use her own brain to figure out the moral of the story. (: The conversation is SO real, I felt I was standing in Great Britain meself, listenin' on the old codgers. This is a wonderful illustration of true conversation.
Henry Clemmons10/24/10
Funny. Entertaining and ministered your point without beating me over the head with it. Great job.
Tammie Smith10/24/10
This was funny! I enjoyed reading this.
Yvonne Blake 10/25/10
So, is that what men talk about when they go hunting?
Gregory Kane10/25/10
I feel that I ought to say something to defend the species against Lisa's remark but unlike your two garrulous old men I find that words fail me!
I enjoyed the earthy banter. Not sure that it all tied together as neatly as it could. The last line felt a bit flat to me. And by the way your title was both excellent and awful.
Lollie Hofer10/25/10
Funny, funny. Thanks for a good laugh.
Genia Gilbert10/25/10
Oh well. It is conversation. lol I enjoyed the natural flow and laughed at the honest viewpoints depicted.
Jan Ackerson 10/26/10
I grinned all the way through this--could almost hear these two old fellows.

I had to re-read the first paragraphs a few times--got the names of the dogs and the men mixed up. And the last sentence thudded a bit.

This was a refreshing and highly amusing read--I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Loren T. Lowery10/27/10
Who said men never gossip. It might have been a different setting under different circumstances, but I felt convicted none-the-less. Liked the very easy flow of the companionable dialogue.
Amanda Brogan10/28/10
Well, I know people usually think that women are the ones who gossip the most, but it goes for guys sometimes too. :)

I chuckled several times reading this. I like how you use a light-hearted air and at the same time show how silly it is when we focus on the way people look and smell and whether or not they come to church rather than being concerned with true matters of God's Kingdom. Nicely written!