Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: On the Telephone (11/18/10)
TITLE: Ambush of a Tele-Phony
By Linda Germain
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He turned up the nearly empty bottle of rot-gut to suck the last few drops into his disease ridden belly. A stinking dribble stuck to his unshaven chin.
What was cruel and criminal in reality seemed exciting in a substance-abused, sick brain. That was before he called Liza Bellweather. She had his number before he knew what hit him.
Liza didn’t sleep well since Harry had been gone. She sat propped against pillows in the big lonely bed and read. The sudden intrusion into her quiet night made her jump. Her telephone I.D. screen showed caller unknown.
As soon as the anonymous, gravelly voice slurred, “Hi ya' doll baby…watcha’ wearing?” she surprised him with a well aimed counter-attack.
“As a matter of fact, I’m wearing my warm, pink flannel gown buttoned up to my neck and a pair of my husband’s wool socks. Is this a poll of some kind?”
Frankie Rogettela was not prepared for a quiz. The usual response was a quick slamming of the receiver, or even the blast of a whistle. He had to retreat for a few seconds and think of an answer.
Liza struck again. “Then why in the world would a drunken stranger call me in the middle of the night to ask such a stupid question? Don’t you have anything better to do?”
Frankie was back on his game by now and blasted her with an arsenal of profanity and innuendo. He didn’t expect the return serve to be so fast. She sounded like his third grade teacher.
“If you were my son, I don’t care how old you are, I would wash your mouth out with soap…and not the expensive stuff either. Would you use that kind of language in front of your mother?”
The pitiful excuse for a man was so taken aback he was nearly speechless; nearly, but not quite. He had one more bomb to drop on her royal highness of flannel. This always got the older ones.
After, “Listen honey,” he delivered a barrage of evil slander against God. There was silence on the other end. Aha, that got her for sure.
When she finally spoke, he could not miss the authority and power in her voice.
“STOP! No one…and I mean NO ONE…will talk about my Lord and Savior like that. You owe me an apology, and you certainly owe more than that to the One who created you. You should be down on your disgusting face this minute BEGGING Him to forgive you.”
“Oh yeah? What are you…some kind of religious nut or somethin’?”
Liza was going full steam ahead now.
“Is that all you have? After dumping that vile payload of ugliness on a decent woman, you are so spent you slink off like a filthy roach when the light shines on your sin.”
“Lady, I don’t know what yer talkin’ about. Besides, there ain’t no god.”
That was her opening. Her authority never wavered.
“What is your name?”
Before he realized it, he had told her.
“Well, Frankie…I’m here to inform you there absolutely is a God. You have blasphemed Him and attacked one of his children. Since you are obviously so ignorant you don’t even know what you’re saying, I’m going to read something very important to you from His Book. First, though…lay the phone down and go wash your dirty face. Then you come right back and listen to me.”
Frankie stumbled into the seedy motel bathroom and followed her orders. He was strangely relieved when he picked up the receiver to find her still there. Maybe I’m going crazy.
She read about sin, forgiveness, and repentance. Frankie felt helpless. He began to cry. She told him to open the curtains, go get some food, and call her back.
“Yes Ma’am,” is all she heard.
She prayed with great urgency, “Lord, thank you for this sudden opportunity to witness to a lost soul. Please lead him to open the Bible. I have faith there is one in the drawer.”
She stayed on her knees interceding for the foul-mouthed degenerate until dawn crept into view. One thought hammered at her heart: he was once someone’s precious newborn baby boy.
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