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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blowout (04/28/11)

TITLE: Masks
By Susan LeDoux


692 words

“I knew I should have bought a help-at-your-fingertips-GPS system with a car attached,” I muttered aloud. When worried, I find comfort in my own voice. My talking out loud drives my husband nuts, but it soothes me. I needed soothing now; lost somewhere on the backside of nowhere at quarter to midnight, and searching the dark for any familiar landmark. I had tried to take a shortcut and the familiar quickly became unfamiliar. Still, certain of my general direction, I turned on the radio and hummed along to an “oldie.”
I’ll just keep driving west.
The news came on. Apparently the police finally had a description of the person who had snatched those two women last week. I shivered and double checked my door locks.
My front tire’s blowout sounded more like a muted “whoppa whoppa” than a bang, so I told myself the noise was because of the rough country road. I exited the boarders of my state of denial when the steering became difficult and metal scraped concrete. I pulled over and moaned. Not one to panic, I flicked on the overhead light, dug through my purse for my cell phone and turned it on. The display read “Hello” and then “Goodbye.” Heartless! No appeal! The battery was dead. I lowered my head onto my steering wheel and pled, “Dear God, I have no idea where I am, but you do. And you are with me. Please help!”
I yelped and jumped when I heard, “Got a flat? Need help?” I mean, I’ve heard about quickly answered prayers, but really, this was lightening fast. My rescuer must have driven up while my eyes were closed in prayer. I saw a nicely dressed man, sport coat open to a beige turtleneck sweater. His soft brown eyes looked concerned from behind steel rimmed glasses.
“Where am I? It seems I’ve gotten lost in my own home town!” I lowered my window a crack so he could hear me.
“Hinchey Road. Straight ahead five miles is Lowden Point Road, by the dump.”
Aha! Now it made sense. If I could have continued, I would have been just fine. But then, there’s the blowout to deal with. I brightened. “Could you call Triple A for me? My cell is dead.”
“I’m afraid mine is too. I loaned it to my daughter yesterday and never recharged it.” He had a nice turn- down smile. He seemed so gentle and kind. Maybe I was being paranoid. I had my finger on the window control but hesitated.
Just then, someone in a Ford 150 pickup passed us and suddenly stopped. The truck made ominous sounds of distress as it slowly backed up. The driver, dressed in dirty jeans and muddy sweatshirt, unfolded from the cab and walked purposefully to my rescuer. He wore an ominous expression on a face that had not seen a razor in at least a day. Mr. Turtleneck Sweater stiffened.
Who is this guy? Could he be the one they’re looking for? He looks scary! Maybe I can let this nice guy into my car…and we can lock the doors. Would there be time? I was just about to open the door when I froze. The truck driver pulled a gun that looked like a small cannon from behind his back and leveled it at the man standing by my window. Oh dear God! He’ll kill us both!
In a flash, the man with the gun was upon my rescuer, and when he raised and opened his other hand, the silver star caught a shaft of moonlight. His voice was deep.
“Monroe County Sheriff. I’m arresting you for kidnapping and murder. You have the right to remain silent…..” He spun him around, rammed him against my car, and grabbed his wrists, yanking them in an upward jerk. Snapping handcuffs on him, he continued Mirandizing him.
Lying safely in my bed that night, I prayed the Lord’s Prayer with extra fervor - especially the words, “deliver us from evil.” I apparently have no idea what evil looks like. Good thing my Father in heaven can see behind the masks.

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This article has been read 407 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Yvonne Blake 05/10/11
Oh Man! That's scary!
It would make it easier to read if you left an extra line between paragraphs.
Now, to make sure my cell phone is charged...
Joanne Sher 05/10/11
I love how you "broke down" the stereotypes here. Nicely done. You definitely had me scared.
Sunny Loomis 05/10/11
Good story! You kept my attention all the way through. God does watch over us. Thank you.
Noel Mitaxa 05/11/11
I love how you have overturned my expectations of a sugary answer to prayer with the honesty of real life, and skilfully infused it with a touch of divine humour.
Minor picky point: you misspelled "border" as "boarder;" and I echo the request for more spacing between those very well-written paragraphs.
The title was great.
Linda Goergen05/13/11
I echo the spacing suggestions! Detracts when it all runs together!

But still this was a well written, vivid and emotional read! I love the ending about God seeing behind the masks! Great job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/13/11
Congratulations for placing 6th in level 3!
Lisa Johnson05/24/14
Agree that this is a scary picture of what, all too often, makes someone a crime statistic. Funny about those "masks," but Satan is the duke of deception, isn't he.