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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Where Angels Fear to Tread (not about the book) (09/08/11)

TITLE: Moxie's Message
By Tim Pickl


“You’re finally heading home just now? It’s really late.”

I know I shouldn’t have stayed that long, but I was caught up in conversations.

“Well, the Church Board meeting went long, and then I was chatting with a couple of members after the meeting. We were just getting caught up on what’s happening with our families.”

“Uggh—that Board Room is more like a chat room! Well, Moxie hasn’t been let out since early this morning. Please don’t get angry with her like you did last time.”

“I know…I know. I was really tired and aggravated that day.”

“Like you are now?”

I AM tired and irritated. How does she know?

“Hey, I better hang up. Lots of traffic out here; looks like there may have been an accident—oh, no. Why are they doing this tonight?”

That’s ALL I need: more delays.

“What’s going on?”

“It’s one of those roadblocks we saw on the news last night. They’re checking for drunks or terrorists or both. Arrgh—I don’t have time for this.”

“Well, get home as soon as you possibly can. I would run home, but it’s busy at the hospital tonight—must be a full moon.”

“Yeah, something like that. This is crazy. Anyway, talk to you later, I love you.”

“I love you too.”

An officer walked up to my car and motioned me to roll down my window.

“Sir, we are conducting a safety check: please stay in this lane as we perform the check.”


I hope they hurry it up. I’m getting tired—tired of waiting all the time.

I turned on the news radio to see if there were any stories about what the roadblock might be about. Nothing there—just some talk show, bantering about the latest national political antics.

I could care less. What IS taking so long?

I finally got to the point where a team of officers swarmed around my car and checked it out. One of the officers stayed behind with a handheld device and started asking me questions.

“Sir, do you normally drive this way at this time?”

“Okay, I’ll keep answering your questions, but what in the world does this have to do with safety? Frankly, it’s none of your business.”

“I think we have one here. Sir, step out of the car.”

Oh, okay, so now they think I am a drunken terrorist. This is crazy.

I complied with every silly test they gave me, and apparently passed, because they let me go with a Warning ticket.

Now I’m really tired and fed up. I hope Moxie didn’t make too much of a mess.

When I pulled into the driveway, I could already hear Moxie—the ever-energetic golden retriever—jubilantly howling with excitement to see me. I opened the door leading into the kitchen and was simultaneously hit with Moxie jumping up on me and a wretched smell. I pushed her away and then immediately realized that Moxie had a field day. Newspaper, magazines, toilet paper and my good leather church shoes were chewed up and shredded, strewn everywhere throughout the house.

What in the world!?!?

I lost it.

I started mercilessly kicking the dog. Moxie hunkered down in fear of my wrath because she had been there once before.

“Why are you doing this?”

Who said that?

“Why are you hurting me, master?”

“Moxie? What—how—how are you talking?”

“Thank you for stopping. I was bored today and I needed to go out. Where were you?”

I must be going crazy.

I slumped to the kitchen floor, and reached over to Moxie. “I worked late, then I had a Board meeting…and… I’m so sorry, Moxie.”

“It appears Mr. Baxter has received the message.”

Okay. Now what?

I stood up to confront two intruders. “Wh-who are you and how did you get into my house?”

“Our names are not important.”

“We were sent to you to deliver a message.”

I have lost it. I am nuts. Now I am seeing ghosts…or angels?

“Are you angels…?”

Wait a second--

“Are you reading my mind?”

“We cannot read your mind; only observe your actions.”

“The thoughts of mankind are specifically forbidden: your thoughts are closed to us.”

That’s a good thing.

“What did you mean, I received the message?”

“Moxie’s message.”

“She asked you why.


“Moxie is right. I’ve learned that my anger doesn’t produce the righteousness of God. With His help, I’ll be slower to get angry. Thanks Moxie…”

Hey, where did those angels go?

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This article has been read 559 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/16/11
This was an interesting read. It was original and I could relate to the MC. I've come close to taking out my frustrations on my puppy when I was trying to housebreak him. I'm glad I didn't need angels to come to my door.

I was a tad confused Was the roadblock just part of life or did the angels put it there to test the MC's patience?

The message is a god one, and one I need to be reminded of every now and then.
C D Swanson 09/17/11
Intersting and disturbing take on the talking donkey of Balaam in Numbers.

I pray this was "pure fiction" - Good ending. Very profound. God Bless~
Linda Goergen09/17/11
Being the animal lover that I am, parts of this certainly aroused my anger…when it said he was mercilessly kicking the dog my emotions were coming unglued! Thank God the angels arrived and let the dog talk! Nothing can be more forgiving than a dog, it will try and love and lick the hand of even those that abuse it! And the fact that the man in the story seemed to call himself a Christian too, (as he was at a church board meeting) was even more upsetting! He had better hug Moxie then spend some quality time on his knees! This may have been too real for me, I detest animal abuse and it sure stirred my emotions! LOL Thank God it ended well!
Theresa Santy 09/17/11
Very entertaining and unique take on the theme. For the life of me, I could not think of a place angels would dare not go and when you said the human mind I absolutely loved it. If I was an angel, that's definitely one place I would avoid.

One comment: I think it's "I could not care less." Because if you could care less it means you care enough to take some away, right?
Noel Mitaxa 09/19/11
Interesting take on how God talks to people. Balaam had an ass, now a talking dog to gain attention - would that be "ruff" justice??? There's a lot going on here, especially on the way to Moxie's message, which I feel could readily expand with a little more humour to lighten your MC's load.