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

TITLE: The Darkest Day
By stanley Bednarz


The line flexed like a bad varicose resurrection. No one could buy until the heavy doors crashed open. Men and women looked past each other into the pitch-black of night. Sleep deprived bodies leaned and grated against the concrete wall, sometimes shrinking beneath a stubborn wind. Periods of white specks filled the sky melting harmlessly beneath numb and swollen feet. It was the darkness before dawn and a certain sense of foreboding dread snared some in the thought that they may not survive the rush.

Fear. A panic rose like an internal tremor at first. Shuffling and jostling for position consumed the taut and weathered faces. The crowd edged perilously closer to chaos. Prepared like arctic runners in winter gear, fearing that the ground would cave beneath them; they were swept forward into the domino effect of crashing bodies.

Men and women screamed hellfire shots into the air. Hey! Hey! You're killing me!" Shouted someone. But nobody cared. "Stop! Please. No!" Several people pleaded for their life, caught beneath the avalanche. But the stampede had started, and now the unfortunate weaker vessels waited beneath the masses. Breaking, crunching bones rattled their ears.

A crescendo of cries wafted across the frozen asphalt landscape. But the echo was lost on the angels who looked down from heaven in curiosity and dread, who were instructed not to stem the crushing tide that swallowed souls.

This man, like the devil himself, the guardian of the store, playfully jingled his keys in front of the desperate shoppers. He mocked them with an evil grin while contorted faces below the glass doors lost their ability to scream. Shattered windpipes. Punctured lungs. The fallen victims looked on with rabid fear at the maddening grin of the manager.

Finally the tumbler inside the lock clicked in slow motion like raindrops into a deep well. Voices turned to growls. A clamoring and hissing took place as hundreds rushed through the gates of hell on Black Friday.

"Welcome Wal-Mart shoppers!" An authoritarian voice reverberated from the ceiling of this underworld.

It was a place where angels feared to tread and man was allowed to sink into the abyss of materialism.

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This article has been read 337 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/16/11
This was an interesting take on the topic and if I'm not mistaken this scene you so aptly described did happen last year or the year before. What a sad sight.
C D Swanson 09/17/11
I remember reading about this horrific scene of that poor persons death. This was written well, and very sad reminder of the materialistic world that "most live in."

God Bless~
Theresa Santy 09/17/11
Oh, this was good. Kept my heart pounding the whole time. I love your descriptions and I love, love, loved the last line.
Linda Goergen09/17/11
I remember hearing about this on the news too, about 2-3 years ago…it was just unbelievable to me how any object could be that important to anyone! And I thought after that, how could any of them enjoy their purchases knowing their stampede to get it cost someone their life! This was an extremely well written account of that tragedy and certainly packs a powerful message!! Terrific job!
Noel Mitaxa 09/18/11
Very descriptive and challenging approach to frivolous values; and what some bargains can cost.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/22/11
Congratulations for ranking 12th in level 3.