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

TITLE: Downfalls
By Marlene Bonney


Saturnis had labored for years to become eligible for this second-in-command position. Because of the grave danger, there were not many others competing, most unwilling to jeopardize their lives on such a volatile, dangerous mission. Only the elite of the master’s minions could apply, so egocentric Saturnis had been drawn to it like a fly to a spider’s web.

Besides, he had earned the right to rule at the kingdom’s echelon, his resume boasting impressive credentials few others could claim. Highly-favored Naturas was the only opponent who concerned Saturnis—definitely a worthy enemy. He admired the base tactics Naturas had used to claw his way up the hierarchy’s ladder to become a highly valued warrior in the kingdom’s military. He also had an unsurpassed tenacity in assignments rarely successful, his perseverance paying off in the end. Now, he and Saturnis were neck-to-neck in the race of their careers. Each had an equally-matched fan base, staunch supporters for each side willing to be demoted for mutinous cowardice rather than to risk their own souls.

Grace Fuller was a seasoned prayer warrior for Hope Springs Fellowship, a small church located in Faith Haven, Michigan. She had become a Christian at a Billy Graham Crusade decades ago, followed by faithful service in the church that had schooled her in the Scriptures and built her up as she developed into a precious servant of God. Soon, she was chosen to hold prayer seminars across the country. This white-haired older woman, so insignificant and indistinctive, was the daunting adversary chosen to prove Saturnis’ mettle.

“It is extremely unusual to find such a humble personage as dangerous—which is why she escaped my radar so long. Grandiose televangelists and charismatic spiritual leaders are the usual targets. Uplifting her fellow Christians in prayer, along with her “gift” of encouragement, has made our usual fiery darts useless, like swords glancing off a soldier’s shining armor.”

Even as he spoke, Grace had armed herself for the unsuspected battle, Bible on her lap as she earnestly sought God’s intervention on behalf of her country’s leaders.

It was paramount to find her heretofore ‘Achilles’ Heel,’ some weakness Saturnis could target. He had already tried the usual bullets of sickness, betrayal, doubt, depression, discouragement, guilt, condemnation and temptation, all to no avail. Grace managed to shrug them all off, eventually, and came back stronger than ever. Finally, though, after months of trial and error, Saturnis knew he was on the brink of unchartered success. His clipped fiery wings trembled in anticipation for the planned attack. Whether God gave permission or not, his master had ordained Saturnis with the necessary power . . .

Several weeks ago, Saturnis had watered a guilt seed, dredging up from Grace’s past a ‘forgiven’ sin she had revealed to no one. A half century ago, the lady had suffered an unwanted pregnancy, culminating in an abortion. Now, the father of that aborted child was going to pursue her and threaten her with exposure. The pain and unforgiveness he had harbored in his heart for this murder of what would be his only child, was funneled into Saturnis’ diabolical plot. He would bring Grace down into the dregs of disgrace and make her pay dearly.

As Grace was continuing her meditations, the scepter from her past was raised. The phone rang, interrupting her prayers . . .

“Is this Grace Fuller?”


“This is John daily, a reporter for the Faith Haven Chronicle. We have just received information through a mutual acquaintance that you have used the religious community to conceal a crime you committed 52 years ago. We would like any comments you may have to refute these charges—made by one Stephen Crampton.”

Saturnis stood by, invisible as ever, watching. Counting on Grace’s success as a national prayer guru to beget the pride needed to ultimately destroy her ministry, he aimed and delivered his final blow: an assimilated portrait of Grace’s aborted child framed in flames haunting her tortured dreams night after night,

until she could not pray for others; instead, her prayers consisted of pleas for God’s deliverance.

Saturnis initially claimed victory when Grace Fuller’s ministry toppled, but was ultimately thwarted when Grace again claimed the victory of God’s redemptive power to release her from Satan’s attacks.

Even as Grace regrouped and formed a new ministry based on forgiveness and second chances, Saturnis was doomed and eternally dammed to perdition and the most menial job in Satan’s kingdom.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Carol Penhorwood 09/15/11
Powerful and insightful.
Linda Goergen09/18/11
Wow, very imaginative and powerful story giving a vivid, visual view of spiritual warfare! Great job on this!