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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Employment (01/26/12)

TITLE: Dino the Kid
By Tim Pickl


Drifters arrested in 7 towns across the territory for everything from disturbing the general peace to cold-blooded murder.

“Excuse me, sir?”

“Uh, yes, how may I help you?”

“Are you the Preacher?”

“Yes sir, I am. What—”

“I don’t mean to interrupt your newspaper readin’ this mornin’. I was walkin’ by an’ noticed you’re workin’ on this church buildin’…”

“I’m not sure we’ve met before, son. What’s your name?”

“My name is Dino. Folks call me Dino the Kid ‘cause I look so young.”

“Where’re you from? I know you’re not from Springfield.”

“I’m from out East—I’m just passin’ through.”

“I see… so, what can I do for you?”

“Well, sir, I see you’re workin’ on this church buildin’.”

“Yeah, she needs some repairs after the terrible storms on Saturday. We still had worship on Sunday—just yesterday—but the sun was shinin’ through a big ol’ hole in the roof. We think it was a ternado.”

“Well, sir… I am in desperate need of employment. I wanna help you get the church repaired. Whaddya say?”

“Well, I have to think and pray on it.”

“Please, sir? I really need to eat, mostly.”

“Okay, here’s what I’ll do. You can help me with the repairs, an’ I’ll feed you three square meals a day. How does that sound?”

“That is an answer to prayer, sir. Thank you.”

“All-righty then. No time like the present, I always say. How about you help me unload the wood outta the wagon? I was just finishin’ readin’ my paper anyways.”

“Okay, you want me to pull the wood out?”

“Yes sir. We’ll pile the wood on the south side.”

“Preacher, sir—what is your name?”

“My name is Elijah. Some folks call me Pastor Eli.”

“I am so thankful to meet you, Elijah.”

“Bein’ thankful is the beginning of a great attitude. I’ve preached that sermon a few times!”

“I can see you are a good man…”

“There are none good, but God Himself.”

“...I feel bad for what I need to do.”

“And what is it, Dino, that you feel you need to do? Can’t you see God led you to me? He answered your prayer…and He provided employment for you--”

“I really, really need money, Elijah. I got debts to pay. I hate to do this…”

“Don’t point that gun at me. I’m warning you, son.”

“I need all the money from your collection plate.”

“I’m warning you—you don’t wanna do this.”

Go! Just go in there now an’ git it!”

“I am on my way… but remember I warned you, son. Violence is not the answer.”

“What? What in the world? Where’d you guys come from?”

“I see you met my friends.”

“Yeah, they came outta nowhere an’ tied me up. So what gives? Where’d they go?”

“Let’s just say you are now kneelin’ on holy ground, an’ leave it at that.”

“I usually can break free of most ropes, but those guys really got me. Are you gonna turn me into the Marshall?”

“I dunno. That’s up to you. I’m givin’ you the choice, Dino.”

“A… choice? What choice do I have? I choose to survive.”

“You have the choice every day to either live for God an’ do the right thing or live fer yourself and die a miserable death, like by hangin’…which is the path you were on until you met me.”

“So…. how does I live for God? I would need a fresh new start… a place to live…”

“You can live here, with me. I will teach you how to live for God and not for yourself. As you build your relationship with Him, you will learn to love and cherish the souls around you, rather than see them as a means to a selfish end.”

“Elijah… I am so sorry…so sorry…”

“Tell Him about it. He knows that one day I was just like you. I came to Springfield an’ met the old preacher who took me in an’ taught me The Way. See, there are no accidents with God…He knows, Dino, He knows.”

“I will do this. I want to live for God here, in His employment, with you.”

“Then, my friend, you are set free, indeed.”

Whoa—what happened to the knots in the rope?”

“Repentance—setting your affection on Him—sets the soul free. You’ve learned your first lesson.”

“Thanks...I have a confession…


“My real name is Elisha.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Hiram Claudio02/02/12
This was a very cute story and well put together. It probably could have benefited from descriptive paragraphs that explained things as they happened in between various moments of dialog but with a word count limit, I know that's tough.

I liked the message a lot and found the Elijah-Elisha twist at the end very amusing. Nicely done.
C D Swanson 02/02/12
Very nicely done. I enjoyed the entire story. I loved the Elisha-Elijah ending! Cute! God Bless~
Leola Ogle 02/02/12
How sweet! Love the old preacher and the Elijah-Elisha connection at the end. God bless!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/08/12
This was great and very suspenseful. I wish there had been a tad more character development but I understand the word limit makes it difficult to do that. Oh true the message is for each one of us today.