Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Fame (05/10/12)
TITLE: Fickle Franny
By Marlene Bonney
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Previously, Richard had been alone and lonely, just one amongst many, buried in obscurity and destined for failure by his very sameness. His self-confidence, as fragile as his mother’s blown glass figurines, began to grow as he honed his unique talent. He performed recitals in churches, in parks, in concert halls and ultimately, as entertainment for nobility. He craved Her presence above all else and courted Her with the vengeance of a desperate man.
Now that She was always by his side, Her very presence his rabbit’s foot, it seemed that he had finally attained the attention he so richly deserved. He was no longer lonely or afraid because he had beaten the demon of failure that had once threatened to smother him into obsequious futility. He thrived in the light of Her adulation and stoked Her fires constantly for bigger and better aspirations.
Morning and night, She sang to him, stroking his ego by Her very presence; until, over time, Richard grew to depend upon Her for his very oxygen, the catharsis to his great talent. Several years went by. Then, gradually, like an developing squall, She deserted him! Richard’s world became as barren as a spinster’s womb, the twin pinnacles of success and adulation crumbling around him like smoking dust. He had placed his trust in friendship with a mistress who had eventually betrayed him for another. It left him bereft and empty, a burned out shell of shattered reliance.
Almost too late, Richard awoke to the fact that he had traded his soul, seduced by Her enticing lures of glitz, glamour, and popularity. Stripped naked and humbled by Her abandonment, Richard lay in the dust of his disillusioned self, drowning in the pool of rejection. Out of this black hole of darkness, and after another sleepless night, Richard detected a still, small voice peeling away the layers of his bruised heart like a sculptor's chisel. As morning broke, he saw the sun rise above him in glorious splendor while the voice in his soul became stronger and stronger, until nothing mattered except his response.
He became obsessed to find his mother’s old Bible, a discarded relic from his childhood that now became the only lifeline to deliverance. He finally found it wrapped in a linen cloth up in the attic. His mother’s scent lingered amongst the rest of the cedar chest’s contents, and memories washed over him like an oasis in the desert. He wrapped himself in one of her handmade quilts and sat in her old rocking chair, her “prayer chair” from long ago, and wept. He mourned her passing, his lost and wasted youth, his neglect of things unseen, as he opened the Book that had been her anchor, wanting desperately to make it his, as well.
He saw her then, his mother, this very Bible open on her lap, her folded hands lifted up in prayers for HIM. Tears were streaming down her weathered cheeks, the rivulets over time forming deep creases in her cheeks, as she pleaded for his soul. He had always considered her sacrificial life a wasted one, feeling that she deserved far more than a simple, plain existence. Now he was not so sure.
In that old, tattered Bible, Richard found the answers to life and death. He became reborn, his previous agnostic existence replaced by belief in God and His sacrificial Love. With humility and grace he redirected his God-given talent for His glory, and experienced the unadulterated joy of service amongst his individual slice of humanity that was untouched by Her, whom he now nicknamed, Franny Fame.
He now knew he was one of God’s masterpieces, as each one of us is, finding fulfillment in sharing His Love with the one-of-a-kind abilities that are God-graced to us.
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