Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Risk (05/17/12)
TITLE: Tick Tick Tick
By Carole Robishaw
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"Yes, that's true, however, if I am telling you the truth, you will be richer and more powerful than you can possibly imagine. I'm offering you everything you've ever wanted and dreamed of, and couldn't even comprehend existed. I have given you all the facts, you just have to make a choice: believe, or not."
"I need time to think, this is too much too fast."
"Sorry, I've already given you all the time you need."
Tim stared out the window. He couldn't see anything through his glazed his eyes. It was impossible to read what he was thinking from his fixed expression. His hands were clenched and sweat was dripping down his face, soaking into the collar of his custom made suit. His breathing was rough, as if he had just run a marathon, but he hadn't moved from his stance at the window in some time.
"The clock is ticking. How much longer are you going to wait Tim? If you don't say yes, I have to assume your answer is no. There is no middle ground. All or nothing."
"Your claims aren't possible, nobody can achieve what you're promising."
"So, is that your answer?"
Tim stared at the reflection of the man standing next to him. His heart began to palpitate. "I.. I just can't believe it's really that simple. I've spent my entire life trying to achieve what you are offering me." The reflection he was staring at wavered. <i>This is all my imagination, he isn't even real. This can't actually be happening.</i>
"Oh, I'm real. I'm as real as you are. I'm as real as that mountain in your multi-million dollar view."
<i>How can he know my thoughts? I'm having a nightmare. It's the stress, I need to take a vacation, learn to relax.</i>
The reflection chuckled. "Tick, tick, tick, make a decision, Tim. Now or never."
Tim began to feel a band tighten around his chest. <i>Oh Lord, what is the truth?</i>
Suddenly there was another reflection in the window. "Tim, you know what the truth is, and you know what you will gain or lose. Remember back to when you first met me. You were small enough to sit on your grandma's lap. She taught you all about me, she read you my Word. Then when you were eighteen, at the revival at your grandma's church you said you wanted to know me, and that you wanted to believe I was real. You listened to the message, only once again you decided you needed to "live" before you made that big step. Tim, he's right about one thing, your time is up, you do have to choose. But he's lying about everything else."
"Oh, yes Tim, choose. Between the stories your grandma told you about an imaginary God, or the life of adventure and riches I am offering you. Choose, Tim. Tick. Tick. Tick."
Tim closed his eyes, forcing the memories of his grandma to come to the surface, tearing down the walls he had built up to avoid the pain they brought, trying to visualize her face. He saw the peace she wore like a mantle. The happiness that exuded from her very pores. He saw her on her knees, pleading with God to protect her grandbabies. He heard her last whispers just before she died. "Trust, Tim, please! Trust and believe. All it takes is faith."
Suddenly he could hear her singing one of her favorite hymns. He felt her arms close around him as she whispered in his ear, "Please, Tim, you know the truth, trust it."
"Oh, grandma, I want to, I really do, but…"
"Tick. Tick. Tick."
The band around his chest tightened a little more.
Tim fell to his knees, sobbing. "I'm afraid! Grandma, I'm afraid! I finally have a chance to have everything I've always wanted, why should I give it up now!'
"Is that your answer, Tim, are you telling me yes?" The first reflection asked.
The second reflection put his hand on Tim's shoulder. "Peace or Power, Tim, what shall it be?"
Tim's body shook, tears ran down his face, he unclenched his fists and covered his face with his manicured hands.
"Pow… Pow… NO! Peace, I need Peace. Please, Jesus, forgive me. Please Lord, I need you, only you!"
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