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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Guard Your Heart (06/08/12)

TITLE: Remember the Red
By Nancy Bucca


Hi, my name's Read - short for "Well read," and I'm headed to the hood to smuggle Gram a few goodies.

True, the random bouts of dementia she's said to suffer from are rumored to be quite vicious. But I say that's just a fairytale.

Still, Mom cautions me to be careful. "I know you'd like to soft pedal the message so as not to hurt her feelings, but emotions can be deceptive. You must use discernment. And above all, remember the red."

"I will," I tartly vow.

Then off I go, rolling down the alleyways, proudly deflecting all temptation scattered like pretty "poppies" along the sidewalk. The flirtatious blinking shades of Miranda's Miracle Makeovers hold no lure for me, nor does Paula Palm Reader's upraised hand. Forget the slum dog's whistles. I see the wolf behind the wool.

In no time I'm at Gram's door, hearing her chalky voice inviting me into the bedchamber. A warning light goes off inside my mind.

Remember the red.

With callous shoulders I shrug the warning off, suspecting no foul play as I enter the room. I mean, look at that wooly white hair. She wouldn't hurt a fly. The crooked furrows lining her forehead are no cause for alarm. Neither are her unusually puffy nostrils, sure signs of a cold - for which I've got just the medicine, right here in my pocket. Excitedly I pull it out.


"Ah, a Bible!" cries Gram. "How delightful!"

Her mouth is foaming like crazy. Must just be her dentures acting up.

Remember the red.

No sweat. I'm not naive.

She pats the bed. "Come closer, dear. Share."

I take a furtive step forward.

"Jesus - uh... Jesus loves you, Granny."

The huge warts on her eagerly perked ears show pointed interest.

Remember the red.

Relax. She's got nothing a little sweetness from God's Word can't cure.

"Jesus loves you. The - the Bible tells you so."

She smacks her lips. "Why, if I couldn't just eat you - I mean, those words - all up . Too bad you're so far away."

Her saccharine smile stirs itself like sugar into my desire to please. A knot forms in my stomach.

Remember the red.

Hmmm. Okay, so maybe Gram's not quite herself. I promised to be careful.

"I'm sure you can hear me fine from here. Let me read to you that shepherd psalm."

Nervously I flip through the pages, only to hear her sniff.

"It's Gram's breath, isn't it? That's why no one ever visits me!"

She lowers her glasses to reveal two mesmerizing saucers filled with tears.

A sharp pain stabs itself into my chest. How dare I judge her halitosis?

Remember the red.

I do remember, and it's killing me.

Overcome by guilt I move forward, doubt hounding me at every tiptoe.

Suddenly without warning Gram jumps up, snatches the Bible from my hand, and with shriveled hands starts ripping it to shreds. An unnatural sound gurgles up from the depths of her throat. Rabidly it rages at me from inside her, tearing mercilessly at my emotions.

"I hate this book, and I hate you too!"

"Gram, what's gotten into you?" I venture to ask, even though I know the truth.

Gram has been swallowed by a wolf, and it wants to eat us both. What can I do?

With one last breath I remember the red, the blood of Christ shed for me to cover my sin, heal and protect my wounded heart.

What happens next is so fast, it sends my head spinning.

I hear a loud knock at the door, followed by much chopping, growling, gnashing of teeth, and shouts of "Leave us alone!" A voice I recognize as John the Baptist preacher is speaking a stern message about bad-fruit-bearing trees getting thrown into fire. His hard words, void of fluff, are like an ax, cutting to the root of Gram's sin and deception and bringing her to true repentance. Much to my surprise and great delight, the wolf is cast out and Gram becomes a new creature in Christ, fully able to receive the milk and honey of God's Word.

Every day, as often as I can now, I visit her for a Bible study. But I never go alone, and I always make sure to remember the red.

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This article has been read 438 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Maria Kana Santos06/16/12
Great entry! Well-written. It held my interest all the way through. Thanks.
Beth LaBuff 06/19/12
You get high marks on the creativity meter for this. I totally enjoyed how you adapted this story and your message is commendable. Super!
C D Swanson 06/20/12
This held my attention and kept me wanting more! I loved it. Great job.
Thank you. God bless~
Lori Othouse 06/20/12
Very creative!! Kept my interest throughout and I couldn't wait to read the end!
Leola Ogle 06/26/12
Delightful! Congrats! Great job!