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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fragrance (10/24/05)

TITLE: Backstage: Heaven
By Kenn Allan
10/30/05


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Although he couldn't quite put his finger on it, Arlo could sense something was... well, different. He wandered across the stage, scrutinizing every rope and backdrop draping from the lofty catwalks for anything unusual. Everything looked fine. He listened intently for any strange sounds, but could only hear the distant strains of another angelic choir rehearsal. With a mystified grunt and scratch of his halo, the angel turned and headed backstage.

Since before the dawn of time, Arlo had served as heaven's stage manager. He was highly proficient in his job, seldom allowing the smallest detail to escape his keen attention. He was familiar with all aspects of every production, and nothing happened in his theater he didn't know about.

Until now, that is...

Arlo scratched his halo again. "What in heaven's name could it be?" he mused, drawing a deep and very frustrated breath.

That's when he noticed the fragrance. It was a teasingly familiar aroma, similar to the joyful tang of Thankfulness, or perhaps the lilting bouquet of Blessed Hope. He closed his eyes and sniffed, this time more deeply. He wasn't absolutely sure, but he thought he could also smell the bitter pungency of a few million tears.

Arlo racked his brain for a possible source of this strange fragrance. Oh, no! Could the cover on one of the bowls have worked itself loose? He hurried down the long backstage corridor and pushed through the seventh door on the right. He paused briefly to inspect the seven enormous golden trumpets lined up against the far wall to insure each one was still shiny and secure. Once satisfied, he hurried to a small door half-hidden in the shadow of the seventh trumpet. After uttering a brief prayer for protection, he cracked open the door and peered inside.

Barely visible in the dim light, the seven golden bowls scattered around the room hissed and seethed. From time to time something from within one of the bowls would thrust upward against the linen covering as if to test its restraint, then settle back down with a pithy sigh. All the golden binding appeared to be secure, and the only detectible odor was the acrid fuming of divine judgment.

Relieved, Arlo swung the door shut with resounding thud. But the original question still remained - where was that strange fragrance coming from? He began sniffing at the air like a heavenly hound, determined to track the mysterious scent to its source even if it took until the end of the age.

His nose eventually led him back to the floor of the main stage. The fragrance grew noticeably stronger as he approached the heavy purple drapes which separated future performances from their eventual audiences. With anxious fingers, he found the nearly invisible seam where the curtains joined and parted them just enough for him to peek through.

Set against a black velvet backdrop sprinkled with stars, the Earth rotated majestically. From all seven continents, the prayers of its inhabitants swirled like a thin mist before joining together to ascend towards heaven like smoke from a furnace. This was the fragrance Arlo had failed to recognize, and for good reason. In all of human history, never had so many souls sincerely prayed for the curtain to rise.

A smile played across Arlo’s lips as he let the curtains fall back into place. They wouldn't have to wait long. After all, the show must go on.


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This article has been read 1353 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Stotz10/31/05
What an imaginative portrayal of the end times seen from heaven's point of view! I loved it! Keep that imagination sparked! Janice
Jan Ackerson 10/31/05
Absolutely marvelous. I loved every word.
terri tiffany11/02/05
Wow! Very creative writing! I could see and feel the need of so many. Goo djob!
Jesus Puppy 11/03/05
Bravo... Clap, clap, clap.. A good play on the sences.. Well done..
Linda Watson Owen11/03/05
Incredibly creative! Great story!
Julianne Jones11/04/05
Very creative. Enjoyed the well you included the different fragrances. Well done.
Nina Phillips11/05/05
Wow!, very interesting and creative. The end blew me away. Shake a leg now! God bless ya, littlelight
Shari Armstrong 11/05/05
I got chills during the last few lines!!! take a bow! wonderful work!
The Tornyn11/06/05
I am deeply impressed. I too, found the last line great and I can't wait to read more!!
Jeffrey Snell11/06/05
Terrific! Wow, from the title on this kept my attention. You write from an original perspective yet avoid sensationalism. Excellent POV. This is one of the best!
Sally Hanan11/06/05
Good job at keeping my curiosity mounting until the last line. Very cute and loveable MC.
janet rubin11/07/05
How dreative and fun! Congrats on your win.
Sherry Castelluccio 11/07/05
Wow Kenn! This was amazing. I'm speechless. Utterly superb. You sincerely deserve this win.
Pat Guy 11/07/05
Ken - I thoroughly enjoyed this! So creative and poignant - just great!
Daniel Owino Ogweno11/07/05
Ken, did you get this through a vision or a dream? It is difficult to fathom how one can craete something like this in less than a week. May God get glory in your gifting.
Deborah Porter 11/07/05
Kenn, you are definitely becoming a regular in our winners' circle - and rightly so. Keep doing what you do so well. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Shannon Redmon11/07/05
Loved this!
Donna Wilson11/10/05
I liked this so much, Kenn. I just can't put into words how it moves me. Maybe I can best describe it with the word, "encouragement." Prayer and Praise mean so much to me and I know that it will be what ushers in the Day we are all looking forward to.
Congradulations on such a beautiful work!
Sandra Petersen 01/03/06
Our prayers are like incense. I, too, sense the approach of the coming of the Lord. The show must go on, and we must pray and obey with that in mind. Amen!!!
Virginia Gorg03/17/06
Prayers joining together in a thin mist - gives a whole new outlook to the meaning of intercessory prayer. Thanks.