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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

By Sandra Hartman


Isaiah 59:14

I pulled over to the curb to park while texting and heard a thump under my car.

I gasped, put the car in reverse, and slowly backed up.
I tumbled out to find a thin, elderly, white haired man
whose clothes showed the grime of many days on the street.

“Are you all right?” I asked. Blue eyes popped open. His gaze so penetrating I thought for a moment that he could see my deepest secrets hidden inside. He groaned and gasped. “Help me!”

“I am so sorry,” I croaked, “I didn’t see you lying there.”

“Texting were you?” he asked.

I wanted to deny it but---that look-- “Yes—please forgive me. Are you hurt? I’ll dial 911.”

“You can try,” he sighed, ”but they won’t come.”

“What? “

“They haven’t so far. Believe me no one seems to want to help me up.”

“I will. That is if you aren’t hurt.”

“I’m hurt alright. Right here.” And he pounded his heart.

I dialed 911 –

“What’s your emergency?”

“ I just—I –there is a man lying by the curb on the corner of 1st street and Webster. Could you please send an ambulance right away/”

“What does he look like?”

“He’s elderly, white hair—“

“Oh him—don’t think so.” click.

“Told you. They’re afraid of me.””

“What is your name?” I asked as I knelt down beside him.

He pointed to his t-shirt and the emblazoned word TRUTH.

Another car pulled to the curb in front of us and slammed on the brakes. A businessman jumped out. “Get that old man off the street!” he demanded.

“I will if you will help me.”

He made an exasperated sound as he approached. The he spied the logo on the shirt.
“Hmmm” Truth huh?”

Unwanted and dishonest thoughts flashed through the man’s mind. “You know I really must be at a meeting,” he said as he darted away.

I glared at his retreating back.

“Oh—you’ll see. None of them will want to help me.” Said Truth.

I looked at him question marks flying out of my ears.

“I’m Truth,” he explained. “If I am lifted up then they all have to admit their lies that they have built their lives around.”

“I’ll find help,” I promised. Just then around the corner stepped Senator Bauchman!

I waved him over—“could you please help me?”

“Sure.” He responded, ” Then his eyes fell on the word on Truth—immediately his countenance changed, secret meetings and half truths crossed his mind in rapid succession. “ I gotta go.” He blurted and darted away.

I gazed down at Truth. He seemed to be fading away. Just then I spotted a man of the cloth headed my way. Finally help was arriving. I waved at him frantically, “Please lift up Truth,” I said hurrying to the other side.

The man of the cloth stood stark still like a deer caught in the headlights. Things he’d said and done raced in rapid succession in front of his eyes. He began to back away until
he hit the brick building. Then he raced away as if the hounds of hell were after him.

“Told you,” Truth said.

“I’m not giving up on you.” I promised.

I noticed two ladies approaching with Bibles in their hands.

“Please help me.” I implored.

They quickly came to help. But try as we might we couldn’t lift him. It was almost like he was super glued.

“What are we going to do now?” I wailed.

“We’ll pray,” they both said and they stood up and began to pray out loud for Truth.

“Now we’re getting somewhere.” Truth said with a smile.

“How?” I demanded, “We still can’t lift you.

“Just you wait,” Truth said.

I waited—they prayed—the sun climbed the sky— Truth didn’t look so good.

Just then I heard two men having a conversation nearby. A tall man with a Bible was saying—“I urge you to invite Jesus into your heart.”

Tears coursed down the other man’s face as he bowed his head and prayed.

I turned to check on Truth and bumped into him. “You’re standing up!” I exclaimed.

“Sure these ladies prayers—that man sharing me with another lost soul. That is all it takes to change my position, so to speak, if more people would do that I would never find myself fallen in the street again.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/04/12
This is an outstanding piece of creativity. I totally loved it right from the beginning, when the MC set a good example by pulling over before texting, to the last word.

There were some spots where you had double quotation marks or didn't capitalize a sentence inside of the quotes that a challenge buddy or crit group could help with. (PM me if you need help finding one) Also instead of finding creative taglines like he implored, use that space to show the reader. You could say something like: He clasped his hands and looked me in the eyes. It'll still show who is speaking but paints a picture for the reader.

You did do some great showing. The question marks flying out of my ears not only gave me a brilliant picture but had me chuckling. You also did a nice job of delivering a good message without coming off as preachy. That takes some good talent. I truly found this a delightful and riveting read.