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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Drip (04/25/13)

TITLE: A Drop of Hope
By Vince Martella


The incessant sound of water leaking slowly was enough to drive her mad. She looked at the clock: 3:15 am. She turned over and made a mental note to call a plumber in the morning. What else is falling apart? Her life was a mess. Ever since the divorce she’d had a difficult time pulling things together.

In the morning, she searched her computer for a plumber.

‘Got a leak, call on Peak. Peak brothers plumbing. Best rates in town.’

She dialed the number and scheduled Lester Peak for 10:00 am.

“Morning, ma’am,” said an attractive, middle aged man in coveralls. “I’m Lester. We spoke on the phone this morning.

“Yes, thanks for coming. I’m not sure where the drip is,” said Nancy. “All I know is that I’ve been awakened several times this week in the night to the sounds of water leaking.”

“Have you found any water anywhere?” asked Lester.

“No,” replied Nancy.

“Sounds like your toilet, ma’am,” said Lester. Lester dug in his toolbox and pulled out a few packets. “I’ll put this dye in your bowls,” said Lester. “It’ll tell us which tank is causing you problems.” Lester went to work, putting the dye into the back of each of three tanks. “We’ll give it a few minutes; if there is a leak, we’ll see the dye in the bowl.”

“I’m going to make some coffee. Would you like a cup?” Nancy asked.

“Yes, thank you,” Lester said.

“Listen, I’m really sorry about the messy house,” Nancy said. She choked back a tear. “I’ve really been…”

“Not a problem,” Lester said quickly. “I haven’t noticed a thing.” Lester shuffled nervously. “I’m going to check the toilets. The dye should tell us something by now.”

Lester headed toward the bathrooms and Nancy busied herself with the coffee. She chided herself for revealing her emotions in front of a perfect stranger. She sighed deeply as she put out coffee cups, cream and sugar.

Lester returned after a few minutes and entered the kitchen.

“Here you go,” Nancy said, handing Lester a cup of steaming coffee. “Please sit down.” She sat across from him and took a sip of coffee.

“So, what’s the damage?” she asked.

“Good news,” said Lester. ”Here’s the source of your problem.” He held up a two inch, plastic, green toy soldier. “I found this in your hall toilet. The little rifle barrel here was caught under the edge of the flapper; just enough to cause a very slow leak. The drip you heard was the fill tube replacing the water. Problem solved! You’ll have to tell the little guy to keep his toys out of the tank from now on.”

Lester awaited Nancy’s relieved smile, but instead she burst into tears.

After a few moments, she steadied herself and spoke. “I’m sorry,” she said. She reached over and grabbed the soldier. Another small tear dripped from her eye. “Trevor loved to play with his soldiers.” She paused. “He would have been four this summer…” She steadied herself again. “It was an accident, but Jay blamed me. We tried to get past it, but we couldn’t. We ended up getting a divorce.” She hung her head in shame. “I’ve just had a really tough time holding it together.”

Lester cleared his throat. “Ma’am…”

“Nancy, please,” she said.

Lester held her gaze. “Nancy, I can’t say I’ve ever experienced what you’re going through. But I do know this; God loves you dearly and has a good plan for your life. Your son’s death was not His will, but He will help you work through it. And He has made provision for you to see your son again; He gave His own Son for you so that one day you and Trevor could spend eternity together in Heaven.

Tears dripped down Nancy’s face, but there was hope in her eyes as she weighed Lester’s words.

“Nancy, would you like to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior?” Lester asked.

Nancy nodded silently, and Lester led her in a prayer of salvation. Finishing, he rose, gathered his tools together and headed for the door.

“Wait, what do I owe you?” Nancy asked.

“Nothing,” said Lester. “It’s covered, just like your sin.” He handed her a business card with his church’s information.

She looked it over. “What’s this?” she asked.

“It’s where I attend church,” he said.

She looked at him quizzically.

“Hey, I only cover plumbing,” Lester smiled. “Sometimes your life needs fixing too.”

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This article has been read 367 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Cheryl Harrison05/04/13
Great job. You are such a master at drawing out the readers emotions. I commend you. I loved your story, especially the perfect ending! Keep writing.
Allen Povenmire 05/04/13
Well told story. God can use our worst situations to His glory, and the simplest items, a toy soldier, to do His will.
Cinda Carter05/04/13
What a beautiful ending to a sad story. It shows that God can take the simplest things,
turn it around for our good and His glory. Even a toy soldier. Your title fit the plot so, well. "A Drop of Hope" I really enjoyed reading your article. It came to life for me, it was great.
lynn gipson 05/04/13
Great story with an even greater message. You have a gift for thought provoking, well written, story telling. Thanks for sharing.
Christina Banks 05/04/13
What a heart ache that woman was carrying. I'm so glad Lester came her way to share who could carry all her burdens.
Brenda Rice 05/05/13
Your entry is on topic and very well written.

Thank God for Christians like Lester. You created a lot of emotion and crafted a wonderful positive ending.
Virgil Youngblood 05/05/13
Thoughtfully written with a compelling ending that satisfies. The only suggestion I make is to eliminate [Lester dug in his toolbox and pulled out a few packets. “I’ll put this dye in your bowls,” said Lester. “It’ll tell us which tank is causing you problems.”] The paragraph will still convey the same message and eliminate confusion over where the dye was put. Or, change the word "bowls" in the above highlighted section to "tanks". A very enjoyable read.
Bea Edwards 05/06/13
Touching and indicative of God's mysterious ways.
Well written!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/09/13
Congratulations on placing 6 in your level and 19 overall!