Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Thump (05/30/13)
TITLE: Bus Trip
By Patsy Hallum
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Another man grabbed the driver pulling him into the aisle so James could sit in the seat. “Help me, Lord.” James looked for a clear space to steer into. “Keep calm and pray!” he shouted “I’m trying to save us.”
He distanced himself from the prayers and crying he heard; keeping his mind on the bus and prayer. The bank they were descending was fairly steep, too steep to brake all at once without going head over teakettle and killing people.
After what seemed like hours, James brought the bus to a stop. “Please stay in your seats until we see what kind of ground we’re stopped on. If we move around willy-nilly, we might still turn over.” James carefully rose from his seat as he opened the passenger door. “I’m going to walk around the bus, I’ll scotch the wheels. Please, stay seated for a few minutes.” He slowly went down the steps on shaky legs; looking for rocks large enough to scotch the wheels. That done, he fell to his knees. “Thank You God for the strength and courage to stop the bus safely.”
Feeling strengthened, James addressed the passengers. “Please, the first two men carry the driver out. When their out, the passengers come one seat at a time; when they get fully out, the next seat comes until the bus is empty. Leave your bags in the bus please.” He stood and helped them all down the stairs, directing them to a shady spot to stand. When all were out safely, James collapsed with a thump.
“I’m Nelda,” the woman closest to James said. “One of you men use the bus radio phone to report the accident and get us some help. This poor man’s had it.”
James woke up and heard her talking and a strange wump-thump sound. Then he passed out again.
James woke up in the hospital, his wife Nora setting beside his bed.
“James darling, you are back! You are a hero!”
“What happened? I don’t remember.” James eyes took in the rest of the room. “How did I get here?”
“Oh darling, you, the man that has been afraid all his life of trying to do anything out of the ordinary; the man that was called a wimp and a coward all through school, is a hero. You saved the bus you were riding to Chicago and all its passengers. After the driver had a heart attack; you jumped into the drivers’ seat and steered the bus to safety.” Nora’s smiling face was alight with pride.
“I did all that? How’s the driver? I remember leaving for Chicago; I do remember talking and a wump-thump sound.”
“Doctor says you’re suffering from shock and you might not remember, but you have thirty people that think you’re a hero for saving their lives. The bus driver is in intensive care; he’s expected to survive. Rest now, I’ll tell the group’s spokesman that you are awake. See you later.” Nora kissed him.
I can’t believe that I had enough courage to do that. I’ve never had strength to say no to my boss; we’ve never had kids because I didn’t think I could raise them right. No one needs to be raised by a parent that’s scared a lot. I saved thirty people from injury! Me, James Calder, no, not me, God had to have touched me with power of the Holy Spirit.
“Thank You Father God, for finally waking up my mind, for giving me the courage to act.” James murmured as he fell asleep.
“James, wake up,” Nora shook his shoulder. “I told the people you would see them later. I asked Nelda what was making the wump-thump sound. She didn’t hear it, so I asked the doctor. He said the wump-thump sound was your heartbeat. You were hearing your own heartbeat!”
“I’ve got a good strong heart,” James took her hand. “I’m glad you’re back. Nora, would you like to have a baby?”
“A baby, why yes, are you sure?”
“I’ve never been more sure of anything. I’m ready now. Your scaredy-cat of a husband isn’t afraid of having ten kids now. Your coward has turned into a man that can do anything with God’s help.”
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