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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Day's End (01/01/14)

TITLE: 144,000
By Jeff Lockshin


Three weeks after Tom and Jeanette fell in love; a shadow of apprehension dampened the cheerful glow of their relationship. The taking up of the elect and sanctified staggered their world signifying the end of “common days. In a flash a billion souls disappeared, and life on Earth spun in unprecedented havoc and confusion.

As a solution to restore order amidst the chaos, a world government was formed and founded under the name New World Order Confederation. NWOC’s first proclamation was to clarify the vanished billions by offering an official statement as such… “The wicked have gone to ally with their extraterrestrial comrades to prepare war and destroy us who remain.”

The majority of those who remained believed the NWOC propaganda and quickly became branded disciples of the New World Order Confederation electronic beast. Un-announced and unrealized, by most of the six billion remaining souls, as if it were a trivial incident, was that the Holy Spirit had also been “taken up” along with the elect.

“Either we receive the NWOC brand, or face isolation and eventual execution.” We have two weeks to decide.” Tom informed Jeannette sullenly.

“It has to be “B” Tom, said Jeanette teary eyed. Isn’t it clear the rapture that we heard about in church has actually happened? We were too self centered to believe it. Jesus really is Lord!!” We should accept him now, unless maybe it’s too late?” She placed her forefinger and thumb over her eyes and dropped her head.

“I don’t know if it’s ever too late with God. I need time to think or pray or both.”

Tom gently caressed Jeanette’s chin and softly lifted her head until their eyes met. “Whatever happens, I love you Jeanette, forever.”

Jeanette would at least be his welcome distraction from the apprehensive contemplation of their future. “You are the missing half of my heart. Jeanette, Jeanette…” he affectionately repeated her name aloud serving to enhance his unadulterated heart-bursting affection for her. Perhaps a smattering of adolescent puppy love coated his outlook as well as his purposely placing his ego and pride aside to win the battle of love over lust. His mind-set and desire for her were pure and went no further than a wholesome adoration of her bright spirit reflected in her beautiful face, her absorbing blue eyes and her smile that utterly engulfed him. The couple embraced, clinging silently; each aware that their bond now included a level of utter unmitigated need for each other.

At first Tom and Jeanette ignored the persistent identical snail mail and email offers they received from an anonymous sender that read “You have been awarded a scholarship to attend Mt. Zion evangelistic academy, RSVP below.” “ Hmmm… a trap or NWOC propaganda.” Tom presumed. However, persistently the mail kept coming and lately the offer was left daily in pamphlet form on his car windshield and his office work desk.

Late one afternoon the doorbell rang. “Don’t answer!” cried Jeanette, “It’s the NWOC Goons.”

Tom shut off the lights crept to the door and peered through the peephole. Without pause he opened the door to a man who entered their living room unimpeded. The man stood before them exhibiting a countenance of radiant golden light circling about his form. In an instant the nimbus entirely saturated the entire dwelling. Awed Tom and Jeanette instinctively dropped to their knees and began to worship the man who they now knew was their GOD, The Lord Jesus Christ!

Jesus displayed within his palm the same invitational pamphlet that they had repeatedly ignored. “Will you accept my offer? You are chosen of the 144,000 to evangelize and bring the remainder of my people to me before the end of days. Your decision is required at day’s end. Then a servant of My Father will offer to transport you to Jerusalem. Take this.” Tom received the pamphlet. On it was written Revelation 7 and 14 as well as the details of their genealogy and connection to the ancient Hebrew tribe of Zebulon. Jesus spoke in an unidentified tongue, then placed his hand on their foreheads and etched a mark there. Once the Holy Spirit imbued them, his golden presence vanished.

There was no conversation between them about what had transpired. Intuitively the pair remained on their knees waiting for their transport to Jerusalem. When the Lord’s servant collected them, high above Tom watched the familiar NWOC armed Goon squad van pull up to his former residence.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/10/14
I’d love to have your input into the free writing lessons available on the FaithWriters forums. This week’s lesson is on writing devotionals, and next week will cover writing on topic for the weekly challenge. Look for it at http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewforum.php?f=67, or if you’re on Facebook, you can “like” Faithwriters Writing Lessons.
C D Swanson 01/10/14
A very well written entry that was certainly on topic.

God bless~
Theresa Santy 01/11/14
What a fantastic, imaginative plot! I can see this as an entire novel or novella.

You packed a lot of information in 750 words, but it almost felt more like a book synopsis (a synopsis for a book I would very much like to read) than a short story. In the future, if you have something amazingly and big like this in mind--for the Challenge--I would suggest zooming in on one particular scene, using bare minimum backstory, but using your description and dialogue to "catch the reader up" on what's going on. That way, the reader will be invited to dive deeper into your story.

Thinking back, I can see that you really were focusing on one particular scene, but there was so much backstory that it felt like many scenes.

Keep in mind, this is just one reader's opinion. And I LOVE this plot!