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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Short End of the Stick (02/20/14)

TITLE: Say Goodbye, Blue Eyes
By Wilma Schlegel


I wish I could forget, but I never will. I never wanted to talk about it, but I'm told it's the only way - so...
He put that thing right in my face. I don't know what is uglier or more horrific or could make a person feel more helpless. You never think something like that could happen.
Yeah, he came out of nowhere, he was right there, right in front of me, he picked me to point that awful thing at. It was so close I thought I could smell it. If violent death has a smell I figure it would be something like that smell. Kind of like the old oil and metal smells at a wrecking yard. They tell me I just imagined that part, guns don't smell. I told them, you try standing at gunpoint.
It was black and gray. It was heavy-looking and scary. I didn't want to see it, look at it, but I couldn't tear my eyes off of it. It seemed like if I looked anywhere else, that's when he'd fire and that would be the end for me.
And how dare he? He treated me like the only thing I was good for was a bargaining unit. And I have to tell you, that was so demeaning and maddening. I'm seventeen. I want to do things, go places. I want to have a life. I want to do something, be somebody. I was so mad, so insulted, so helpless and useless and scared.
So he looked right down that (is it a barrel?), right into my eyes. Couldn't he see anything in them to make him stop?
His eyes, I didn't want to look at them, they only looked at mine for a second, but they were so empty and I don't know, something else - amused maybe?
He said, "Move." He jerked his head to the side of the room where he wanted me to go. His gun stayed in my face.
I thought I was going pass out. I couldn't move. I tried to say, "Please don't!" but my tongue just peeled itself off the roof of my mouth and made a little sticky sound. I needed to swallow, but I was afraid to and then it happened anyway and I thought he'd shoot me for the noise I made.
He pushed me hard then, with his other hand and I lost my balance and fell against the wall. He told me to sit and I did.
Later, when we were all there against that wall and he was talking to the police outside, he said, "That's it! You don't think I'm serious, do you? I'll show you serious!"
He pointed that gun at me again. He said in a really ugly voice, "YOU!" and he yanked me to my feet. I was wet with sweat and really shaking; I couldn't help it. He put that gun up to my forehead. Then he said, "Are you scared? Well you should be. You sure got the short end of the stick today. Say goodbye, blue eyes."
Then, some guy who was there jumped up and said, "Not her, take me."
It's hard to describe what happened next.
The guy with the gun shot the guy who gave himself up for me. But it was enough of a distraction that some of the people outside stormed in.
"Get DOWN!" they yelled.
And just like that, it was over.
Not really over. I'm not the same and I don't know if I can ever be.
The guy that took the bullet for me? I thought he died.
I didn't want to go see him, I didn't want to do anything especially anything that will remind me...
But I went. I had to know what kind of person does something like that?
You know what he said to me? He said, "I pray for you every day."
He prays for me?
I said, "You could be dead now. Don't you worry about you? Isn't everything meaningless and scary for you now, too?"
"It would be meaningless," he said. "But it is well with my soul. I've been very blessed and if you have the time, I'd like to tell you how you can be blessed, too."
So, that's my story. He's giving me hope and strength. He's the reason I'm talking at all and I'm going back to talk to him today. He says he has someone he wants me to meet.

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This article has been read 175 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/28/14
Powerful! Wow - this was an amazing story. It kept me riveted in an uneasy way...and the ending was magnificent in how it portrayed "love and Jesus" behing it all.

Great job.

God bless~
Sara Harricharan 03/02/14
I thought at first, that the character was a man, until the end where the twist made it out to be a young woman. Great title--I loved seeing how it tied into the story. That was fabulous.

Some spaces between paragraphs would definitely make for some easier reading, but this was a nice little snippet just the same. I really liked the tension you were able to create. Good job and thanks for sharing!
Wilma Schlegel03/06/14
Thanks for the encouraging comments. I really want to be able to more consistently critique on other folks's stories. It's so helpful and so appreciated when I read your critiques.

Silly me - I'm using a new computer system and didn't take the time to preview - it gets you every time,doesn't it? - I didn't realize that I had no space between paragraphs! Thanks for mentioning it! Wilma
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/06/14
Congratulations on ranking 21 overall!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/06/14
This is really intense. You did an outstanding job of building the suspense and grabbing me right away. I will shamefully admit that at first I thought the guy was a flasher. I won't say anymore about that! ;) Once my mind shifted gears again, I was totally riveted. I also had to read the last part twice because I thought the guy who took the bullet had died, but once I figured it out, I thought the ending was perfect. You did an amazing job. Spot on topic too.