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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)

TITLE: Gone Now
By Sally Hanan


He read Cassie’s text message again. GONE NOW.

He had thought he was prepared for his return home, but when he stepped into the empty house, vacant space mocked him from every room. He stiffened all over as he held himself up against the doorframe, subconsciously grinding his teeth until he realized he tasted blood - he had bitten his tongue in his attempt to stuff the cruel pain.

The loud voice came again. His visits were more frequent these days. It’s all her fault. You did everything for her. You don’t deserve this. She needs to suffer the same pain you are feeling.

Anger was Kenneth’s fuel, had been for years. His rage lifted his fist and slammed it into the wall. He barely noticed the pain. Storming from room to room, his ire mounted. Doors slammed open, but every room shouted, SHE’S GONE. When he came to the kitchen he found her note: Please leave the attic, I didn’t have any room left in the truck.

With a growl, he clambered up the ladder and methodically flung every box to the ground with such force that he almost fell off the ladder.

One box split open and sprawled its contents around the carpet below. He stepped down to see a large ceramic doll’s eye glaring at him out from the baseboard of the hall. “IT’S NOT MY FAULT!” he yelled, and sprang like a wild animal on it. He lifted his boot, after some calculating moves, to reveal only a fine powder. A single remaining lash lay stunned in the corner.

Oh yes it is your fault. Look at you, you miserable fool. Look at what you've lost. You’ll always be alone; what made you think she could ever love you?

“She did this to me. Cassie did this to me, and she’s gonna be so sorry…” He was at Drew’s Boy Scout box now, rifling through the layers of camping gear until he found what he had been searching for – Drew’s bowie knife. “She’s gonna be so sorry.”

Go Kenneth, shut her up for good. If she won’t have you, then she won’t have anyone. Make sure of it.

He waited until she came out of work the next day, stepping out behind her as she stuck her key into the lock of her car.

“Kenneth!” Her breath sucked in and had nowhere to go.

“Hello Cassie; nice to see you again.” He reached out to touch her hair, his eyes black and cold. “By the way, I wouldn’t bother going back to the house if I were you. Your things in the attic had a little … accident.” His lowered his eyeballs into her face, pulled the knife out of its sheath and waved it lazily in the air. “I think, Cassie, that you and me need to go for a little ride in your car.” He opened the door and pointed at the seat with his knife.

He was in charge now; she was going to play the game by his rules.

Cassie stood there, frozen in fear; then, as Kenneth turned to question her lack of instant obedience to his command, she found some air and shook her head.

“No,” she said, trembling, her eyes looking right into his. Again, in almost a whisper, she spoke. “In the name of Jesus … in the name of Jesus, I command you, you spirits of hatred and anger and death to complete silence, now. Drop the knife.”

Shock registered on Kenneth’s face as the knife fell out of his hand.

“Now leave with Kenneth. I forbid you from speaking to him again.” She turned her eyes upward. “And now Lord, will you please comfort him in his pain and open his eyes to the truth. Thank-you Jesus.”

Subconsciously, Kenneth knew something was seriously wrong as he backed away and ran to his car. His mind felt empty as he climbed in, but that name had sunk like fresh raindrops into his heart.

“Jesus.” His hands grabbed onto the wheel. He laid his head on it.

“Jesus…,” and the tears, that had long quivered within, gushed out their ultimate release.

“Jesus…,” and death, anger and hatred cowered, shrieking mutely in the presence of the Lord.

Cassie drove away, crying and shaking uncontrollably, her rush of courage gone.

The warrior angel at her side put his sword back in its sheath and focused on the road ahead. He needed to get her home safely now.

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This article has been read 1189 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Pat Guy 02/01/06
Yes! We are instucted to do this against evil yet forget it's protection during moments like this. Great application in a easy to relate to story. Great job in keeping us in the moment and on the edge of our seats. Thanks for the victory!

Here's my favorite part, 'The warrior angel at her side put his sword back in its sheath and focused on the road ahead. He needed to get her home safely now.'
Crista Darr02/02/06
Wow, intense! I've heard a true story similar to this and the man ended up getting saved too. Great writing!
Corinne Smelker 02/02/06
So well written I was with both of your characters, you made me feel for both of them- good job.
Shari Armstrong 02/02/06
Oh, wow!
Jan Ackerson 02/02/06
Beautifully written, with a perfect kicker.
janet rubin02/02/06
Debbie OConnor02/03/06
Great work! I was on the edge of my seat throughout. I really liked the repetition of "Jesus" at the end as Kenneth was freed. The warrior angel who gave Cassie the strength to stand up to Kenneth was well done and believable too.
Cheryl Harrison02/03/06
Loved it!
Linda Watson Owen02/03/06
Oh, my! Truly breathtaking tale of good and evil! You so masterfully made these characters come to life. What skillful weaving of an ageless theme in a contemporary story!
Maxx .02/04/06
Clear a space on your mantle ... you'll likely be bringing home gold with this entry! Near perfect... couple of minor things I might have done a little different but nobody can argue about your end result! Wow!
T. F. Chezum02/04/06
Can't add to what's already been said. Excellent!