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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)

TITLE: I Am in Control
By Joe Pagano


“I’m in control, I’m in control,” John cried out to himself as he grabbed the worn, mottled brown leather cover on the steering wheel of his 1995 Honda Accord. Two years had passed since the dreadful automobile accident which killed both his mother, Crystal, and his father James. On this dreadful day, both were celebrating, simultaneously, their forty-fifth birthdays and their twentieth wedding anniversary. Yes indeed. Both Crystal and James Boyce were born April 1, 1955 and were married exactly twenty-five years later to the day. How tragic an event and how cruel in its irony: for not only did both parents share the same birthday—and "death-day"—but both would die on the anniversary of their wedding day.

The day was April 1, 2000. A cool day for early spring. On this day, no sunshine appeared from above—literally and figuratively. The misty rain had spread its tentacles, touching and wetting everything, particularly the surfaces of the winding country roads that led from the Boyce’s log cabin to town. In preparation for their evening celebration of their special day, Crystal and James planned a quick jaunt to town to buy each other presents. This was the usual custom, as every year they would each buy the other a thoughtful gift or two to commemorate their blessed wedding anniversary. To both, it seemed only yesterday when they had taken their conjugal vows; for though their marriage was tested beyond measure, yet did their union still stand strong: so blessed was the enduring bond that formed between them, so blissful was the state to which their marriage had grown.

As they mounted into their car and drove leisurely off to town, no one could have predicted that within fifteen minutes their life on this earth would end. Yet it would. A milk truck collided headfirst with their car. The driver of the truck was making a delivery to Harry’s Convenience Store, the local standby for the town of Creek Mills. According to police reports, the driver was reaching for his blood pressure pills, which were in the glove compartment. On a previous delivery, the driver had kept his door open to write up a bill, and as a result, the wind-swept rain wet the steering wheel. As he reached for the pills, the steering wheel slipped through his hands and the driver found himself in the other lane of the sharply curving country road. It was over in seconds. The crash could be heard a quarter mile away. Crystal and James were dead instantly, and their only son John was left to fend for himself.

John was having difficulty adjusting. He was having control issues. Control issues over his life, over his job, over his relationship with God. As he contemplated these issues, he sought to gain control over the steering wheel. John knew quite well the road he was on. Yes. The same road on which his beloved parents were killed only two years prior. Cold drops of sweat eagerly broke out on his forehead as he attempted to negotiate the turn he was in. Though the still voice whispered, “I am in control, you must trust Me,”it was as though John deliberately muted such inner murmurings. Yes, it was hard to have suffered such a loss, but far worse to have lost faith in God. This was the chief battle that was raging inside of John. And as he cornered that turn on that fateful road, he grabbed the wheel with conviction, he asserted he was in control...but alas...

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This article has been read 679 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Cheryl Harrison02/10/06
Well done. Too bad you couldn't have more than 750 words. I wanted more.
Beth Muehlhausen02/11/06
A tragic story with a twist at the end that leaves the reader wondering.....

Is healing and transformation just around the corner?!?!?