Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: The Game of Life (09/11/08)
TITLE: Pink Slip Day
By RuthAnn Cornelson
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He reached for the top card and read, “Pink slip day. Move back 10 spaces.” The card fluttered to the floor. It caught him off guard but he laughed, shrugging off the slight touch of fear. There had been some trouble at work lately, but he’d been at this job for 10 years, worked his way up to manager over several departments. Pink slip? Not happening. But he moved back the 10 spaces, all the way back to START. He laughed again, a hollow sound, grabbed his keys, shaking his head.
Three hours later Jeff sat at his desk, head in hands. Ten years gone! How would he tell Jenn? He thought of her, probably sitting on the couch drinking coffee, her soft brown hair still mussed from sleep, a smile on her lips, blissfully ignorant that the game of life had just moved ahead without her, dealing them a brutal blow.
She probably had her Bible on her lap; probably reading something about all things working out for good. Wasn’t that what she always said? And he had to admit, they’d drawn other life cards similar to this, sometimes worse, and things had worked out somehow. But this was a bad time for this particular life card. He was 55, the economy bad, unemployment high. Would he find another job?
Well, no time for that. “Leave now. Schedule a time later, to clean out your office after hours,” they’d said.
“Why?” No real answers. Jeff figured tough times, middle management. He got up from what had been his desk three hours ago, leaving his building keys lying on it. He closed the office door, seeing his name etched on the attached gold plaque.
Jenn sat on the couch, Bible on her lap, sipping her coffee. She loved these mornings, just her and the Lord. Man, she was so blessed. Jeff had a great job. She’d been able to quit hers a few years back. Life had been good to them. God had been good to them. She smiled happily.
She took her empty cup to the kitchen. On the counter she saw the game board. She paused, her brow furrowed in puzzlement. Jeff’s piece was back at START. Last night he’d been on space 10. He must have rolled this morning. She took a turn, landed on “Draw a Life Card”. She didn’t really like Life Cards, so unknown.
Drawing the card she read, “‘Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.’ Move ahead 2 spaces.” Her lips turned up in a soft smile. She ran her fingers through her short, tousled hair. Silly girl, she chastised herself.
She looked again at Jeff’s piece back on START. START wasn’t really a good place to be right now. They were talking about paying off the house and retiring in ten years. Ten spaces back in the game of life was a lot.
Jenn glanced at the card she held in her hand, but quickly looked back at the START line, fixing on the desolate piece standing there, waiting, alone. She didn’t need a Life Card to tell her what to do. She picked up her piece and moved it back to the START line beside Jeff’s.
Suddenly arms enclosed her from behind. She turned into Jeff’s embrace. “Hi,” she greeted softly. “You’re home early.”
He hugged her closer. “Hi,” his voice was deep. She loved the way it rumbled against her ear.
Letting her go he reached for two Starbucks cups he’d set on the counter. “You want to have a cup of coffee with me?”
She glanced down at her Life Card, latching onto the words, “Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength.”
“Sure. Let’s sit,” she answered, taking the coffee from his hand and replacing it with hers she drew him over to the couch.
“Jenn, what do you think about selling the house? Moving, maybe closer to the kids? Starting over.”
Is 26:4 KJV
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