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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: 24 Hours (01/27/11)

TITLE: Collision Course Day
By Steve Fitschen


“To today.” Mickey toasted with no enthusiasm and no audience in the bare kitchenette. In mock celebration, he poured twice as much whiskey as usual into his morning coffee. So this is it. One more day as a security guard and then I get to try to live off of Social Security and my lousy pension. At least I have an excuse to finish all those bottles I’ve hidden in the supply room.

Cindy woke to Roger gently caressing her check. “Hey sexy, you know what day this is?”

“No, Mr. Chamberlain, what day is this?”

“This, Mrs. Chamberlain, is the day we both call out of work sick and spend the day in bed.”

“You know we can’t do that!”

“Come on, Cindy, wouldn’t that be the perfect way to celebrate our first anniversary?

“Of course, it would. And you know we can’t do it.” Cindy pushed away Roger’s misbehaving hand. “I’ll tell you what. I’ll wear my sexy red dress to work and when I get home I’ll see what anticipation has done for you.”

“Sarah, come down stairs; I have a surprise for you today.”

That always worked. “What is it Mommy?” Sarah cried as she bounded down the stairs.

“Grandma says one of the best things I can do for you is to open a bank account and help you learn about saving money. Would you like to have your own bank account, Sarah?”

After a few false starts on her mother’s part at explaining how giving someone else your money was fun and exciting, Sarah still seemed interested. Maybe it was the bribe of ice cream on the way home.

“OK, as soon as you get home from kindergarten, we’ll go to the bank and open the account.”

“Well, boys, today is the day,” Charlie sneered. “We’ve practiced long enough. Today, we rob the bank!”

Tommy seemed exited; Chad seemed nervous.

Charlie didn’t miss much and he sure didn’t miss that. “Listen to me. Both of you. Just work the plan. Chad, you’ve got nothing to worry about. I told you—I’ve got somebody on the inside. Tommy and me, we’ll be covering you from the back of the bank. You just go to the teller wearing the red dress. And Tommy, no funny business. This is a straight job—in and out.

Jack mumble-sang “This is the day that the Lord has made; I will be glad and rejoice in it,” as he left the late afternoon meeting of the Christian Police Offers’ Fellowship Association. Returning to his car, Jack prayed out loud, “Lord, this is the day you have made. What are my orders for the rest of the day?”

Jack pulled up short before he reached his car. This had happened before, but it was still unusual enough to surprise him. Jack had received an impression on his mind so clear that the thought might have been spoken: “Go to 5427 South Main Street.” And he knew this was God.

As Jack approached the address he realized the building housed a bank. His adrenaline kicked in. “OK, Lord, am I here as a cop or do you just have something else for me to do here?” Jack didn’t really expect an answer, and he didn’t get one.

But when he walked in the door, Jack knew. One glance told his trained eyes everything: A few loan officers and managers sat at desks and in offices. Three tellers waited on customers. Two guys in the back pretended to be busy. One was relatively calm. The other was excited—in a bad way. He would be trouble. A third guy in line kept looking back at the other two.

Jack checked the other customers: An elderly lady, a business man, a guy in a mechanics uniform, a mother and her young daughter. He also checked the security guard. Jack hated dealing in stereotypes, but he had known too many alcoholic security guards. And this one was . . . drunk! Great.

OK, Lord, it’s just you and me. Show me what to do.

Catherine hadn’t been to church since before Sarah was born. But today she needed to be in church.

The minister spoke eloquently in praise of Officer Jack Tomlinson. But Catherine heard only the opening sentence: “Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.” But Sarah and I were strangers to this man. Why would he lay down his life for us?

“This is the Day” is in the public domain.
Scripture from John 15:13, NIV.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Powers 02/03/11
Wow, you had me on edge. Well done.
Cherry Bieber 02/06/11
Although I figured out pretty quickly that this was going to be a case of weaving events together for the crescendo, I was still very surprised and moved at the end. Very well done!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/10/11
Congratulations for placing 12th in Masters and 13th overall!