Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: AS EASY AS PIE (12/01/16)
- TITLE: Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining
By M. C. Syben
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The popular Community Representative, “Bean,” presided, and pounded the gavel in the recreation center. “Here, here. The topic of discussion is our neighbor’s satanic beliefs. Christmas is upon us; we must determine a course of action over their decorative choices.”
“As easy as pie, Bean, lynch them,” Professor Brown said.
“Pie—my favorite,” five-year-old Wyatt exclaimed.
“Shh.” Carolyn said, miffed at having to bring her son to the
neighborhood meeting after the sitter failed to arrive again. ‘This is the last straw. I must dismiss her,’ Carolyn thought.
Another distinguished citizen stood pounding a newspaper in the palm of his hand. “I’m not usually, violent, but I concur with Professor Brown. We need to remove this offense from our neighborhood, but I doubt it will be ‘as easy as pie.’”
Bean asked, “Anyone have ideas how to expel the Satanists that don’t include murder?”
“Speak of the Devil. Allow no more renters here.” Mrs. Henley screeched.
“Get a grip on yourself, dear,” Mr. Henley whispered while sitting her down gently.
“No use crying over spilt milk, Mrs. Henley. But I’ll insist on more adequate reference checks,” Bean said.
Wyatt said, “I want milk, mommy…with pie.”
The Satanists had advertised their allegiance—rubbed it in everyone’s faces. While houses glowed with Christmas decorations, they planted inverted crosses, hung black garland, and placed signs in their windows: “Hail, Satan.”
Carolyn, swallowed, then raised her shaky hand. Usually, her husband did the talking.
“Mrs. Williams, a penny for your thoughts. Oh, where’s Bob tonight?” Asked Bean.
“He missed the early flight. But, we had discussed the problem. We thought a Christian approach to this matter would work best.”
Mr. Bowser, the football coach, barked, “Oh, good Lord. I bet you’re going to pull out all the stops and suggest that being sweet will compel those sickos to pack their bags.”
The room broke out in laughter.
Bean brought the gavel down twice. “Order. We, all, have a right to speak. Go on, Mrs. Williams, the ball’s in your court.”
“Not ‘my sweetness,’ Mr. Bowser. But, God’s, yes. I ask all of you one question. What does evil hate more than anything?”
The room became still. No one answered until Wyatt’s small voice sounded. “I know, Mommy. I know.”
“Go ahead, dear.”
“Correct, Wyatt. Evil hates God’s love. I suggest we beard the lion in his own den by assembling prayer units outside their house. We unite the local denominations, and make the Satanists eat, sleep, and breathe God’s grace through December. Could it hurt to try that before applying any legal measures, which would cost an arm and a leg? We’ll maintain our Christmas spirit while defeating evil God’s way.”
“Killing two birds with one stone. I think you hit the nail on the head, Mrs. Williams,” Bean said.
“Piece of cake,” Mr. Henley said. “I’ll pray every waking hour.”
“Mommy, I love birthday cake the best!”
“I’ll be glad to see the back of their heads,” Mrs. Henley agreed. “I’ll pray too.”
No one beat around the bush. The neighbors discussed possibilities and plans of action. Carolyn thanked God they saw eye to eye and hadn’t lost their heads by letting fear and anger get the best of them.
Within days, all local churches began a prayer chain for 666 Down Street. Unbeknownst to the renters, clergy sprinkled holy water on their house. Bible readers were more apparent to the tenants as they spent hours’ curbside declaring the word. Christmas carols wafted through out Down Street while volunteers dropped off baked goods by 666’s front door that mysteriously disappeared after dark.
Days before Christmas, in the middle of the night, the Satanists abandoned their home, except for one young pregnant woman, who knocked on Carolyn’s door the following morning.
“I’m Wynona…from 666. Everyone left… irritated. But I want to know more… would you…
Carolyn invited the shivering Satanist inside. “Let’s talk over coffee or tea, Wynona. No need to let grass grow under our feet. Shall I tell you about the Lord?”
“Yes.” Wynona sighed with relief. “I heard him reassuring me…”
Carolyn beamed. “He communicated with you?”
“With a love, I never felt in my life; what is his name?” Wynona pleaded.
“Jesus. His name is Jesus.”
Winning a Satanist over to Christianity wasn’t “easy as pie,” but it had happened.
To celebrate the conversion of Wynona’s soul, the ladies ate Christmas cake for breakfast. A red flower of icing topped Wyatt’s slice. “Mmmmerry Christmas.”
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