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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Seasons (12/08/03)

TITLE: Ask, Seek and Knock
By Marrita ajfk;jakjfkd;a


Glistening lights frolicked from puddle to puddle on the street. Marium swayed as she balanced on the edge of the curb. Should she just fall in? Possibly if she fell, then those beautiful puddles would swallow her whole and she wouldn’t have to fear the world anymore. Cars zipped by mostly unnoticed by the young woman. She was gripped simply by the thought of escaping this world.

Still balancing, she looked up for a moment at the rain as it fell from an unknown origin in the darkened sky. The change in perception caused Marium to lose her balance and begin to fall into the street. Before her body could hit the pavement and the cars zoom over her, she was caught by an elderly man. His arm curved under her back as he effortlessly lifted her to her feet.

Marium stood in amazement at this man. Her first thought was of Santa Claus with his long white beard, but the clothes did not fit that persona. The old man was dressed in a nice midnight blue pinstriped suit and polished black loafers.

How out of place this man seemed. The streets were dirty from pollution, cars drove past without a care for pedestrians, shops were boarded up, a dirty gas station loomed across the street, and right behind the man was a dingy smoke filled bar. Marium stared at her helper with peaked curiosity, her own depressed state forgotten for the moment.

“What brought you here?” she asked in a slightly accusatory tone.

The old man’s eyes glittered and sparkled as he chuckled. He placed a warm hand on her shoulder and replied, “Why, you of course!”

Marium was dumbfounded. She didn’t know this man, nor had she ever seen him before in her life. He didn’t fit in here, an outcast with too much brightness on this gloomy street. Why had he come for her?

“Mister, I don’t know you. How could you have come here for me?” Marium clenched her fists in anger, sure she had become the butt of some joke.

The old man’s voice danced on the air as he spoke, “Child, I’ve known you all your life. Just because you didn’t see me doesn’t mean I wasn’t there. I come when I’m needed, when the seasons change.” His smile broadened with a wisdom so deep it encompassed his face completely.

“Seasons change, “ Marium mumbled to herself while looking up again at the sky. The rain still came down, yet neither she nor this man got wet. Marium struggled to understand what this man was saying.

“What do you mean? I don't get it. What does that have to do with me?” Marium couldn’t fathom how a stranger could care about her.

“Dear, sweet girl,” the old man began as he reached out and stroked her cheek with fatherly love,” When the earth is wrought with drought it gets the water it needs. When a tree is in need of light, the sun’s rays bend to find it’s branches. When nature needs cleansed, it snows. When it needs rebirth it rains. The seasons change when desperation shouts out to them.”

In exasperation, Marium yelled and began to cry.

“This doesn’t make any sense. How does that answer why you came for me?”

The old man reaches out and grabs onto the young woman, who falls into his strong arms willingly. The old man held her head up and whispered,

“Child, you say you weren’t desperate, but did you not want freedom from your pain? Did you not seek hope? Were you not standing on the threshold waiting for a new door to be opened? I came because you asked, I saved you because you sought to be saved, and now I’ve opened the door of hope because you knocked. I have come, dear child, because you need light to grow. You were wilting in this fallen world, I bent down to meet you.”

Member Comments
Member Date
Donna Haug12/15/03
Marrita, Beautiful story with a great surprise character. Donna
Jane Karkada12/15/03
Marium's character is fleshed out so well. Very heart warming story. In the second last para I think that you should have let the tense remain the same as that of the rest of the story. Instead of 'the old man reaches out..' ,perhaps it should have been 'the old man reached out..'?
Dave Wagner03/12/04
Oh, if only this were true! How wonderful. What a great picture you've painted here, for us...for me...

I could see clearly the scene you described, and it warmed me. Thank you.

>>Still balancing, she looked up for a moment at the rain as it fell from an unknown origin in the darkened sky.<<

I loved this line.

>> The old man’s voice danced on the air as he spoke...<<