Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Rejoicing (11/22/04)
TITLE: The Ledge
By Robin Wisch
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Draining a pint of Jack Daniels, the raging father searched for his hand carved instrument of “discipline”, which he commonly used. Madness in his face, he shouted at his eleven year old son, “You’re just like your mother!”
The furious, man stood over his son. The lad smelled the familiar odor of alcohol and sweat. Suddenly, the man’s rage jumped to new heights. Lips curling inward, the man’s face turned monstrous. Terrified, the boy shut his eyes as the blur of a closed fist rocketed towards him…
“Ahh!” screamed Paul rising up in bed, waking from another horrific nightmare. Sweat poured from his temples as he peered through bleary eyes for a towel. “Paul, are you okay? asked his wife, softly. Calming himself, he eased back down staring at the ceiling. Looking at Laura, he saw her forearm…and fresh bruises. He sobbed.
Late That Night
Swaying, an inebriated Paul ambled down the walkway to Lighthouse Point, near the cliffs. “Soon morning will come” mumbled Paul. “Then, I’ll have to face another day…awake…and feeling things. I don’t want to feel things.” He walked on silently.
From the point, Paul saw the distant city lights. “It doesn’t matter,” he grumbled. “You’ve thought about this for years…”
Crashing waves echoed as he stood by the railing. A fence stood twenty yards away; beyond that, a stone ledge overlooking the sea.
“A wasted life,” he muttered hopping over the railing. “Who would miss me anyway?”
Approaching the fence, he observed the stone ledge, illumined by the moonlight. Beyond the ledge, the darkness called to him.
“I’ve failed at everything… I couldn’t even do this…” he screamed into the blackness. Landing on the ledge, Paul grasped for hope. Finding none, he crept forward. The violent sea beckoned.
“Things will never change!” shouted Paul as if someone was lurking in the darkness. “It must end. I can’t endure…” The crashing billows drowned Paul’s words
Suddenly, head in his hands; he fell to his knees. The reality of what he’d become stormed over him like an invading army. Sick of life and his inner pain, loathing entered his soul.
“God, where are you?" shouted Paul, rolling over onto his side, his stomach cramped in pain.
Tears poured forth with the realization that all things were about to end for him. He had failed at life.
Finally, lying on the ledge, agony gripped Paul’s soul. Crying to a God he never knew; darkness covered his mind. He squealed painfully from his deepest soul. Standing up, desperation left his heart; resignation replaced it.
“No second chance," he whimpered quietly. “At least this will end the torment.”
He watched the waves crash over the rocks below and then dissipate into foam, draining back into the sea. Surely, his soul would soon be cast into outer darkness, there awaiting its annihilation. His consciousness flattened out, blurring into nothingness, as all fear left him. He emptied his last feelings of this life.
Placing his hand against a small tree to his left, Paul steadied himself.
From the Throne in the eternals, the Spirit of the Living God spoke to Paul deep within. “What if you do this and nothing changes for you?”
Stunned, he unexpectedly plunged over the cliff into the darkness! Scraping and scrambling with arms and legs, Paul caught the small tree near him with his hand just before entering the abyss. Clutching it, his legs dangled over the chasm. Forcefully, he swung his legs and crossed them around the tree trunk. There he was; arms and legs crossed, hanging from a small sapling.
“The problem isn’t your body. It’s your soul!” uttered the Spirit, again. “Death claims your body… but, your soul…it moves on...as...it...is!"
Paul grunted as the thought blasted through his mind. “You will remain unchanged,” whispered the Spirit, finally.
Paul hung between heaven and earth; the reality of what he’d nearly done engulfed his mind. Finally, he swung himself onto the stone ledge. Sprawling onto his back; he wept.
Moments later, he cried out to his new found Lord who faithfully translated him into the kingdom of light.
In heaven, Gabriel instantly rocked the spirituals with a blast of his Heralding Trumpet. Multitudes of angels and saints raised their voices, jubilantly rejoicing as another lost sheep was found.
“…I tell you, there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” Luke 15:7