Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: HONEST (05/31/18)
- TITLE: The Delusion
By Stephen Kimball
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â€œYour name doesnâ€™t appear in the booksâ€, he said matter-of-factly. Then he got loud: â€œI never knew you; Depart from Me!â€œ
â€œCan you imagine? And with that, here I am.â€
â€œIâ€™m not all together sure where â€˜hereâ€™ is though. Iâ€™ve been sitting on this bench, in this park of sorts, for what seems like forever. I canâ€™t tell what time it is; my watch doesnâ€™t work anymore and does the sun ever make an appearance here? Everything is so greyâ€¦ as far as I can seeâ€¦colorless, lifeless almost, except for me and you and a few other loners milling about. And everyoneâ€¦almost everyoneâ€¦ excuse me, is so unfriendly here. Not to mention that bloody awful stench that fills the air. Iâ€™m getting really sick of this place.â€
â€œYou are new here, arenâ€™t you?â€œ he said in a slow cadence, his voice disturbingly coarse as if he had once torn his throat to pieces swallowing shards of glass. I knew it was Donny Briscoe right away but his face was gaunt and drab with hollow eyes and pupils black as tar that seemed to look right through me. Despite the ghoulish hue, I was delighted to see a recognizable face.
â€œGood to see you again Donny. What happened to your voice?â€
â€œWrong place at the wrong time I guess, Jack. I got in with a pretty bad crowd, see. They roughed me up good - never could talk straight since. And you? You are one chap I never expected to find here. I mean, I got what I deserved. But you? You were always teacherâ€™s pet, goody two shoes if I remember right. Never would play football with us on Sundayâ€™s â€“ always at church with your mum.â€
â€œYes! Yes! Yes! Thatâ€™s what I tried to tell him. I did my best, my whole life. I did enjoy the pub, perhaps a bit too much, but I was a respectable man -a pillar of the community, if I do say so myself. I attended church regularly; I knew the Holy Scriptures better than most. In fact, I could still recite all 66 books in the Bible â€“ I think.â€
â€œThatâ€™s good Jack. Last I saw you was back in Bedfordshire, right? You marry that little tart you were with in school? What was her name?â€
â€œLilyâ€¦We were together for years but she really never met my needs. I broke it off after the kids got a bit older. I was tired of pretending. Water under the bridge though, Donny. My second wife got too tangled up in the church, even for me. I think it might have actually been a cult. She offered our pool, one time, for people to get baptized in! She did that without ever asking my permission â€“ can you believe that? And well, that was just about all I could take. Not long after that she got overly angry at my youngest son for nothing, really. She took him into his room, made him shed his trousers and took a switch to his bare bum! Humiliating. That was the last straw, I tell you. After that, I decided to go it alone. But even after we split I went to church â€“ a different church, albeit. The one I went to after that never asked for money. I almost never missed a service, it was the best. I loved that church.â€
â€œThatâ€™s quite a story. Iâ€™m afraid I must be going now, Jack.â€
â€œOkay, Iâ€™m sure you have better things to do than to sit around and listen to me moan and groan.â€
â€œIâ€™m sure you will find your way here, Jack - seems like you fit right in.â€
â€œOh, I donâ€™t plan to stayâ€¦I just got to figure out how to get another audience with â€˜The Big Guyâ€™ and I am sure this will all be straightened out. Hey Donny, perhaps you would be kind enough to come with me â€“ a witness, of sorts!â€
â€œSo sorry, Jack...as far as I can tell, there are no second chances.â€ And with that he vanished.
1st John 2:4 (NKJV) â€œHe who says, â€˜I know Him,â€™ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.â€
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