Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
- TITLE: A Familiar Stranger
By Christine Dunn
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My friend throws an arm around my shoulder, as he too paces in a daze. This quiet road has often been a place of contemplation for us, and while treading it, we have solved many a problem here. The impossible case set before us today however, leaves us almost speechless, and a solution seems more distant than the village we amber aimlessly towards.
“I suppose there are a lot of strange folk around.” My friend warns me. “And let’s face it - It’s not like he was the most popular man in some circles.”
“So, you think it was enemies who stole it?” I shake my head in disgust “But - how? How would they even have got in there in the first place?”
“Beats me. Those guys would receive the death penalty if they were caught!”
I nod my head in agreement. “It just gives me the shivers thinking about it. We don’t know what sort of people are out there.” I begin to feel a little afraid on the deserted road. I can almost hear the sound of footsteps nearby, but remind myself that it is probably the echo of our own.
“Hey.” My friend whispers, confirming my fear. “Don’t look now, but I think we’ve got company.”
Sure enough, a tall shadow is cast nearby, as someone approaches quickly. We walk in silence until the stranger appears beside us.
“Hello.” I mutter, yet gaze straight ahead. Hopefully he’ll take the hint and leave us to talk in peace.
“What’s up?” he asks, studying our faces. “You both look pretty tired and sad.”
“Haven’t you heard?” my friend barks, in an almost aggressive manner.
I too examine him impatiently. Surely anyone in the surrounding area wouldn’t have to ask.
“Why, it’s the talk of the whole region!” I recall the painful events. “A famous prophet, born in Nazareth was crucified at Calvary on Friday. He performed miracles and healed the sick. He even raised one of our dead friends to life again! He truly was a man of God.”
“As if that wasn’t bad enough,” my friend, Cleopas continues, “we have just heard that his body has gone missing! It was in a sealed tomb nearby, but someone has actually managed to roll the large stone away. Now, some ladies we know claim to have seen angels there! They say Jesus is alive. I think they just can’t bear what tomb robbers have done!“
“Enough of all this foolish talk.” Cleopas is interrupted by the stranger. I stare at him. What authority has he to speak like this?
“Didn’t you say that this man performed miracles?”
We both nod our heads.
“And isn’t he a man of God?”
We mumble in agreement.
“Didn’t you also say that he raised a friend of yours from the dead?”
I again stare blankly at the man. What exactly is he trying to point out? And that’s when it suddenly clicks!
“I seem to recall that Jesus, the man you are referring to, once said that people would kill him, but after three days he would rise again.*”
I stop as we reach the village of Emmaus. Could it be? It must be true! My heart pounds as I take in what the stranger continues to explain. It’s obvious that he certainly knows Jesus, far better in fact than we ever had. His knowledge is outstanding.
“Well, this is clearly where you’re stopping for the night.” The learned man points to the village ahead. “I think I’ll walk on for a while.”
“No, please stay.” Cleopas too is eager to hear more from this man. “Come and eat with us.”
Thankfully, he is persuaded, and follows to my house, where I lay the table with what humble food I have left.
So Jesus is alive! As I hold the bread in my hands, contemplating excitedly, everything I have heard, the man motions for me to stop. I watch in amazement, as he proceeds to take the bread, and break it evenly into three pieces. I have a wonderful, indescribable feeling in my heart. There’s something very familiar about this stranger….
* Author’s note: Reference about Jesus predicting resurrection from Mark 9:31 (written in own words). The scene is taken from Luke 24:13-32. This article is not a literal account of the Biblical scene, but rather the author’s own perception of how events may have unfolded.
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