Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Home Group (11/29/07)
- TITLE: Frank N. Stein's Home Group
By Sue Dent
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With daylight savings time gone, darkness fell quicker and made the trek up the limb-littered sidewalk a little tricky. It didn’t help anyone’s nerves when they considered the house was set a fairly good distance from the street.
“Did you write the address down right?” a nervous Raymond asked Phil. He’d stopped next to his wife Sandra to give Raymond a chance to answer before they moved on.
“Yes,” Raymond replied. “And if I’m not mistaken we both verified it back there at the curb—under the streetlight.”
“Okay, no need to get testy.”
“Let’s just all calm down,” Phil’s wife Sheryl said, hiding behind her own apprehension. “I’m sure Frank and Cindy—Stein, have a lovely home.”
Phil swallowed hard. “You know, I learned last week at home group that Frank’s middle name was Nathan. That would make him Frank N. Stein.”
Phil’s wife rolled her eyes. “So his dad had a wicked sense of humor.”
They continued on, made their way cautiously around the winding path, pulling their coats around them as they went. Frank and Cindy were members of their Home Group. They’d been quiet members but they were members none-the-less. Sure, everyone knew their turn would come to host the weekly Bible Study, they just never expected anything like this. The weathered steps that led up to the long front porch creaked as the group made their way up onto it.
“Man, I wish I could see. This place is creepy in the dark.” Raymond’s imagination typically ran away with him. This evening was no different. “So who’s gonna knock?”
Phil looked around. “I don’t know but where is everyone else? We can’t be the only ones to show up.”
“Maybe the others are already—inside.”
Sheryl peered through a window. “Well, if they’re inside, they’re awfully quiet.”
“Don’t,” Sandra cautioned her husband. She knew that look. He was going to say something she’d regret.
In response, he shoved his hands in the pockets of his coat. “Fine, but I’m not knocking.”
“Then I will.” Yet even Sandra was hesitant. Finally, she did manage a few raps and the door squeaked open.
“Oh, no,” Raymond said when Phil took a step forward. “Un-uh! I’m not going in there.”
Sandra shook her head. “Then you can stay out here.”
The others followed after Phil.
“Hey,” Raymond shouted. “Wait for me!”
They couldn’t see much in the dark but they could hear. And what they heard were the muffled cries of someone calling out. They followed the sounds into the kitchen.
“Hello,” Phil said when the voice grew louder.
“Over here!” It was Frank. Phil rushed to open the door he was trapped behind.
“Thank-you,” Frank said. “I’ve been in there for nearly an hour. I went down to change a fuse and got locked in. Quite a few others showed up but I don’t think they stayed.”
“I wonder why?” Raymond asked, earned a jab in the ribs from his wife.
Frank sighed. “Guess it wasn’t all that inviting. This is my grandparent’s old house. We’ve been renovating.” He reached to flip on a light and revealed where the bulk of the work had been done.
Sheryl gasped. “This is amazing!”
“Indeed,” Sandra seconded.
“Yeah,” Frank said. “I thought we’d have the Home Group in here. Cindy will be back in a minute. She ran to the store to get a few things. Maybe the others will come back when they see the lights on.”
Raymond couldn’t stop staring. “Isn’t it amazing how God works.”
The confounded stares were hard to ignore. “Oh, do share,” Sandra said.
“Well, first we walked in darkness and were afraid but then we saved Frank and were rewarded with light.”
Sandra rolled her eyes while the others laughed. "Please don't humor him. It will only get worse.”
Frank heard a knock at the door. “Hey, it sounds like the others have come back.”
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