Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Passport (07/25/05)
TITLE: Border Patrol
By Sandra Petersen
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"Your passport," he demanded.
His breath, laced with the odor of beer and cigarettes, repulsed her. His coal-black eyes bored through her with a searing hatred. Praying silently, she overheard the satisfied grunts of the border patrol as they scuttled her backpack and handbag.
"It's in my purse," she whispered.
The officer, still clutching her bound hands, snapped, "Pedro, Juan, any identification in her bags?"
"Only this, Jorge," one of the soldiers leered, displaying a silky pair of panties to the guffaws of his comrades.
"Dump her purse out on the ground!"
Verna continued to pray desperate thought prayers that the hidden backpack compartment would be invisible to their prying hands and eyes.
The contents of her purse spilled out across the ground.
"What's that?" her captor challenged as Pedro grabbed a small leather-bound book.
Jorge retrieved it from the soldier and flipped through the pages with one hand. Throwing the book onto the ground, he spat.
"A Bible! Contraband!" he shouted. "Don't you know this is illegal in this country?"
Verna averted her eyes from the man's anger. He picked up her passport from among the scattered items and tossed it beside the Bible.
"So what else have you smuggled into our land?"
He forced her to sit on a tree stump. One of his associates guarded against escape. With his knife, he slit open the outside shell of the pack, and then the lining. Pocket-sized Bibles and plastic CD cases clattered to the gravel. Picking up one of the CDs, he snorted.
"Just as I thought! More illegal Western propaganda!" Turning to his men he commanded, "Build a fire and destroy all of it!"
Helpless, Verna watched as the men gathered twigs and dry kindling to pile upon the Bible, passport, and Christian materials.
Was the danger of the last few days all for nothing? Maybe she had misunderstood the Lord's leading. A hazardous, likely lethal, mistake if she had.
Still, she was not frightened. Instead she felt overcoming peace and an assurance that she was exactly where the Lord desired her to be.
"Please!" she begged. "Can't I at least keep my passport?"
"No passport, no safe passage," Jorge growled as his henchmen forced Verna onto her knees.
"My citizenship is in Heaven and my Lord Jesus Christ waits for me there!" she declared to the laughter of the soldiers holding her. The one called Pedro, left to burn her belongings, did not laugh.
"Then go back to the country you came from!" Jorge bellowed. He clasped her by the hair and forced her head backward.
As the officer slit her throat she saw the one called Pedro slip her Bible into his waistband and cover it with his T-shirt. Sparks caught the kindling and began to blaze fiercely.
She entered into the Lord's presence that afternoon.
"Mission accomplished, daughter," He said.
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