Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Write for the FANTASY and/or SCI FI Genre (10/16/14)
TITLE: An Outstanding Balance
By Chris Goglin
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“Welcome to Celestial Holdings Bank,” giving Cindy a friendly handshake, “your new debit card is ready and comes with a new chip technology that will keep you more secure.”
“Thanks,” replied Cindy opening her disheveled little wallet, “that will help in the neighborhood I live in.”
“No problem, just sign your name in the lighted area and your card will be activated. Thank you, and have a great day!”
Stopping by the local grocery store on the way home, Cindy removed her calculator from her purse to keep an eye on her spending. “This is so lame,” she thinks to herself, “I don't see anyone else using a calculator through the store, I wish I didn’t have to, but don’t want to go over my balance.”
She drops a few oranges, milk, bread, and two cans of cat food for Muffy into her cart. After the cashier rings up the purchases, she looks at Cindy regretfully.
“I'm sorry lady, but your charge card has been declined.”
“Oh,” feeling embarrassed, “I was afraid of that, let me see if I have another.”
Rummaging through her purse, she remembered the new debit card she just received, but knew her funds were scarce. She hesitantly handed it to the clerk.
“Here, you can try this.”
Waiting for another decline, she looked up sheepishly...
“Ok, no problem, this card went through, and you have $100 left on your gift card.”
“uhhh, what gift card? I gave you a debit card,” whispered Cindy in amazement.
“Well, lady, whatever card it was, it went through and you have extra money to boot, must have been a promotion or something.”
Cindy completed her purchase not really knowing what happened, but relieved in avoiding another embarrassing situation. Thinking to herself, “I don't remember the bank giving me a promotion, maybe it was for opening a new account, I’ve heard of that before. I guess that was it, I’ll call them and thank them when I get home.”
On the way home, she stopped by Walmart for a few treats for her Sunday school class, filled up her gas tank, which was almost empty. She pulled in her driveway excited yet confused.
Cindy threw her keys on the kitchen table, sat down, and punched in the bank's number on the back of her card.
There was no answer.
“Hmmm,” glancing at her watch, “must be after hours, I'll go over there tomorrow.”
Cindy unpacked her groceries while watching her kids get off the school bus from her kitchen window.
“I have a surprise for you, how would you like to go out for pizza tonight?” She had calculated just enough left on her debit card.
“Wow, Mom, shouted Katie, “we haven't gone out to eat in ages, not since Dad died!” They both hug.
All bowed their heads at Papa John’s Pizza thanking God for a wonderful meal. When it came time to pay for the pizza, Cindy handed her card to the waiter.
“You can keep the change, there should be just enough left on there.”
“Ok miss, thanks!”
As Cindy gathered up her kids heading for the door, an anxious waiter stopped her.
“I don't think you meant for me to keep the change; you still have $100 left on your gift card!”
“What?” Cindy gasped, “that just can't be, are you sure?”
He smiled and took out the appropriate tip, and handed Cindy the revised receipt.
The next morning, Cindy rushed to the bank and walked up to the door. It was locked. A sign posted on the door read...
WE HAVE MOVED TO HIGHER GROUND, ALL ACCOUNTS HAVE BEEN SEALED AND WILL REMAIN ACTIVE.
Cindy left puzzled but thankful for her mysterious miracle. She continued to use her debit card for many years, and the balance always stayed at $100.
“Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 (NASB)
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