Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: COMPUTER (05/19/16)
TITLE: Pedro Brand, Santo Domingo..
By Daniel Rae
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A boy 16 years old, walks into a makeshift pawn shop in Pedro Brand, a barrio adjacent to the capital.
The boy produces a gun.
The pawn shop is a rudimentary affair; toaster ovens, micro waves, tv sets, sit on tables surrounded by most things worthless, the majority stolen and traded for a handful of pesos.
The proprietor watches a small flat screen PC, his most valuable piece of merchandise. The signal is sparse, so he retreats back to his email and begins to type a very important note to his daughter. It's her birthday, her 21st. He quickly changes the screens on his computer and goes to his photo file. He only has a few photos and had just that day learned to upload them, then access them at will.
He barely notices the wild eyed boy with the massive pistol.
"Dame el dinero! Cada centavo.!" The kid wanted every penny the shopkeeper had.
But the man who owns the store has seen more than his share of desperate attempts to pilfer, and he sighs and rises to his feet. A massive fan moves the air and redistributes it around the room, a mere distraction from the oppressive heat.
In the last seconds of his life Juan Bautista recognizes the intruder, a friend of his eldest son. He turns back to his computer and logs out. 'Jesus Saves', a preset screen saver that his daughter has programmed, fills the 18 inch screen.
The gun explodes, and flashes like lightening, in the small cinder blocked room. The sound deafens Juan's ears as the bullet tears through his chest, killing him in an instant, standing dead on his feet.
The boy seems to be astounded by what he's done. The cocaine that fuels his binge, rattles his fraying nerves. He jams the weapon into his pants and turns to run. As he steps out onto the street, a middle aged man attempts to tackle him to the ground. The boy slips away and jumps onto a moto conch, clearly panicked and desperate. A second man, young and hardy, knocks him off his bike and onto the muddy road. In a matter of seconds 5-6 more men are on top of the boy.
A voice screams out amid the fracas; "He killed Juan! Jaun is dead!, He killed Juan! ". Someone pulls the magnum from the struggling boys waist band, and fires a shot through his chest. The boys eyes pop open unnaturally, and crimson flows from his nose and mouth. Barrio Justice was administered fast.
The neighbourhood is a close knit community and the gathering crowd becomes increasingly hysterical. Families and friends arrive quickly, moaning and wailing, some for the boy and some for Juan Bautista.
Juan was well known and well loved in the impoverished neighborhood. In the weeks to come hundreds would recall his generous spirit, a pawn man that on many occasions, returned items of sentimental value without being repaid. A man that
exemplified a New Creation in Christ, walking the talk, everyday.
And the boy, the 16 year old youngster that was central to this tragedy, had always been a good son, friend, and team mate, acceling in the class room and on the baseball diamond.
Three months ago a friend had introduced him to his first taste of 'coca'. In 90 short days Julio had gone from a productive young man to a liar and a thief. What was once a wonderful son, had become his families disgrace. And such is the destructive nature of the enemy. He who cackles and rejoices at every failure of The Saints. Just because he's lost us eternally, doesn't stop him from craving our failure as he counts down the moments between now and eternity, an ever shortening time.
This is a fictional account. But there is a Juan; And there is a boy; And there is a Pedro Brand, a barely livable barrio, that struggles to survive in the shadows of Santo Domingo.
As parents and educators we must never forget that the computer is potentially more insidious than it is beneficial.
True knowledge is now, and ever will be, found at the throne of God and in the Words of histories most significant Book.
***The Bible stands like a rock undaunted
Mid the raging storms of time;
Its pages burn with the truth eternal,
And they glow with a light sublime. ***
*** ( Haldor Lillenas, 1897. )***
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