Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: BACK TO BASICS (02/16/17)
- TITLE: The Lollypop Man
By R J Rodda
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
He walked back out, saw her and said, “Hello, I’m Jake, your new neighbor”.
Carrie’s cheeks infused with a soft pink as she responded with her name.
Then she glanced at her gold bracelet watch.“Sorry, must go,” she said. “I’m off to church. Want to come?”
Jake’s dark green eyes stared at her, his lower lip sagged.
“It’s a lovely community church, lots of families,” she burbled as her face grew more flushed.
“Church?” said Jake. “Sorry, last time I went to church it ended badly. Too much emphasis on submit to your leaders.”
“Submit to your leaders,” tittered Carrie. “We don’t do that anymore. Pastor Simon is lovely, very collaborative. You’ll be most welcome”.
“Next week,” he said.
And next week he came to their light filled white stone building. Carrie strutted in next to him. He greeted everyone, the adults with cheery confidence and firm handshakes, the young by crouching down to their level.
The next Sunday, he was back but this time, with bright-colored lollipops for the children.
“I loved candy as a kid,” he said. “I could never get enough”. The children clustered around him. Pig-tailed Stella tugged at his arm, while young Bradley clung to his knee. Carrie stood by his side, ignored.
From across the room, Pastor Simon’s grey mustache went from up to down. He barrelled over to Jake, dispersing the children. There was a whispered conversation. A scowling Jake returned to her side.
“Pastors,” he spat.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“He says I’m not allowed to give out candy to the children”.
“Oh,” she said, swallowing. “I guess you should check with their parents first”.
He huffed out a sigh. “I was just trying to make friends with them. What gives him the right to say no? I thought you said this church doesn’t believe in ‘Obey your leaders’”.
She did her best to talk him around but was inwardly troubled. Couldn’t Pastor Simon see it was important to make new people welcome? Surely if a parent minded about the candy, it was up to them to say something?
Jake was reluctant to come the following week but she persuaded him. As soon as the service finished, the children huddled around him. Carrie noticed Jake reaching into his pockets and handing out something. Chocolates. Stella’s face was beaming. Bradley was begging for more.
Pastor Simon also saw. He made a beeline for Jake and said, “Stay away from the children, if you want to keep coming to my church”. Jake stormed out.
Carrie was furious and said so.
“I’m sorry Carrie,” Pastor Simon said his face sorrowful. “I can’t explain why. You need to trust me on this”.
She ran out.
This time Jake refused to go back to church.
Carrie was so upset, she stopped going as well. Instead, her and Jake would go for the occasional coffee to the park, but he didn’t seem that interested in catching up with her anymore.
Then one day as she was sipping her early morning coffee at her kitchen table, she heard sirens racing up her street. They stopped just near her house. Her heart thumping, she ran to the window to see two police cars outside Jake’s cottage. Four well-built cops, their guns strapped on their sides, got out. They strode to Jake’s wooden door and banged on it. He appeared, disheveled and rubbing his eyes. They spoke for a moment and Jake disappeared.
She leaped out onto her porch, no watering can this time.
Jake reappeared and was marched to a police car by the four cops. She called out to him. He waved goodbye.“Just a mistake,” he called out. “It’ll get sorted out soon”.
She found out later he was charged with indecent assault against children. It seemed he had a history.
Carrie flew down to the church office and entered without an appointment.
“I’m so sorry Pastor Simon,” she said as a tear slipped out of her eye. “I should have listened to you”.
“I couldn’t explain before, Carrie,” he said. “The police were still investigating”.
She went home and flipped open her neglected bible. It was time to go back to the basics.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.