Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SHOP (01/03/19)
TITLE: Black Friday Specials
By Claudia Barrington
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“Oww! Oh my God, help me! Margaret, someone just stomped on my foot!"
“Oh no, Betty! Come on, let’s duck in here. We need to eat anyway.”
“Ok. I’m starving. Oh dear God, how my foot hurts.”
Margaret helped her sister to limp through the entrance but once inside they found the restaurant no less crowded than the mall corridor.
“Stay here. Be right back.” Betty nodded and winced with pain.
Margaret pressed toward the hostess desk and raised her voice over the clamor. “My sister might have a broken foot. How long is the wait?”
“An hour and a half” the hostess yelled back.
She tilted her chin upward, closed her eyes and thought, “Now what?” Her shoulders ached from the weight of the bags.
A lone man had watched the sisters since they’d come in, and now he beckoned, “Come over here!” Any other day she might have ignored him, but not today. She breathed a sigh of relief.
Margaret helped Betty hobble to the table where the man stood to take their baggage. The two women collapsed into his booth.
A waitress sprinted by but did not offer a menu.
Betty spoke first. “I’ve never been so happy to sit down in my life. Thank you.” The man kindly smiled and nodded while arranging their bags so that no one would trip, then sat down.
Margaret thanked him, then explained that Betty’s foot might be broken.
“Yes, I know. I heard you tell the hostess. Let me see your foot.”
Betty’s foot throbbed as she took off her shoe. “Oh no. God help me… it’s already turning black and blue. Margaret! Look at it! What are we going to do?”
The man held her foot in his hands as he inspected it. “Yes, you’re definitely in need of a physician.”
“How am I ever going to walk out of here? This Black Friday has turned out to be a very painful day! People will do anything to save $100.00 or $200.00 on Christmas gifts!”
Again the man humbly smiled and agreed. ”Yes, Christmas is here. And Black Friday can indeed be painful.”
Margaret chimed in, “And people trample each other like this on the day after Thanksgiving!"
Both women suddenly remembered that they themselves had gotten up at 4:30 that morning in order to be first in line to save $160.00 on a 45-inch flat screen.
The man spoke. “So that TV is for your brother’s little invalid son, James?”
Margaret, stunned, asked, “How…how did you know that? Yes, James has been bedridden for 5 years. But HOW did you know that?!”
Betty’s phone rang. Her mouth dropped and her expression lit up like Christmas lights as she listened, obviously speechless.
Margaret asked, “What is it, Betty? Isn't everything ok?”
“Yes, Margaret! Little James stood up today! He stood on his own two feet!”
“What?! James stood today? Oh my God! Thank You, Jesus! What a miracle!”
Now the man stood. “Excuse me, ladies, I must go now. I pray the best for both of you and your nephew.”
Before the women had time to react, the man disappeared into the crowd, and a waitress delivered lunch.
Betty said to her, “This isn’t ours. We haven’t even seen a menu yet.”
“That man ordered for both of you, and paid for it, and tipped me very well. I thought he was your father or brother or something."
Now Margaret’s mouth dropped. “THIS is my favorite dish!”
“And Margaret... how did he know that I LOVE this salad? Who was he?"
One minute of silence.
Betty peeked at her foot. It wasn’t black and blue anymore.
Their hearts were burning.
“Margaret. My foot." Ten seconds of silence. "It doesn’t hurt.”
Neither spoke for a full five minutes.
“Betty. Christmas was here. We didn’t recognize Him.”
Thirty seconds of silence.
“And Margaret. The sky was black on THAT Friday." Ten more seconds of silence. "They put nails through His feet.”
The astonishment deepened. “Betty. You said, 'Oh God, help me'.”
“Margaret. Cyber Monday is coming. It’s for the whole world."
And their hearts burned within them.
Mark 15:33...darkness came over all the land.
Luke 24:32 And they said to one another, “Did not our hearts burn within us while He talked with us on the way..."
“...and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
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