Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)
TITLE: Spine of Steel
By Helen Paynter
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In the crowded room, he is alone. It is overgrown with tangles of admirers, but his unshared dilemma has driven him into the wasteland.
Despite his internal struggles, there is little to betray his agitation. Just a lightlessness within his eyes.
He stands silent, scrutinized.
Yes, this is a junction moment. So many lives in the balance. An opportunity to alter the lot of millions. Forever.
Does he have the courage to set it in motion? The backbone to see it through?
He can sense gimlets of indecision boring little holes in his determination.
The eyes of his closest followers are upon him. How willingly they have danced upon the cutting edge of his radical polemics. Yet what do they really grasp of the sacrifice in prospect? They have sworn fatal loyalty. But how faithful will they be when the soldiers arrive?
And what of the crowd? The thousands that flock to hear him. They need a shepherd to lead them softly to sanity. How greedily they lap at the draught he delivers. But the steel of popularity is double-edged. So keen the partition between love and hate. They were eager to offer a crown. What if they discover that his brand of kingship is not to their taste?
Satan smirks in the periphery of his vision. He must not underestimate the enemy. In every corner, behind every sycophant, it lurks, subtle and perilous.
Sweet victory flaunts her charms. Her price will be immeasurable. But how glittering the prize.
He will not admit fear into his reasoning. Nor pity. The strong will triumph by courage and determination. And he is strong. Unbending instrument of purity.
Give me the papers.
He takes up his pen, weapon of mass destruction, and incises the document with his signature: Adolph Hitler.
It is good to have a spine of steel
but only if your feet are on the Rock.
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