Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Rage (violent, uncontrolled hatred and anger) (02/05/15)
TITLE: The Rescue of Sammy
By Leola Ogle
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He was an adorable baby, a precocious toddler, a sweet boy with a shy, sensitive spirit. His bubbling laughter floated like droplets of joy in the air. His warm hugs and wet kisses were the gifts he gave. He bestowed shy smiles on strangers.
A beautiful life unfolding and blossoming with such potential.
He loved his daddy, mother, older sister, but he especially loved animals. He always had a kitten or puppy, and a yearning to rescue strays. He was filled with such wonder and delight. His untarnished love flowed to those around him like soft, cool breezes on a summer afternoon.
He was five when his daddy was killed in a car accident. The light in Sammy’s eyes diminished but wasn’t extinguished. His joy ceased for awhile as his childish heart and mind struggled with such a great loss. He drew comfort from his pets and those who loved him. His laughter and delight with life, though subdued, returned.
A beautiful life still unfolding and blossoming.
Sammy was seven when his mother remarried. Such a kind, loving man devoted to her and her children. At least that’s what Sammy’s mother thought. Within months the explosive temper erupted. Rage filled the once loving home, most of it directed at Sammy.
Days tumbled over each other. Time chipped away at the young child’s sensitive spirit. It sucked joy and laughter like a vampire. Cruelty was hurled like burning darts at Sammy that his tears could not extinguish. He looked to his mother for protection – to rescue him, but she withdrew behind a wall of shame and fear. One day his sister stepped forward in his defense and suffered the consequences.
The spark in Sammy’s eyes dimmed and was replaced with sadness. The sadness turned to cold anger. He was eleven when he kicked his dog that got in his way. He felt momentary compassion and regret when his dog yelped, but he stifled it.
Sammy became a bully at school, meting out to others what he received at home. Somewhere inside of him that tender, sweet boy was curled up in a dungeon of pain. He lashed out at others, growing more defiant and rebellious.
He was fifteen when his stepfather left. It was too late for Sammy. The damage was done. He became the very rage and violence he hated. He kept getting suspended from school and finally dropped. At sixteen he embarked on a life of crime. He no longer remembered that sensitive boy who was filled with delight and joy – the one locked inside hiding behind a wall of hurt.
His mother tried to reach him, but her betrayal, which he viewed as permission for the abuse, made him lash out with all the rage his stepfather had poured on him. He rejected his sister’s overtures of love. Animals – pets – no longer brought him comfort.
At seventeen, he and some friends were arrested for a convenience store robbery where they beat the clerk. Sammy’s future looked bleak. Then the man walked in. Plopped his suitcase on the table and took a seat across the table from Sammy, who sat there with his arms crossed and anger oozing from every pore.
“I’m Mike Erics, your appointed counselor. You can call me Mike or Mr. Erics.” He fixed his eyes on Sammy with a probing gaze that seemed to search every dark corner of Sammy’s heart and mind.
“Go away,” Sammy growled, his voice a little shaky. “I didn’t ask for you. I don’t need anyone.”
“I’m not going to leave, Sam.” Mr. Erics leaned forward so that his breath brushed Sammy’s hands like whispers of a forgotten memory. “You are not a hopeless cause. Years ago, I was you. I sat where you’re sitting. Hardened, angry, and hating the world. But mostly I hated the hand life had dealt me.”
“Yeah. Well, so what?” Sammy’s expression had changed ever so subtly.
“A volunteer chaplain came to visit me. For the first time in my life someone believed in me – believed I could be different. The anger didn’t leave immediately. But it did leave. So here I am, Sam. I’m sticking with you. I choose to believe in you.”
A tiny ray of sunshine invaded the corner of Sammy’s heart where that sweet, innocent boy still dwelt. A tear slid down his cheek.
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