Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: CROWD (07/06/17)
TITLE: Never too Late
By M. C. Syben
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I gaze down at my mangled body inside the wreck of my brand-new minivan. Unpassionately, I think, “What a mess. Finally, I buy a new van and look what happens. I’m glad I bought the extra insurance.”
I survey the area around me. Vehicle after vehicle, tractor trailers, automobiles, trucks pretzeled around mine in a crush, like smoking, hissing, toys destroyed for a disaster movie. At the bottom of the ditch lies a bus on fire.
I notice that I’m just one of a pack of souls floating above the scene.
“Hello, there. What is happening?” I ask the soul closest to me, a young man.
He looks a bit panicked and shrugs. “Fog, I think. One minute the road appeared clear then boom, all hell broke loose.”
“Do you think there will be any survivors?”
“Maybe. Back far enough. But, looking at this bunch, I don’t see how.”
The man floats over to me and peers into my car. “Crap. You look done for.”
“Well, I do believe in miracles. Maybe the Lord will give me one today. I have children.”
I wonder why I’m not sad, scared, or concerned about my children.
“Miracles. The Lord. No such thing. Fairytales. All of it.” The man’s face looks so sour that I feel sorry for him.
“What’s your name?”
“Well, Tommy, I promise you. Jesus is real, and if I don’t receive a miracle today, I know I’ll be seeing Him soon. I’ll be happy to tell you about God’s son before it’s too late.”
I hear a host of giggles. Other souls swarm around me.
“Foolish, lady. This is just a dream.”
“It’s a nightmare.”
“We will wake up soon.”
The sound of sirens fills the air as our assemblage begins to float slowly upward.
“Wow. Check out the do-gooders below,” a drug-addled girl says.
A crowd gathers to tip a car over, hoping to rescue the occupants.
“I pray they succeed,” says the old lady who drifts over to me.
She murmurs in my ear, “I’m Molly. Are we the only Christians in this pack?”
“Looks like there are a few more,” I whisper back. “See their faces?”
Few exuded the peace that we did.
We watch as more souls leave their vehicles. A few children glow as we do. Gently, a baby floats into Molly’s arms.
“I’ll be,” she sighs happily. “I never had children of my own.”
The baby boy, coos as he gazes into her eyes.
“He’s a beauty,” I say. “By the way, I’m Jennifer.”
A varied crowd catches up to us—old, young, middle age, female, male. We look like a rainbow of personalities as we raise up leaving the carnage below.
As a bright light appears, Tommy floats by my side. “What is this?” He asks, alarmingly.
“I believe it may be the tunnel of light that leads us to judgment. I’ve never been dead before, but I assume this is the way it works.”
“Judgment? You mean that story about Heaven and Hell?” His voice rises to a screechy pitch.
“Tell me, quickly. Tell me about this Jesus.”
“He died for us, Tom. Tell Him you are sorry for everything you did wrong. Ask Jesus to forgive you. That way, you’ll enter into His realm of peace, love, and life everlasting. But you better be quick about it.”
“Please help me,” Tom pleads.
Before we step into the light, I lead Tom in the sinner’s prayer. He smiles and begins to glow. “I…I feel different.”
We souls cram into the tunnel. I pass straight through with others like me—anticipation overwhelming. The light shaft branches to the left and to the right. Apparently, those openings, like magnets, pull designated souls inside.
I watch Tom waiver, first pulled to the right, then to the left. Finally, he is within the Christian group, and I feel relief as we continue our forward motion.
Eagerly, we line up to meet the Lord. He invites us in, one by one until he meets Tom. “Not you, my son. It is not your time. Thanks to Jennifer, you will receive a second chance.”
Encircled by Christ’s love, Tom understands and grins at me. In an instant, he’s gone—sent back to Earth with a testimony to share.
I step up to my Lord beaming. He smiles.
A dull pain racks my entire body. I hear voices, muffled, excited.
“It’s a miracle.”
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