Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: RELEASE (08/02/18)
- TITLE: Icy Road to Freedom
By Jody Day
LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
ADD TO MY FAVORITES
The thump and rattle under the hood almost drowned out Jack’s cell phone. He patted the dashboard like he coddled a beloved old dog. “Come on, Bessie, just 3 more hours, please.” He answered the phone.
“She’s in a lot of pain. They can’t give her any more medication or it will knock her out. She won’t let them do it. She’s waiting for you, Jack.” His sister’s tearful, accusing voice tore at his heart.
“I’m going as fast as I can, Sue, but Bessie sounds like she has other plans. I’ll be there. Tell Mom I’m coming, one way or another.” Would he make it in time? He threw the phone onto the floorboard.
Bessie slowed down to 50 mph and that’s all she’d do. The heater coughed and quit. Par. He deserved to freeze after letting the months fly by without seeing Mom. But she didn’t deserve Bessie flaking out on both of them at the last.
“Come on, girl, don’t fail me now.” He pet the dashboard. Why hadn’t he gone? He kept telling himself that he just couldn’t bear to see her in her deteriorated state, that she’d rally. Tell yourself the truth for once, man. He couldn’t face her.
His sister’s anger toward him was palpable, breathable, and visible, a living thing. You could cut it with a knife, even on the phone. She had a right to it. He hadn’t helped her at all. In fact, he’d made it worse.
Thwack! He recalled the judge’s mallet with a jerk. “Thirty days for possession. And a $500 fine.” The bailiff rough-housed him across the street to the jail, but not before he saw his tortured mother rise from her seat in the courtroom. She’d stood and reached for him, tears streaming down her ashen face. Sue told him later that Mom paid the fine with money she’d needed for doctors. He’d never apologized. He’d gripped guilt with one hand and shame with the other and slammed himself into a self-made 7 by 8 cell.
“I love you, Son, and forgiveness is a prayer away.” Mom called daily after he got out. Jack quit answering the phone. Dad never listened to her about the God stuff, so why should he? Still, he thought about it all the time.
Bessie lurched, rattled, then gave up the ghost. “No!” He pounded the steering wheel. Desperation dumped on him as hard as the freezing rain that pelted the windshield. He shoved his hand into the floorboard to find his phone.
“Great. No service.” He opened the car door to hop out and try and hitch a ride, but the rain sliced his face and neck like tiny knives. If there were any cars on the road, he couldn’t see them. He jumped back into the car. Lightning split the sky and for a second the telephone poles lined up like crosses.
“I get it, God! I deserve this, but Mom doesn’t. She’s one of yours. Can’t you get me there for her?” he yelled into the air. He hadn’t spoken directly to God since elementary school, before Dad left. His fingers hurt with the cold, but a warmth thawed something. “Please, let me get there and make this right.”
The rain thrashed with such volume he barely heard the semi grind to a stop next to him. He got out. The driver rolled down the window.
“Are you going to Philly? I need a ride. Bessie, um, my car, isn’t going anywhere today.”
“Sure, hop in.”
The driver managed the treacherous road with skill, and before he knew it, he knelt at his mother’s bedside, and took her hand in his. She opened her eyes.
“Jack,” she whispered.
“I’m so sorry, Mom, so very sorry. Can you ever forgive me?” He kissed her hand.
“Already have, but Jesus wants…” she began, tried to raise her head, but a coughing fit halted her words.
“I know, Mom. Now, I think I know.” He raised up and kissed her cheek.
“I can tell.” She gave his hand a weak squeeze, looked from him to Sue. “I’m free.”
She closed her eyes. Jack felt her leave. She’d delayed her freedom in agony to be sure of his.
Just like Jesus.
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.