Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: SURPRISE (07/25/19)
- TITLE: All Will Know
By Rachel Burkum
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My lips curled upwards as I envisioned he was wearing a cape. A villain, I thought though, not a hero.
“Janet, are you even listening to me?”
“No.” My grin spread into full smile, and I tucked my hands into my own lab coat’s pockets where I could feel my favorite pen, my cross key chain, and the smooth foil of that piece of gum I’d forgotten about yesterday.
Miles huffed, rolling his eyes as he pushed open the doors to the science lap. “You’re making our team look bad, just like you always do. We’re never going to get that extra funding if you keep on dragging your religion into all this.”
I tried my best to keep my smile, but it slowly dimmed anyway. I wondered if my facial muscles must get tired of that same daily effort. “It’s not religion,” I countered softly, while aiming for our work station.
“Yeah? Then what would you call it?” Miles plopped down on his stool, tossing his notebook aside so hard that it slid into some beakers, making them rattle. If it hadn’t been for the tension in the air, I would have rather like that light, tinkling sound.
I took up my seat and retrieved that forgotten piece of gum I’d discovered. “It’s truth. It’s… life. It’s undeniable.”
“I’m denying it, Janet!” He threw his arms in the air, as if hoping that would help. “We deal with facts around here, and nothing more. That’s all the funders want to hear about. But instead, they get an earful from a crazy religious fanatic. E-v-i-d-e-n-c-e,” he emphasized.
I turned my back. “I see all the evidence I need.” It was getting harder and harder to remain calm. Oh, Lord, keep me from beating him over the head with this notepad. “How can you look at anything we deal with and deny an intelligent creator?” I grabbed my precious little bamboo plant and held it out to him. “Look this… I mean really look at it. Put it under a microscope. Study how it grows. Then tell me it all just happened by accident. Better yet, go down to Kira and ask her all about the butterflies she’s been studying.” My eyes pleaded with his cold stare. “Go home and watch just one episode of that ocean show you love so much. And tell me there’s no intentional design.”
Miles had heard this argument before. Multiple times. And it penetrated no more deeply now than it ever had. Standing, he took my bamboo and set it gently back on the counter. “I know this is important to you.” His tone had quieted. “But you have to leave the beliefs at home. You’ve proven nothing. All you’ve done is make a fool out of our entire floor. Stop… or I’ll file a formal complaint.”
My heart sank as he walked away. He’d never threatened me before. My eyes started to burn, and I turned my blurred sight to my plant. It boggled my mind that no one here could see it. And it hurt. Deeply.
I was cleaning off my workspace six months later. Miles had complained loudly enough that I was now jobless. My bamboo was nestled between pens I’d collected, my water bottle, the tape dispenser I’d brought from home, and a few sticky notes I wanted to keep. Was this really all I had to show for the countless hours I’d spent here? With my arms full, I aimed for the door, my chin held high.
I only made it partway though. The light blasting through the row of windows was so bright that I lost my grip, sending my box and all its contents to crash and scatter along the floor. I blocked my face with my hands, squinting for just a small peek.
And then I heard it. Everyone did. Every single person across the globe heard it. The sound of the trumpet evoked a mix of awe, terror, excitement and joy. And in that very moment, all those who had ever doubted, did no longer. But it was too late for them.
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