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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Manuscript (04/29/10)

TITLE: Tony's Faithful Friend
By Philip Barrington


Tony was a very nervous boy at the age of twelve. During lunch he would write short manuscripts behind a brick wall in the school grounds. He often showed what he wrote to his teacher.

Rejected by his class mates, school became a burden for Tony, He hung his head in despair as many attempts to have one faithful friend, failed.

On a very hot day, Tony was so discouraged he did not go to his favorite private location to write. Hanging his head, watching the sunlight reflecting from the pavement, Tony stumbled on a piece of paper. Looking around he carefully picked it up. Cautiously, he put it in his pocket.

Secretively, Tony went behind the building to read his find. Anxiously, unscrambling his piece of paper, Tony started to read. “For God so loved”. Tony stared hard, raised his head in thought. Anxiously, Tony whispered, for God so loved what? Who? He stared at the paper again, and said “hang on; there is a bit more here.” “That he gave” Oh no, said Tony. It does not say what he gave. A foot print had covered some words. Tony could not make out what was written. In the faded part of the foot print, more words were made plain. “That…. Believeth in him should not perish but.” Tony became distraught.

With tears in his eyes, he carefully folded the crumpled paper and put it in his top pocket. With dirty marks down his cheeks, Tony went to class. With carefulness and with a lot of heart, his teacher Mr. Teasedale asked, what is the matter Tony? Why have you been crying? Sir may I talk to you? Well I can, said Mr. Teasedale. What about after school. Tony reluctantly agreed.

For the rest of the day, tony was not able to concentrate on his work. Knowing the torment that tony was going through, Mr. Teasedale. decided to give the class an early mark.

Tony followed his teacher to the principles office. He was so scared that he thought he was in trouble. Don’t worry, the teacher said. I am only taking you where we can talk. Knowing that the principles assistant Mrs. Price was going to be there, they continued down the corridor. What about my bus home, tony asked? We have phoned your parents. O, oh, said Tony, thinking he would be in trouble.

Mrs. Price was waiting at the door when Mr. Teasdale and Tony arrived. Come in she said. Now what seems to be the trouble?

Nervously, Tony reached in his pocket pulled out the manuscript that he was so concerned about. With his head down, Tony began to explain. You see Mrs. Price, I do not have any friends, while I was in the playground looking at the ground, I found this piece of paper that someone had written on. Words are missing and someone trod on it, I cannot understand what it is saying. Slowly, Tony handed the paper to Mrs. Price. Reading it quickly, oh Tony, she exclaimed. Would you like this writing explained to you? She asked. Could you? Asked Tony anxiously.

Mrs. Price started to explain. You see Tony, this looks like to me, that someone has written a selection of text from the bible. Someone has put together part of a manuscript for a tract, as she unfolded more.

Because the writing is hard to read, let me tell you what it says. “For God so loved Tony that he gave his only begotten son that if Tony believes on him he shall have everlasting life.” It doesn’t say that said Tony, he said with concern. You see, Tony, the missing words refer to the person who reads it. God really loves me? Asked Tony, Yes he does she answered. You mean I can have a friend? Asked Tony with expression of joy, yes said Mrs. Price. When Jesus is your friend you will one day be with Jesus in heaven, she said assuredly.

Not realizing, that Mr. Teasdale was standing behind Tony and Mrs. Price, she knelt on her knees with Tony as he asked the Lord Jesus to be his friend.

With tears streaming, Mr. Teasdale came in front of Mrs. Price and Tony and said. I have also asked Jesus to be my friend. Thank you Tony, he said, for picking up the small manuscript, now we are both friends of Jesus.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/07/10
Tony was fortunate to have such a caring staff.

Your scenario is very unlikely in a public school, however. You might want to give your story a second edit, in particular for punctuation of dialog.

My heart goes out for the lonely Tonys of the world, and you wrote him in a gentle and moving manner.
Charlotte Maccallum05/07/10
I love your story. I'm glad that Tony found such a faithful friend. I do think it may have been better to use quotation mark to show that people where speeking.
Mildred Sheldon05/08/10
Such a tender loving story. My heart goes out to all the young people in school who feel alone. We need schools with caring staffs, but alas the fallen world. I enjoyed this very much. Keep writing and God bless.