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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)

TITLE: General Vlad's Tie Incident


The Bible Eradication Factory commonly called BEF1 used to sit along an icy Sayan Mountain ledge in Siberia. Hourly, truckloads of bibles from all over the world would be delivered and destroyed in X666, the largest incinerator ever invented. From his office on the third floor, General Vlad could oversee its operation. It was on an especially cold morning that he noticed something was wrong on the main floor. The wind howled outside the factory windows at a deathly fifty below zero as he made his way down the grated steel steps to investigate.

As he made his way down, workers stopped one by one to salute him until he had reached his final destination at the start of the automated ramp where the bibles were loaded and carried to the belly of the incinerator. A young man worked this area and stood to attention as General Vlad studied the situation.

“There is a problem?” He inquired of the young man.

“Sir, the ramp is stuck. It is so cold. I think it is frozen.”

“I do not pay you to think, Private. Thinking is what got mankind where it is today. Thinking men wrote this filth they call the Word of God. We are fortunate enough to have the responsibility of destroying it. You do not think, Private! You do as you are told. Get these conveyors moving, now!”

“Sir, but it will not. See here.” As he pointed to the problem area, a gear that was stuck, General Vlad shot him point blank.

“You there, put his body on the belt and mop up his mess. You, my friend were an incompetent fool!” General Vlad spit on the dead man’s body before stepping over it as another worker rushed over to do as he commanded.

General Vlad surveyed the large gear and ordered a pot of heated oil. He reached his body across the conveyor belt deep into the gear box to pour the heated oil on the frozen parts. As he did this, his military issued pentagram tie tack fell off and his tie was loosened. Unbeknownst to the General, his tie was wedged between the large gear and a slightly smaller one down below. As soon as realized this, he reached for his boot knife but could not get to it. The speed of the belt was taking the lower half of his body quickly towards the mouth of the incinerator. At the same time, the gears were winding his tie around their teeth and pulling his upper body in the opposite direction. The monster machine, already under the stress of the extreme Siberian temperatures and now the opposing forces caused by the General’s predicament could not function properly.

“Stop the machine!” The General called out. Workers were scrambling but it could not be stopped in time and as the General watched his own demise as a reflection in the factory windows before him, X666 blew up. The flames reached far into the starry sky and could be seen for miles.

All that is left on that dark ledge to this day are the ruins of BEF1. Standing over the ruins are two cherubs sent by God with flaming swords as a reminder to all that “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1:1 ESV) The explosion of BEF1 baffled engineers and none could ever scientifically or mathematically prove that a mere tie caught in a gear could do such damage. It was a reminder that God can stop what man cannot. “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’” (Romans 12:18 ESV)

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This article has been read 456 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judith Gayle Smith03/07/13
As gripping a read as General Vlad's tie. "When I grow up" I want to write like you do! Very well done.
Beth LaBuff 03/12/13
What I enjoyed about your story was that it was totally unexpected and completely out of the box. You held my interest throughout. Thanks!
Vince Martella03/14/13
I should have known this was yours - this has your creative touch all over it. Masterful storytelling as so many of your pieces are. The only red ink I can see is I don't think you should have used "as he made his way down" in back to back sentences. Loved the setting descriptions, and the story kept me riveted until the ending. Well done and congratulations on your well deserved HC!
C D Swanson 03/14/13
Congrats! God Bless~
Cheryl Harrison03/14/13
Congratulations on your Highly Commended. Well deserved. So creative.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/17/13
Wow this is an awesome story. You drew me in right away with the General's anger.

One suggestion I might give is you used the phrase As he made his way down, twice in a short time. Instead maybe try something that will create a picture for the reader like: The click of his boots on the frozen steps echoed and warned nearby workers that the General was coming. That might not be perfect, but I want to show you what I meant.

I did really enjoy this and found myself mesmerized from the beginning to the end, even leaning in as the suspense built. Congratulations on your HC and for ranking 38 over all!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/17/13
Oops sorry I don't read the other comments because i don't want to be influenced but I see someone else noticed the same section I did, but I hope my example can help you in doing more showing and less telling. You have a great way with words and just add some more mental pictures for the reader and instead of ranking 38 overall, you might find yourself in the top ten before too long. Though 38 overall in this competitive group is quite good! :)