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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Obedience (01/31/05)

TITLE: Final Lesson
By Lori Othouse



Anticipation filled the courtroom as the crowd waited for the judge to arrive. There
would be no jury today; the judge's decision would be final. Jane fidgeted in her seat. She
wasn't prepared for this day, at least not so soon. And where was her defense attorney?
Up until recently, he never left her alone. He was always trying to talk to her, tell her what to
do, make preparations...a real nuisance. Now, when she needed him the most, he was
nowhere to be found. Nervously glancing around the room, she stopped short when
something caught her eye. Sitting in the back row, bound and gagged, was her lawyer.
Was this some kind of joke? Jane jumped up from her seat and rushed back to him.

"What's going on? What is all this?" she asked frantically. His loving eyes
looked longingly at her, but he couldn't speak. She tried to untie the knots that held him, but
they wouldn't budge.

"Can somebody help me?" she pleaded, but was met with blank stares from the
rest of the crowd.

"Who did this to you?" she asked, still struggling.

"You did!"

The thundering voice came from the front of the room. Jane slowly turned to see
the judge sitting in his seat, staring down at her. His eyes flashed like fire and his
countenance was like the sun. She immediately stopped what she was doing and stood
cowering in his presence.

"Now sit down!"

She quickly found her seat and sat with her eyes down until he spoke again.

"Prosecutor, you may proceed."

"Thank you, Your Honor."

The prosecuting attorney swaggered to the podium, turned around and winked at her.
His voice was so familiar, but his squinty eyes and twisted smile alarmed her. He began
to speak to the judge and the now multitudes of people that had gathered there, recounting
every moment of her life. Things she had forgotten and things she would liked to have
forgotten were all described in vivid detail. The most shocking thing was when he pulled
out a Bible. He quoted chapter and verse and, pointing his crooked finger at her,
precisely explained how she had disobeyed each one. She tried to interrupt to justify her
actions, but without her advocate she could say nothing. Glancing back at him, she saw
a single tear running down his cheek. It was then that she understood all that he tried to do for
her. She remembered all those times she brushed him off, ignored him or even laughed at him. She thought she had more time...and now this.

After what seemed like forever, the accuser sat down and looked over at her
with a contented smile. The judge's eyes were on her again as she hung her head in shame.

"Do you have anything to say for yourself?"

Barely able to breathe, Jane timidly stood to her feet, avoiding his stare. "I...I'm...
I'm sorry..." she stammered, at a loss for words.

"It's too late for repentance," the judge declared. "Guilty as charged." He lowered his
gavel with an ear-splitting slam.

As the judge turned to leave, Jane looked back at her attorney again. His tears were
flowing now as he looked at her for one last moment. As he rose to leave, Jane felt panic
overtaking her shame as she called out to him.

"Wait! You can't leave! I said I was sorry! Just give me one more chance, please!
Don't leave me here!" Screaming louder, her voice faded into the maniacal laughter coming
from the prosecutor.

"Just think, Jane," he taunted, "Simple obedience would have prevented all this."

He gestured widely around the courtroom, which was now taking on a strange,
cave-like appearance. Gasping, Jane watched in horror as his face became grotesquely
distorted and his eyes glowed an evil red. Flames began licking her feet as the most hideous,
evil beings and sounds surrounded her. She screamed again, but could no longer hear her
own voice. Sadly, she learned the hard way what her advocate, her Savior, begged her for
so long to hear...earthly disobedience equals eternal despair. Life's most important lesson
learned too late.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Karri Compton02/12/05
Wow, so dark. But vivid. God bless.
Debbie OConnor03/01/05
This is terrific. Don't know how I managed to miss it when I was reading the first time, but I'm glad I came back and caught it. I'm a big fan of your writing. You're a very talented lady!