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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Passport (07/25/05)

TITLE: A Second Chance
By Amy Michelle Wiley
07/31/05


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Ben stood in the dark, straining to hear any hint of movement. A shadow suddenly separated from a nearby tree. Ben stiffened. He could just make out the man’s hands in the moonlight as he motioned in a prearranged signal. His heart slowed a little. But though the man was a friend, the fact that they were making contact only added to the danger.

Ben stepped forward and offered a response. He hoped he remembered the movements correctly.

The stranger-friend thrust an object into Ben’s hands. “How much?” Ben asked.

The hiss of the man’s voice reached his ear and Ben pulled back. Surely he had not heard correctly! “The government sealed my funds.”

There was a long silence. Ben felt desperate. Lord, what now?

The man’s eyes fixed on him in the moonlight. “I’m going to trust you. We have funds donated for emergencies. This plasmagin has a scrambled signal. You can use it safely. I’ll arrange the papers for your family.” Then the night swallowed him up.

Thank you, Lord.
**********

“Father. Mother.” Ben’s daughter, Marianne, sat on the car seat and studied the plasmagin screen, trying out the sign language displayed. She wrinkled her nose. “‘Even the trees have ears.’ I feel like we’re in Narnia.”

Ben nodded and sighed. The World Peace Corp had spies and listening devices everywhere. Since the deaf were forced to receive Cochlear implants or communicate orally, sign language was no longer used. So the underground Christian groups had adopted it as a safer means of communication.

“Do they use sign language in Antarctica, Dad?” Jared practiced the manual alphabet.

“I don’t know much about Antarctica,” Ben reminded him. He met the eyes of his wife, Jennifer. They only knew that there they would be able to openly teach their children the Bible.

“MESSAGE!” the plasmagin announced. Ben’s mouth went dry.

“Our IDs and passports are ready,” he whispered. “We meet tonight, ready to flee.” This was it. They were leaving the country of their birth. The country that was now their worst enemy.

Ben pulled them close. “Lord, protect our family. Honor our decision to trust in You. Give us peace and wisdom. Amen.”

**********

“Stay here,” Ben signed. His family huddled among the undergrowth and Ben slipped further into the woods. Dusk was falling as a man met him, handing over a packet. No words were exchanged and they parted ways. Now the family would wait for their guide. Ben turned, tucking the fake passports and IDs under his shirt.

He almost yelled with surprise when a uniformed man stepped out of the woods. “Peace,” the man eyed him, the WPC insignia on his sleeve proclaiming him to be police.

“Peace,” Ben responded, wishing with all his heart for just that.

“What brings you to the middle of the woods?”

Ben had an eerie feeling that the officer knew the answer. And finding the entire family’s papers thrust up his shirt would leave no doubt.

“Show me your license!”

“I don’t have it with me. I’m camping and just came to, you know, use the tree.” Ben tried to cover his fear with pretended embarrassment.

“It is the law to carry it at all times.” The officer scowled. “Bring me to your camp.”

Lord, no! This can’t be the end. I don’t know if the children know You personally. Ben’s heart hurt deep within and he felt he would collapse with the weight of the pain. The officer’s eyes were cold. Give us another chance, Lord. Please, give us time to teach Jared and Marianne more of You.

“Strip!” yelled the officer. “You are an unidentified person on US soil. I have authorization to search you or-” The man pulled out a gun. “Your choice.”

Lord! Ben had no other words.

Suddenly the officer’s plasmagin chirped and he grabbed for it. To Ben’s shock the man stuffed his gun away. “You’re lucky this time, man,” and with that he spun on his heel and left.

Ben fell to his knees and wept. Luck had nothing to do with it.

With a stifled whoop, Jared tumbled into the clearing. “It worked!” he cried, waving their new plasmagin. “I broke into the police site and sent the agent an urgent message to report immediately to base. By the time he figures out he’s been tricked we’ll be on our way to Antarctica!”

Ben raised his wet face to the sky. A second chance, Lord. Help me to use it well.


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This article has been read 1424 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Ward08/01/05
Wow, I liked the ending, I really wasn't sure if he'd get away or not.
Beth Muehlhausen08/02/05
Fear, uncertainty, hope, terror, rescue - it's all here! A testimony to the sovreignty of God! Good job.
Nina Phillips08/03/05
That's what I was waiting for--suspense, action, a little bit of how the underground could work in secrecy. Good story..nice entry! God bless ya, littlelight
Pat Guy 08/04/05
Really good storyline - enjoyed it very much. One question - how did Jared know his dad was talking to police? Did he see them somehow? A good read!
Linda Watson Owen08/04/05
Suspense! Then I was at the end before I knew it! Great story well told!
Maxx .08/05/05
Nice spin on this topic! Very well crafted! Good Job!
Shari Armstrong 08/06/05
:) Can't wait to read more....
Sally Hanan08/06/05
Clever. Very realistic having the kid crack the electronics.
darlene hight08/06/05
Loved this! It had everything! Very well crafted and suspenseful!
Sandra Petersen 08/08/05
This is definitely a winner in my book! Suspenseful, and could be expanded into a novel for adults...are those the plans? Causes a parent to stop and think about whether all has been done to reach their children. Whew!! Thank you!
Val Clark08/09/05
Don't know how I missed this one Amy. Enjoyed it as much as the first. Great imagination and well crafted, suspenceful, story that was definitely on the topic.