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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)

TITLE: A Dust Particle
By dub W


It was night. Not a dark night, not a bright night; just night. Marion stared at the cold television set, picked up a cracker and chewed on the stale powder. The dim reflection of a street light bounced off of the gray television screen. “God why have you forsaken me?” She looked around the cluttered room, her own voice had startled her. She slumped lower into her single overstuffed chair. The chair was her friend, besides the old broken television, the ripped and torn chair was the only furniture left in her apartment – a metaphor for her empty and torn life.

She closed her eyes and tried to ignore gnawing hunger pains. If she had the will she could go to the soup kitchen, the mercy clinic, and all of the other help agencies her village provided, but that would mean leaving the chair, besides it was night, nothing special, just another night. A cooling breeze from a broken window blew through the clutter and a small picture flipped over. A previous tenant had been Catholic and in the clutter were remnants of their old trash.

“Nailed you to a cross too.” Marion toed the small card with a crucifix imprint. Her heart pained and she grasped at her breast. “God, just take me away, send me to hell I don’t care, it couldn’t be any worse.”

Marion laughed at herself, took a deep breath, then began laughing again. “I’m so funny, maybe I should crawl into that old television, let the world see me on the screen. ‘Oh, look,’ they would say, ‘Marion is a star.’ Right, a star, more like a spark, maybe an explosion, poof, and she’s gone. That’s what they’d say.” Marion snickered.

She threw her legs over the arm of the chair and tried to rest her head on the opposite arm. Her chair was uncomfortable but at least she wasn’t on the floor. She closed her eyes but reoccurring visions interrupted any possible rest. Days earlier some boys came in and took what little furniture she had; nobody called the police; nobody really cared. She gasped and shook her head violently, “No, no, no,” she cried. In her mind she could see the government people taking her daughter away. Then, her jumbled thoughts turned to the man who promised to take care of her. “Wonder what happened to him? I supposed his wife would be shocked if I showed up on his doorstep.” She laughed. “He probably wishes I was dead or gone away.” She held her hand up over the chair so that the faint light reflected off of her dirty fingers. “Maybe I will show up at his little lily white church and sit in a pew with his little lily white family, and say ‘hello, remember me, the woman your father said he loved more than anything else. Yes, yes,’ I would say, ‘it was a delightful love relationship, sort of an extra thingy, oh I didn’t mind being put out on the street when he was done with me, I bet he tells you too that a little adversity is good for the soul. Yes, isn’t that just like him? Oh, I see him coming down the isle, I’d better scoot cause I promised not to bother him any longer.’ Oh, they’d love that.”

Marion flipped her greasy hair over the arm of the chair. Her heart was beating rapidly. “Okay Jesus, you see what a sinner I am, not worth your forgiveness, blast me away; I am so far away from your mercy.”

“Marion,” a soft voice echoed in the room.


A dust particle sparkled in the dim light. “I, love you.”

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This article has been read 1138 times
Member Comments
Member Date
david grant05/04/06
love them dust particles!
darlene hight05/04/06
Well told! Great descriptions
Kenny Blade05/05/06
Good piece. Very creative approach to God being being everywhere. Very good visually. Easy to see the story. A bit off the beaten path but that is what makes it so engaging. Would possibly break up the large paragraph for readability, but otherwise this was an excellent piece of writing.
Sherry Wendling05/06/06
Really effective. I could taste her despair and bitterness, especially in the daydream about showing up in his 'lily-white church.' The final image of the dust particle works beautifully. One grain of hope as Jesus speaks His love into her spirit. Wham! THE END becomes the beginning. Perfect.
Helen Paynter05/07/06
I especially liked the first part of this - getting into her head, the decription of the night, her apartment. I'm always a little leery of endings where God steps in supernaturally, but that's just me, I guess. Good writing.
Lynda Schultz 05/08/06
Consider: "If she had had the will she could have gone to the soup kitchen, the mercy clinic, and all of the other help agencies her village provided, but that would have meant …" better verbs forms for what you are saying here. Good piece of writing.
Valora Otis05/08/06
I was already feeling her abandonment, heartbreak over her child. I felt her pain and suffering, loss and bitterness and possibly her soul reaching for more.....and then you made me quiver with her greasy hair! The final image, the dust particle, took away all the ugliness that her life had become! You are truly a masterful writer!
Pat Guy 05/08/06
I really enjoyed this! I wasn't sure if the end conversation rang true to her character but I loved the ending. There was a lot to enjoy about this piece.
Joanne Malley05/08/06
God's everywhere and so is His love. I enjoyed the integration of dust particles in your story. You have a unique style of writing. Enjoyed very much.
Garnet Miller 05/09/06
It's hard to see your way our when you've dug yourself so deep into despair and utter degradation. God's forgiveness seems so far out of reach. That dust particle proved that His love was right there in her apartment standing at the ready.. Good story.
Kathleen Morris05/09/06
I really enjoyed this story because it's real life. Sometimes writers tend to steer away from the "ugly" but you didn't. Good job! I like to write about real life too because whether we want to admit it or not...we've all been there and need to know God is STILL there when we cry inside.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/09/06
This was a great piece. The real life emotions of rejection and pain and a positive ending without all the syrup. Loved it.
Rita Garcia05/09/06
In our stillness, His voice comes through! Well written.
Paul Potenza05/09/06
There were so MANY things that I wanted to comment on that I had to print the story out. First of all, the imagery was outstanding. "Nailed you to a Cross Too" almost KILLED me. "God, take me away, send me to hell, I don't care, it couldn't be any worse" was EXACTLY what my brother and I have been talking about lately! The reference to Marion showing up in his "lily white church" is exactly the way my Ex-wife would have described it. She has passed on now. Two months gone. The last line got me though. When she heard "Marion" I was reminded of when Jesus rose and spoke to Mary at the tomb. I have been led to believe that He called her "Miriam"...and in that one name He both broke and healed a heart. Great writing.

Debbie Sickler05/10/06
I'm not too sure about the ending, but definitely full of great description throughout.
Linda Germain 05/10/06
I loved the whole thing! Supernatural endings do not bother me...since God is "Super" and we are "Natural". Who knows all the ways He may choose to speak to us? There are deeply serious situations that sometimes take more than a tract or a sermon. Also, I could see this acted out as a drama.Excellent writing, my friend. :0) LG