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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Bird in the Hand is Worth Two in the Bush” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/10/08)

TITLE: Our Loss
By Joanne Sher
01/16/08


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"The ideal being, perfect in every way."

He smiled, admiring his own form in the mirror.

"It's not egotistical if it's accurate." He winked at his reflection. "I have it confirmed on the ultimate authority - for now, anyway."

As he inspected his flowing hair, perfect skin, and well-sculpted physique, his grin widened and overtook his entire body. He seemed captivated - bewitched, perhaps - by the likeness he viewed.

"The model of perfection," he recited, as if from memory, "full of wisdom and perfect in beauty."*

A knock on his door interrupted his reverie.

"Who is it?" he barked.

"Michael here. You wanted to see me?"

He smirked and strode toward the door. He opened it, admitting a tall, strapping figure into his chamber. Michael looked at him inquisitively. In response, he gestured toward the couch, and the two sat and turned toward each other.

Michael shifted in his seat. "What do you need, favored one?"

He rested his hand on Michael's back. "I have been watching you, Michael, and I am impressed with what I see. You have been a hard worker, with a loyalty and devotion unrivaled."

Michael blushed. "Thank you. I do my best."

"I know you do. That is why I have a proposition for you."

"A proposition?"

He nodded and leaned toward him. "Michael, how would you like to be second in command?"

Michael scrunched up his face and looked at the favored one skeptically. "Excuse me, great light-bearer, but is that position yours to offer? Only the Father has that authority."

He snickered. "Perhaps now, Michael. But in the future? The future will be very different."

"What are you saying?"

"I am saying, dear Michael, that there is someone much more capable of getting the job done right, and perhaps it is time for him to take charge."

Michael gasped. "You, Lucifer? You suppose to overthrow the Most High? You presume to dethrone the King of the Universe, the Creator of all?" Michael closed his eyes briefly, and then sighed. "You are already the guardian cherub, my lord, and have the Father's ear. Your power is greater than any of us, save God himself."

Lucifer snarled. "But why 'save God himself?' Why can it not be me? I am beautiful and wise, Michael. I am destined for this role. I can be, should be, so much more than God has allowed."

The archangel shook his head in disgust and disbelief.

"I will ascend to heaven, Michael. I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit on the mount of the assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High."*

Michael sighed. "You will fail, Lucifer, and even if you did succeed, I would never serve you. Your pride and your corruption will be your downfall. You will lose all you have reaching for something you will never possess."

"That is where you are wrong, my friend."

"Don't call me friend, Lucifer. Anyone who opposes the Most High is my enemy." Michael rose from the couch.

"Leave - but know I am not alone. Many others will fight with me. This battle will not be as lopsided as you may think."

"Good bye, Lucifer. May God give me the privilege of standing against you personally in this battle."

Lucifer rose and stood eye to eye with the archangel. "Just remember, Michael, when you are defeated, that you could have been on the winning side, with the triumph."

Michael's face stiffened. "No. You, Lucifer, remember when you are defeated, that you will have lost the very position you are offering to me."

Lucifer dismissed Michael with a wave of the hand. "You will be the loser."

"I fear, Lucifer, that the loss will be all of ours to bear." Michael exited, closing the door behind him.

And there was war in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, and the dragon and his angels fought back. But he was not strong enough, and they lost their place in heaven. The great dragon was hurled down - the ancient serpent called the devil, or Satan, who leads the whole world astray. He was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him.*

**
Scripture references, in order (NIV):
Ezekiel 28:12
Isaiah 14:13-14
Revelation 12:7-9


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This article has been read 1173 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sally Hanan01/17/08
Very clever and realistic. Great writing.
Holly Westefeld01/17/08
A very well written speculation of the first and most devastating grab for the unattainable.
Ann Renae Hair01/17/08
Our loss indeed. A battle we still fight often. This story is chilling. Too many favorite points and lines to list here. Our gain comes from realizing the truth in this piece. Fabulous!
Catrina Bradley 01/18/08
LOVE IT! ;) Such an original take on this event - I could see it happening just this way.
Dee Yoder 01/18/08
Pride goeth before a fall and a haughty spirit before destruction...". You've perfectly illustrated the ultimate act of the "bird in the hand is worth two in the bush". Too bad Satan has still not figured the whole thing out!
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/19/08
The outstanding story you created from the Bible background really made me think about how Lucifer must have worked at persuading others to side with him...and still he does.
Paula Titus 01/22/08
I loved this - i think you caught the attitude and character of Lucifer perfectly!
LauraLee Shaw01/22/08
You built the suspense so well, even though the reader knew what would be happening. It was as if I was reading the story for the first time. Well done.
Marita Vandertogt01/22/08
Just one word - WOW
Sheri Gordon01/22/08
Very creative illustration of the proverb. The dialogue was eerily realistic. Great job with the topic.
Hanne Moon 01/22/08
I could see Lucifer's arrogance right from the start. Very good writing! He is a prime example of the topic this week.
Yvonne Blake 01/22/08
Wow! Dynnmic! It gave me the chills! There was a time when the angels had a choice, and you described the temptation of Michael well.
Loren T. Lowery01/22/08
You brought these characters to life with their dialogue and descriptive insights. I've often wondered after all these years, why Lucifer hasn't read the end of the book yet. But from your writing I can see how it all got started and it's nice to know there will always be those who stand against him.
Your writing flowed and you showed conflict (red ink) but because of the story itself the conflict was self-evident. Maybe there would have been more drama had Lucifer shown at least a little inner turmoil about what he was proposing. Anyway, I really enjoyed this - you are one tereffic story teller!
Jan Ackerson 01/22/08
Superbly creative!!!
Joy Faire Stewart01/22/08
You are truly a gifted writer, unique and creative.
Debbie Roome 01/22/08
Amazing - and what an excellent example.
Rita Garcia01/22/08
Creative, amazing and this is why you are in MASTERS!
Karen Wilber 01/22/08
Once again I had to go back to figure out HOW you create these characters with so few words. Lucifer was just oily from the get-go. "Smirked", "snickered", "barked" - always love to see what you create. You're a wordsmith with a mighty forge.

[This is also fun to read aloud.]
Lisa Graham01/23/08
This is so masterfully written I was drawn into the story beginning with the first paragraph. Excellent!
Deborah Engle 01/23/08
Wow!
Sara Harricharan 01/23/08
My first reaction is WOW! This is really good, it brings to life a whole window of story and everything that I never thought too much of! I really like pieces like this that expand on one verse. Great writing! ^_^
Beckie Stewart01/23/08
Enjoyed you way of sharing the downfall of satan and all who would be puffed up with pride against the Lord.
Patty Wysong01/23/08
(Finally. LoL) This is Great!! The verbs you used were perfect and added to the overall--There was no doubt who I was reading about. This is a perfect example of the topic. Super Duper!! :) Hugs!
TJ Nickel01/23/08
A chilling introduction and a great use of the topic.
Beth LaBuff 01/23/08
Ooooh! Chilling, gripping...
I like your description "favored one" (that's so amazing to think about). Sometimes I think if we could only see the spiritual battle taking place...then I "rethink" and am glad we can't. Excellent example for this topic! Masterful writing here!
Catrina Bradley 01/24/08
Congrats, Girl!! I knew this one was a winner. My pastor loves it, too. He said, "You get an instant dislike for the character, even before you know who he is, then it becomes obvious and you say, 'Oh, yah, well of course." :-)
Tim George 01/24/08
"I fear, Lucifer, that the loss will be all of ours to bear."

Another great closing line. How true.
Sara Harricharan 01/24/08
***Congratulations!*** ^_^
Sheri Gordon01/24/08
Congratulations on your EC, Joanne. Great story.
Amy Michelle Wiley 01/24/08
Oooo, I like this. Congrats on your well-deserved win! Perfect story to use to illistrate the saying--the original story. :-)
Norma-Anne Hough01/24/08
Congratulations. You are a superb story teller. Loved it.
william price01/30/08
WOWsers!!!!
I'm glad I finally got to read this. Outstanding Jo-anne. You've really been stretching and getting so-so-so good. One of the tops here. I really enjoyed this. Great dialogue, characterization and reader interst. Gave me goosebumps.
God bless.