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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Eternity (03/10/11)

TITLE: The Final Choice
By Sara Harricharan
03/16/11


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Cornered at the edge of the cliff on the outskirts of town, bruised from beatings, the man staggered towards the dangerous edge. Their fears were ungrounded, their thoughts illogical—but their reaction was expected.

Fear, outrage, uncertainty.

He’d traded those for something better.

Love. Hope. Eternity.

He felt the stones before they actually hit him. The physical blow was nothing like the emotionally-charged aftershock that settled in as he felt his life draining away. Primitive human nature demanded that he protest, to scream and fight against it, but he didn’t.

Peace surged up and he smiled. His loyalty would never change.

I love you, my Lord.

*****

Bound to a fat stake, splinters tearing at exposed arms, blood streaming down a fuel-soaked face, the errant knight didn’t flinch as a torch was lit. The jeering, mocking and screaming mob drew closer as the torchbearer was thrust forward. Their fears were increased, their thoughts ill-formulated—but their reaction was expected.

He’d traded such beliefs for something better.

Love. Hope. Eternity.

He felt the flames before they actually reached him. The sensation was nothing like the emotional kickback that settled in as the pain exploded throughout his body. His wounded pride demanded justice, but his loyal spirit whispered otherwise.

Peace surged up and he smiled. His loyalty would never change.

I love you, my Lord.

******

They cornered her at the edge of the village, in a bit of harmless fun. A weekly occurrence morphed into a dangerous game. A diversion from their everyday lives, they thought it was good sport to make fun of an elderly widow, clad in tatters, clutching a book to her chest. A book with writings that none could read and a smile on her withered face that spoke of something they could not understand. Their fears were captured, their thoughts confused—but their reaction was cruel.

Witch. Monster. Devil.

They screamed at her, but she still smiled.

She’d traded such thinking for something better.

Love. Hope. Eternity.

When they forced her beneath the water, she saw the light fade. The darkness seemed to surround her before death came. Her dignity begged for a more fitting end, but there was naught but peace stored within.

Her loyalty would never change.

I love you, my Lord.

*****

A painful game of push-and-shove in the backstreet of a muddy city canal. A teenage girl with glasses is trapped beneath hot and sweaty hands that shouldn’t be anywhere near her. For new beliefs she has explored, they now endeavor to punish her. The things that happen and the words that are said, force her screams away. It is their brand of justice to keep control over the less enlightened. Their fears were forced, their thoughts flickering—but their reaction was futile.

She can taste death before it claims her, a weighted body flung to the dirty water. In the last minutes when they craved her fear, peace possessed her in the form of a strange smile.

Her loyalty would never change.

I love you, my Lord.

*****

Their hands are twined together as the masked man leaps from the alleyway, demanding all precious earthly possessions. He hears none of their reasoning and sees nothing but a rich suit and a fancy dress accented with heirloom jewelry.

When the gang surrounds them, evil permeates the air even as the couple joins hands, reciting prayers to each other. They are no longer satisfied with pearls and gold watches. Something darker clamors for blood. The prayers grow louder amidst the swearing shouts. Their fears were multiplied, their thoughts muddled—but their reaction was mechanical.

Husband and wife share the pain before it comes. Metal pipes and chains meant to kill.

Smiles remain on their faces. Their loyalty would never change.

We love you, Lord.

*****

In the darkness, something hisses and growls.

There is an agonized, anguished scream that rents through the fabric of reality, but history is still spread before it.

Their loyalty to Him has not wavered, even in the face of death. In the final moments of human life, their thoughts reached upwards to higher planes. The peace that fills them is beyond comprehension, renewed courage and strength to smile in the very face of death itself.

For He is Lord of all eternity.

A bond stronger than blood is forged between an earthly child and a heavenly Father. It will last. It will endure. It will remain as their final choice for all of eternity.


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This article has been read 503 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sarah Heywood03/17/11
Wow - this is really powerful! Great job with the topic - excellent writing, too!
Sarah Elisabeth 03/17/11
Loved how you wove so many stories into one. Great!

And may I offer belated congrats on entering Masters? YAY Sara! :-)
Yvonne Blake 03/18/11
Sobering, haunting...
tied into one repeating sweet theme.
Great writing!
Henry Clemmons03/18/11
You have really hit your stride. This is outstanding. I enjoyed reading it very much. You made your point extremely and masterfully well.
Allison Egley 03/18/11
I love this. Very, very good.

I really liked the sets of three one-word sentences, and actually would have included one in each story.

Loved this, none the less, though. Very, very good!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/18/11
Although horrible ways to die, how beautiful to have such faith and to know He loves us so much,
Carol Penhorwood 03/19/11
Powerful. I pray I too will remain faithful when my time comes. Thought provoking!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/19/11
What powerful examples you chose to show loyalty to our everlasting God--to be rewarded in eternity.
Kimberly Russell03/19/11
Well written with excellent building up and drama. Nice job.
Virgil Youngblood 03/19/11
Good writing. Good message. Well done says it all.
Rachel Phelps03/19/11
Sara, I think this is my favorite of your pieces. So excellent! Well done.
Margaret Kearley 03/21/11
How wonderful - beautifully written. (This should be the closing page of Foxes Book of Martyrs!)
Ann Grover03/21/11
Powerful . . . vivid.
Amanda Brogan03/21/11
Being an avid reader and a great fan of martyr stories (they inspire me), I found this very true to life and richly told. What is death when it only brings us into the arms of our eternal and loving God?

Perfect title, perfect story for the topic ... and may I just say that I expect this to rank very, very high? I'll add my voice to those who said this is one of their favorites. :)
Noel Mitaxa 03/23/11
Amen to all the above, for the broad and deep sweep through the sweet, tacit truth of not fearing evil in the valley of the shadow of death. Sara, you have done beautiful work for so long, and congratulations on the many months it has taken you to become an overnight success at Masters level. Bless you heaps.
Lillian Rhoades 03/23/11
So many great comments. I second them all.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/24/11
Congratulations for placing 13th in your level and 25th overall!