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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)

TITLE: Sally, My Love
By Virgil Youngblood
04/24/13


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I told you, didn’t I? There isn’t a blessed tree peeking above the lush prairie grass in any direction? Oh? It’s important you know that, to understand my predicament. And, I should add, I can’t find a rock or anything that could be used to smash my car window.

I was out for a drive, getting away from the hassle of a hectic life, communing with God, driving down seldom traveled back-country roads and faded trails. Basking in the glory of His creation, he was rearranging my thoughts. After several hours of meandering I had stopped on a slight rise and stepped out to enjoy the mesmerizing sight of grasses swaying sinuously in a gentle spring breeze.

Standing with my hand on the hood of my car, enjoying the freshness of the outdoors, I could feel the motor purring smoothly. However long I stood was too long. My reverie was shattered by an ominous sound – “Click.” The auto door lock engaged: it is programmed to do that after a time when the key is left in the ignition with the motor running.

So here I am, stuck in the middle of nowhere. My cell phone is in the car. My search to find anything to help me break in has failed. No one knows where I am, including myself. My foot hurts from trying to kick in the windshield. I’d give fifty dollars, maybe more, for a drink of water. I feel like Job.

Okay God. You’ve got my attention. That “click” did it. If I get out of this alive you’re going to have to show off.

To my absolute surprise, shortly after my petition, a whiskery old prospector rode up on a donkey and, I swear, the donkey was wearing a straw hat with a sunflower in it. I thought I was hallucinating. He looked a throwback from an old western movie. But, celluloid prospectors were always in dry gulches or on rocky mountains with tumbling creeks and gravelly stream beds. I pinched myself thinking this is too surreal to be true.

“What’cha problem, young feller?” he asked, nailing my hubcap with a splash of tobacco juice.

Leaping to my feet, slapping my rear with the palms of my hand to knock the dust off I exclaimed, “Sir, may I borrow your pickax? I locked myself out of my car. I need to bust a window to get in.”

He chawed a few moments, looking me over, thinking something behind those rheumy eyes. “Well now, I guess you can” he said. “But, first, let’s have an un’nerstanding.”

“What do you mean?” I asked, suspicious of where this was going. It had been a simple request.

“Sally, that’s my pick” he said. “She’s my livelihood. I got ’tuh have ‘er. If you break her, you trade your life for hers.”

“Huh?”

“She’s my work tool. You break her, you gon’na take her place. Un’nerstand?”

“I think so.” I didn’t, really, but I thought it best to humor him. Desperate people do desperate things. I qualified.

“I’ll give you one swing. If Sally glances off, you don’t get another. If the handle breaks, you’ll be picking rock out of Golconda #2 with your hands. You want to risk that?”

“Can I inspect the handle?”

“Nope! You pick it up, the deal’s on.”

“How about you break the window for me? I’ll pay you well to do it. My billfold is in the car.”

Scratching his nose with a stubby forefinger he paused to stain another hub cap. “No sir’ree, young feller. I ain’t a breaking and entering nothing. That’s what got me into the prospecting business. A fool lady said I stole a apple pie out’ta her house but I never done it. The judge gim’me thirty days. I been staying away from trouble ever since. You gon’na have to do your own breaking. It’s a fact, Jack. I don’t even know if that car be yours.”

I bowed my head, thinking, praying. Lord, it’s me again. I know you sent your son on a donkey to save the world. But, have you sent this tobacco spewing character to save me? I want to know Lord. What should I do?

And the thought came resoundingly clear: ‘If I lead you to it, I’ll lead you through it. You prayed, didn’t you? Get moving.’

I hefted Sally, tapping the window to measure the distance, and swung…..


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This article has been read 392 times
Member Comments
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lynn gipson 04/27/13
The first word here is excellent! Excellent message all wrapped up in simply delightful story. Fine writing sir. Thank you so much! "If I lead you to it, I'll lead you through it." That will stick with me from now on. God Bless!
Cheryl Harrison 04/27/13
"If I lead you to it, I’ll lead you through it. You prayed, didn’t you? Get moving."

Loved every word and I want to know how it ended up... did Sally break or not?

Great writing. Keep it up!
Christina Banks 04/27/13
I like the clear message he received at the end, and the way you left the story hang, making us want to know more. My mom had a car that would lock on her like that, for no reason, and at frustrating times. Thank you for sharing this with us.
Judith Gayle Smith04/27/13
What make of car is that? Good that I no longer drive. The engine should shut off after a few minutes, not the door lock. Well, now that I have had my huffy fit - this was sheer novelty! I loved ever word. Welcome home - we missed you.
Ellen Carr 04/27/13
What a place to stop the story! I'd like to know what happened - success or not. You've done a great job in telling this and making it readable and enjoyable.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/28/13
Oh what a delight. There is so much wisdom in this piece. i could feel my stomach dropping as the story went on. it's wonderful how god still speaks to us today!
Cinda Carter04/29/13
I really enjoyed the story and how at the end you left the answer to our imagination. Thank you for an awesome story.
Alicia Renkema04/29/13
You're kidding me right? You are going to leave us hanging there? You have got to write a "Sally, My Love #2." I loved this, lingo and all. I could picture the whole thing from start to finish. Never out in the wilderness, although I do live in Az but once, my then two year old son was locked in the car after grocery shopping (long story) and I had to call the fire dept. Anyway, hope that pic axe didn't break. This was wonderful writing as usual -- I am a big fan of your work. Glad your back in the challenge. This was humorous, riveting and colorful. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Alicia Renkema04/29/13
How could I forget, I got so wrapped up in your well done presentation, I forgot your lovely take-away -point. When we pray we can always count on Him to give us bread and not a stone. Love your lesson on that.
Vince Martella04/29/13
Prospector, huh? What a character; how do you come up with these? I loved the creativity (Please don't tell me it's a true story, you'll ruin the wonder) The cliffhanger ending was great; really worked well. You remind me that "we walk by faith, and not by sight" and we may not always understand His ways, but we can always trust his love. Thanks for writing.
Loren T. Lowery04/30/13
I would definitely call this out of the box thinking and insightful in its creativity. The reader could not but help follow the story and wonder and think and once read, think again and say: "I see." Great job!
Nancy Bucca04/30/13
This is an amazing story, full of imagination, a rare find, with a surprise at every turn. The value the prospector places on his pickax is really something! Great message at the end.
Bea Edwards 05/01/13
Splendid, entertaining piece of work. Totally loved it!
Leola Ogle 05/02/13
Lovely and delightful...if a lost "feller" and old prospector can be described as such! Congratulations on a job well done on your placement. God bless!
Danielle King 05/02/13
WOW! What a fantastic story. Congratulations!
Alicia Renkema05/02/13
I am so happy for you, this was definitely one of my favorites this time around. I really hope you do write a sequel!
Nancy Bucca05/02/13
Congratulations on your 3rd place win. This is so creative! I knew it would place high, and it did. Great job.
Christina Banks 05/02/13
Congratulations on your EC!
Ellen Carr 05/03/13
Congratulations on your 3rd place EC. It is well-deserved.
Claudia Thomason 05/03/13
I enjoyed this story very much. I could feel the desperation then the relief when the prospector showed up. Congratulations on your 3rd place and EC rankings.
Judith Gayle Smith05/03/13
Congratulations!