Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Escape (01/02/06)
TITLE: Dead in the Water
By Stephen Rice
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He shrugged off the nagging voices. Even if everyone else stayed behind, he had to take the plunge. But the river looked so cold, so forbidding! And it was only the first leg of the escape route.
A voice caught up to him as he hesitated. "You don't have to go that way. Not everyone does. Oh, sure, it's dramatic, but there are easier ways."
He waded in.
"Well, if you must do it, then at least swim."
He ignored the voice as the waters closed over his head. Exertion was the big mistake: the only way to escape was to let yourself be carried. His contacts outside agreed on that. It would be over quickly, but it was also an eternity.
His flesh screamed at the folly of it. It was dying, he was dying, and the water around him was cold as the grave. His prison rags fell apart, fell away in the current. It felt like some his own flesh went with them.
"You and your lost causes," a voice jeered. But it was far away, and he could feel himself rising, being lifted up and out into the air above.
A white towel was wrapped around him like a robe, and he opened his eyes as if for the first time.
"It felt like I died down there," he said.
"You did, Jude; you had to," the pastor said with a chuckle, beckoning the next baptismal candidate forward. "But now you've risen to new life in Christ."
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