Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Red (10/01/09)
TITLE: Burn Daddy, Burn
By larry troxell
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How long before Current Family grasps I’ve ignited a fire in my upstairs bedroom? I’m pretending to read my red-letter Bible from my Real Grandma; however, I’m guarding Current Little Brother. No baby should ever be hurt by anyone for any reason.
I moved in with my Real Grandma after my Real Mom allowed my Real Dad to assault me. He went to hell after he was killed in prison and my Real Mom’s there, too. She joined him after dying of a drug overdose.
My Real Grandma loved me, but she eventually told the state she was too old to handle a small child. She gave me a Bible, pointing out that the sentences in red were the words of Jesus, and I should pray about what they said on how to live my life instead of focusing on what my Real Dad did. I believe she grieved for my Real Mom who let my Real Dad burn me with cigarettes after he performed sinful acts.
I believe I see a question mark in Current Mom’s eyes. Does she smell a hint of smoke? Current Little Brother is yawning while Current Dad is snoring in his recliner.
After I left my Real Grandma, numerous foster families pretended to love me but were only after the extra money. Last Mom just wanted to appear beautiful for her husband, a deceiving deacon at the big downtown church. Last Dad caused me to bleed after my 12th birthday party. He threatened he could prevent me from reaching Heaven if I ever told what immoral acts he did. I didn’t tell but I demanded my social worker locate me another home.
“Frank, the house is on fire,” Current Mom screams. “Run, now!” I watch as she barrels out the front door with crying Current Little Brother. I can’t believe Current Dad is wrestling to save the fireproof safe in the coat closet. Stupid!
Doesn’t anyone even notice me? Clinging to my red-letter Bible, I head upstairs. I’m coughing from the smoke and my eyes are burning, yet I’m strolling into hell, and then on home to Jesus. Fire is lapping the closet where stacked newspapers under the clothes are now ablaze. Flames are spreading rapidly as they breathe the night air through the window I left open.
At least I know Current Little Brother is safe. I tell myself everything will be all right as I struggle to reach the burning bedroom. Jesus seems to be so nice when he talks to me in the red sentences; still I want to know from him, in person, how to be happy.
When I reach hell, I’m asking my Real Mom why she allowed my Real Dad to hurt me over and over when I was a baby and all I could do was scream. I blame her; all the same I’m not forgiving my Real Dad. I want to observe him wrestling with the never ending fire as I cheer, “Burn, Daddy, burn!”
“I love you, Jill.”
Is that Jesus I hear? I feel someone wiping my face with a cool wash cloth, trying to comfort me; it sounds like tears in Current Mom’s voice.
“Jill, you’re in a children’s psychiatric hospital but everything will be fine. We have a new house and we want you to continue being part of our family as quickly as the doctors release you.
“God saved your life, Jill. I found you collapsed at the top of the stairs, clasping your red-letter Bible, and repeatedly crying out to Jesus.”
I guess I didn’t reach hell. I sort of like this though.
“Hey, you’re waking up. Here, sip your favorite Mountain Dew Red I brought you.”
I smile at Current Mom who Jesus has sent to protect me. No more trips to hell.
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