I know what a rented mule feels like…
Busy week but now I am back to work, so life will slow down a little bit. I know I have a messed up life.
A couple of housekeeping items first.
1.Next Friday I am planning on posting Top 25 Metallica songs. I have two friends (Jason and Becca) who are also going to do a Top 25 list. If you are a Metallica fan and want to throw in a list let me know.
2.I don’t know if I will get a Super Bowl pick out there before the game so I will do it here.
SF 49ers 20 Baltimore Ravens 17
A couple of weeks ago, I sent the first chapter of my book SOG, The Book of Lot, to Ray Rhamey who hosts site “Flogging The Quill.” He reviews first chapters and offers his comments on the submission. Ray is a wonderful man, who is kind and generous with his time so I would never have anything negative to say about him. However, he had a lot of negative things to say about my submission. He is very fair and I am glad that I submitted it to him, even though he beat me like a rented mule.
Ray’s comments are here: http://www.floggingthequill.com/flogging_the_quill/
I am posting the submission with no changes today. Please let me know what you think. I learned a lot by Ray’s comments and I know I can learn lots from you guys as well. My goal is to get better, so don’t be kind. Say what you got.
If anyone has read any good books on POV, I would like to know that. I think that is one of my biggest problems. Other than grammar of course.
Chapter 1.0 suicide
Isaiah 6:8 Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”
Sunday 27 December 18:31 EST
“I guess I was a little too late……” The echoes of his voice and the guitar reverberated down the valley to the river below. The tall ebony man always wondered what it was going to be like to die. His friends always said he was rational, level headed and always staying ahead of life. This one act would change that forever. Covered in the ankle deep snow, his feet were only ten steps to the river far below. The thought flashed that he should walk to his destiny, but he quickly dismissed it because he wanted everyone to know this was deliberate.
Most people considered suicide to be the coward’s way out of life. His feeling changed when his wife and three children were murdered in the mall. Eddie thought this was the most expedient route to re-unite with his family on the other side. His only hesitation was that his friends would think he was a weak, fragile man who couldn’t buck up when the chips were on the table. The irony was that although he finally understood the inner workings of the depressed mind, he wouldn’t be around to enlighten the closed minded.
His wife’s favorite verse was Isaiah 6:8. “Sorry Lord, I have other plans.” Eddie spoke to the wind.
Three deep breaths later, he turned and walked to his backpack and the pistol. Like a coiled viper, the pistol rested on the frosty backpack eager to do its master’s biding. Like his soul the 9MM was focused and ready to explode with finality. Finishing his final prayer, the weapon rose towards his head. His wide eyes were open looking upward with no fear of what he might see the instant the gun fired. His peripheral vision caught what he thought to be a moving shadow, but his mind dismissed it as the flickering of the camp fire.
“Are you Edward Paul Norris?” The words were said in a deep, but friendly tone.
Eddie reflexively shut his eyes as the shockwaves of the voice exploded in his ears. The mountain was silent except for the wind and the sounds of Eddie’s panting breath. For a moment, he thought the act was finished. Eddie rubbed his eyes with his left hand. Holding the weapon to his head in his right hand, he saw a man who made Sasquatch look like a midget. Eddie took a long hard look at the giant who was towering just 3 feet from him. His image flickering in the fire light, this man wore his boots with oversized wool socks bunched up around his calves. Surprisingly, his legs were almost smooth and flushed with chill. His cargo shorts rode high on his thighs. A black leather belt held a multi-tool on the left side and an empty pistol holster on the right side. A black turtle neck flapped in the wind but did nothing to hide his massive shoulders and neck. The round face seemed to hang him the air. His black stocking cap folded around the stringy dark hair that threatened to cover his large blue eyes that were accented by the age marks at the corners.
“Eddie, do you mind if I join you for a moment?”
“Okay.” His mind had disengaged from reality and was now operation solely on the reptilian side.
“Is the weapon loaded?”
“Would you mind unloading it, please?
Eddie complied by dropped the magazine from the receiver and moved the slide backwards to eject the round in the chamber. The round was lost the snow.
The two men stared at each other for a short moment. Eddie’s heart pounded inside the chest cavity as he waited for another command from the giant. “Your fire is starting to go out; would you like to gather some more wood?”
“Yes, I would.” With frozen tears and snot scaring his face Eddie walked away. He couldn’t resist the urge to look for his body. Not sure if this was live, a dream or if he was truly on the other side, Eddie returned after a long moment. The giant had gathered a small forest while Eddie had only a couple of limbs.
“I bet you have some questions.” The hulk spoke as he stoked the fire.
“How do you know my name?”
“I know everything about you. I know what happened at the mall. I know about your family. I know about your
conservation with the President, I know about the loose ends that you tied off, your conversation with your church elders this morning and why you are here right now. I also know that it isn’t your fault that your family was killed. I know that the answer isn’t what you were planning, and I know that there is a place where you are needed.”
“You don’t know squat. You don’t have any idea how I have failed, and you don’t know what my plans were.”
“Really? Not twenty minutes ago I stopped you from turning your head into a canoe but now you have the audacity to deny it? You may not be the type of man we need.” The giant stood up and put his hand on Eddie’s shoulder. “The world is a better place with you in it. In spite of what you feel, I think you are a good man. Make things right with the Lord and get back into life. The world needs good men like you. Good luck.” The giant turned and started to walk off the mountain.
Eddie started to let him go, but the will to survive had one last ember. “Wait! I am sorry. I am embarrassed to be seen like this.” The giant stopped and allowed Eddie to fill the silence with more words. “You said there is a place that I am needed.”
The giant spun around wearing a slight smile. “I have seen this before, your story while tragic is not uncommon. I know men and women who were happy but lost touch with that reality because of events far from their control. To be honest, I have been in your shoes, I once had a gun to my head, and I was stopped seconds before I made a mistake. I do not believe in coincidences, I believe that God puts people into places or situations where they can make a difference. I didn’t come all of the way to stop you from splitting your head like a watermelon, I came to talk about your future.”
“What are you? Are you an Angel? Are you a Spirit? You are too big to be human!”
The giant laughed hard. His voice echoed off of the ridge on the other side of the river. “I am a lot of things, but no, I’m not an Angel or a Spirit. I am just a man like you. I am trying my best to live my life right, to do the Lord’s Will and be his worker in the world. I have no special powers or abilities. I am just a big boy.”
“What’s your name?”
“Your mama should have named you Goliath!” Both men started laughing to break the tension. As they stood by the roaring fire, David explained that Eddie faced a choice and had made his decision when he left his home this morning. Eddie couldn’t return to his empty life, and he couldn’t go forward without his family. David offered two suggestions, start a new life in a new city with new friends and eventually a new family or be a radical and join a small group of men and women who followed the teachings of Jesus and tried to make a difference in the world.
David said that if Eddie wanted to save the world he needed to stay here and get himself right with God. At sunrise in three days, David would be at the parking lot where Eddie parked his truck. If Eddie left this hill before the third day, the offer left with him. David took Eddie’s hand, offered a candid prayer before walking off the mountain and into the darkness.
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