Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What You Pawn, I Will Redeem (posted May 2014)

A little boy stared at the giant plate glass window.

"Come along, Johnny."

"But-" He cast one more longing glance as his mother led him away.

Two days later, he again looked longingly at the items in the window.

"See something you like, young fellow?"  A gentleman stood beside him.

"My momma told me not to talk to strangers."  Johnny stepped to his right.

"Your mother is a wise woman.  I'm rather partial to the violin in the corner."

Johnny hesitated a moment.  "I like the train."

"Ah, the train.  A very good choice.  I used to have a train set like that.  Shall we go inside and see how much it costs?"

"Twelve dollars.  My sister told me.  I can't have it because I've been bad."

"Bad?  Why is that?"

Johnny hung his head.  "I can't tell."  He turned and walked away, shuffling his feet.

The elderly gentleman stroked his small white beard and frowned.  He entered the store and inquired about the cost of the train.

"Twelve dollars, but it's not for sale."

"Why is it in the window, if it's not for sale?"

"That kid you were talking to?  He walked in while his sister was smoking.  She pawned it in front of him, so he wouldn't tell their parents."  The store owner's voice dropped as other customers entered.  "I felt sorry for the kid, so I keep it where he can see it."

"I see.  Can we speak in private?"


A week later, Johnny ran to the store and stopped cold.  My train!  It's gone!  Tears streamed down his face as he pushed open the heavy door.

"You promised!  And it's gone.  Why?  I told you I'd be back.  Why?"  Johnny threw a fistful of dollar bills on the counter and crumpled to the floor.

He felt a soothing hand on his back.  "Johnny, your train is safe."

Johnny sniffed.  "S-safe?  But where is it?  I told you I'd be back for it, and it's gone."

"Sit up and dry your eyes."  Johnny sat up, took the tissue and blew his nose.  "Here's your money, son.  I think if you go home, you'll find it in your toy box."


"Just go home."

Johnny struggled to his feet and hugged the store owner.  "Thanks mister, for taking care of my train."

He ran from the store and all the way home.  Sure enough, there in his room was his beloved toy train, with a note.

"No little boy should be without his favorite toy.  Enjoy!  Signed, a friend."

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Writing prompt: A hypocritical preacher

“Thank you for coming.”  Reverend Jim greeted his parishioners as they exited the building.  “I’ll see you next week.”  He ruffled the hair of an eight-year old boy.  “You sang well in the choir today Tommy.”

“Thanth!”  Tommy beamed, spittle dripping from the gap in his front teeth.

“Let me guess; all he wants for Christmas is his two front teeth?”  Jim joked with Tommy’s mother as her son jumped down the stairs and raced around the corner.

“Pretty much.  Good sermon today.”

“Thank you.”  Jim waved as the last of the congregation drove off in their cars.  His shoulders slumped as he returned to his pulpit.  Excellent sermon indeed.  Father, please forgive me for what I’m about to do.

“Reverend?”  A sweet female voice flowed over him.  “Shall I expect you in an hour?”

He nodded his head.  “Yes.  One hour.” 

Her heels clicked on the wooden floor.  “I’ll be ready.”

Jim turned to watch her go, her floral dress swishing out the side door and out through the main building.  I should fight it….but Lord, it’s been so long….and it felt so good the last time….

He hung his robes in his office, then secured the building and left for his house across the street.  He loosened his tie as he entered and greeted his silver Labrador.  “You need to go outside?”  Jim strode to the patio door and opened it, watching the dog bound outside to the fenced in yard.  He closed the door and went to his bedroom, stripping off his dark suit.  He laid the suit across the bed; he’d send it to the cleaners in the morning.  Right now, he had twenty minutes to get ready and be across town. 

He shrugged into a dark blue polo shirt and khaki slacks.  After making sure the dog had plenty of water in his bowl, he opened the door to let him in. 

“I’ve got to take off for a bit, boy.  Behave yourself while I’m gone.”  Be good for the both of us, because God help me, I can’t deny this craving.

He grabbed his car keys and making sure his wallet was in his pocket, exited the house and climbed into his car.

Again, the guilt assaulted him.  You don’t have to go.  You can resist this.

No, I can’t. 

Yes, you can.

One last time.  Then I’ll stop, I promise.

You keep saying that.

Shut up.

Jim sighed and put the car in gear. 

A few moments later, he parked beside a pristine, two story brick house.  He drummed his fingers on the wheel in a nervous gesture, then silenced his conscience and got out of the car.  He walked up the brick walk, and the door opened when he arrived on the front porch.

“Hi Jim, we’ve been waiting for you.”  He walked inside and greeted the two scantily clad women.  “Shall we begin?”

He nodded and followed them up the stairs, excited by what was about to unfold.  They entered a large bedroom and closed the door.

“On your knees, slave.”  A whip cracked.

Jim dropped to his knees and bowed his head, hands behind his back.

“Ah, I see you’ve been practicing.  Rise, and take off your clothes.”

He did as he was told, then dropped back to his knees.

“This is for that horrible sermon you preached.”  Crack!  A leather flogger struck his left shoulder blade.  “Did you not think I would hear about it?  ‘Woman shall be subservient to man.’  And while they’re eating it up, you’re here every week at our mercy.”

“I’m sorry Mistress.  I was feeling guilty.”

Crack!  “I did NOT give you permission to speak.  For that, you will be gagged until we are done with you.”  A ball gag was stuffed in his mouth and fastened behind his head.

Jim bowed his head.  Forgive me, Father….I have sinned again.  I cannot deny the pleasure this brings me.