The Heat of the Day

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Religion and Spirituality  |  House: Booksie Classic
Trust in God and you never have to fear anything.

Submitted: January 26, 2012

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 26, 2012



The young man held the power of death in his right hand which was shaking with violent tremors.

‘Why not switch?’, he thought. ’that’s not against the rules, I suppose.’

So he changed hands, just to spite his right hand which usually won out as the favorite. 

In his left hand, the switch felt strange and awkward but at least there were no violent tremors. 

He closed his eyes and concentrated on calming his trip-hammering heartbeat.  He couldn’t tell if he was dizzy because of the sun beating down on his forehead or if he was dizzy because of the task before him.  The pack was so heavy and made it hard for him to maintain his balance.

The white cross on the steeple gleamed under a harsh sunlight.  It hurt his eyes.  He reached up and felt his face near his eyes which were dry and itching in the harsh dry wind.

He knew he needed to get out of the heat or he would just collapse on the street.  What kind of hero would he be then? 

He managed somehow to trudge forward to the raised church portico without blacking out, tottering in his balance like a baby learning to walk for the first time.  When he finally ascended the steps, the shade under the awning felt glorious.  If he had to guess, it was at least 20 degrees cooler under the cover.  He closed his eyes for a moment and savored the cooler air. 

Boom-ba-boom Boom-ba-boom.  Low frequencies of sub-deep rhythmic bass pulsated from a passing car, causing the single pane windows in the church to rattle the single panes of window glass in the church.

‘I wonder what it is like to be inside that car?’ he thought, as he watched it travel slowly down the street.  The wave of hypnotic bass slowly faded as the car turned the corner. 

He stood with his eyes closed and his ears open for a moment.  Birds chattered noisily in their foreign language. 

“Hey mister, can you help me?” asked a small child’s voice that sounded like it was right in front of him. 

He was startled.  When he opened his eyes and saw a young boy who couldn’t be more than five years old standing in the dusty street right in front of him. 

“Go find your parents.  Get away from here.” he told the boy gruffly. 

“I can’t find my grandma.  Can you help me…Please?” replied the boy who looked terrified and about ready to cry.

The small boy reminded him of his brother back in his homeland.  He scanned the street looking for anyone who might be the boy’s mother or father. There at the end of the street, was a dark blue mini-van parked against the curb on the opposite side of the street.  An older woman was darting all around the van as if she had lost something.

“Your grandmother is right over there.” he pointed down the street at her.  “Go back to her and tell her to get out of here.  Do you hear me?”

“I’m not supposed to cross the street without an adult” said the boy and held out his hand.

“Well, you must have crossed without an adult to get here, so figure it out.”  he said.

“Please take me there.” whined the boy and grabbed for his left hand. 

“Don’t do that!” he screamed at the boy and thrust his left hand out of reach of the boy. 

The boy started crying hysterically.

Apparently his voice had carried down the street, because the woman who was presumably the boy’s grandmother had spied her grandson and was running their way with surprising speed. 

“Alex, thank God you’re all right.  I was scared to death someone had abducted you.”  She said.  “Thank you so much for finding him. You probably think I am a terrible grandmother to lose her grandson..” 

“Please just take him and go.  Get the hell away from me and this place.  Do it now!” he said. 

When she looked at him closer, awareness sunk in and the blood ran out of her face. 

“You’re a…You’re going to….” she stammered. 

“Just leave and I will spare your lives.”  he said. 

“O.K., O.K, we’ll go, we’ll go.”  She grabbed Alex by the hand and started pulling him along after her.  She was about ten feet away and then she stopped, turned around and walked back in front of him. 

“I can’t walk away.” she said.

“Get out of here.” he said.  He towered above her and the child. 

“You have a choice, you know.” she said.  “You don’t have to do what you are planning on doing.  You know that don’t you?” 

“None of us have a choice, there is only the will of God.” he said. 

“You always have a choice. You’re making one right now by talking to Alex and I.” she replied. 

“Don’t test my patience, if you don’t get away, that is your “choice” isn’t it.  You and the boy will die as well.”  he said. 

“You’re pretty arrogant; I have to give you that.” she laughed.  “They really have got you fooled you haven’t they?” 

“Who are you talking about?” he said. 

“I’m talking about those cowards that put you up to this.  I bet they are home sitting comfortably on the couch, cool drink in hand, lunch on the counter just waiting for the news of your endeavors to come on so they can all clap each other on the back and tell each other what wonderful god-fearing people they are.“ she replied. “You don’t see them down here getting their hands dirty, do you?  They played you son, plain and simple.  But you can have the last laugh on them, you have the choice. 

“My people are good people.” he replied.

“I don’t know them, but from where I’m standing, forgive me if I don’t share your optimism.  After all they convinced a nice young man such as yourself to walk such a dark and lonely path as you’re on.  Actions speak louder than words, you know.”

“I will be honored. My family will be honored.” he said. 

“No, you will be dead and your family will be mourners.  Perhaps those that love you would like it better if you were “dishonored” rather than fading memories and pictures of an ‘honorable man’. I mean did you ever think about how your mother would feel about this.” she said.

“Don’t mention my mother!” he replied.

“Well now, I have to mention your mother because she isn’t here and I am.  And I am a mother and a grandmother and us women we have a code of motherhood to follow.  It doesn’t matter if you live in the east or the west, it’s the same. The rules are the same for all of us mothers’, -raise your children up to be people your proud of - keep them safe- and shame them when they forget where they came from.”  Pretty simple really and it’s more effective than a a gun or a knife.  Heck it’s been keeping sons and daughters in line since the beginning of time, so I guess it works, what do you think?” 

“You know nothing about my mother.  She will understand.”  he replied. 

“So you didn’t even have the balls to tell her what you are up to?  That’s kind of what I figured.  Now I know there’s hope for you because if you really felt so strongly in this business you’re caught up in, you would have said goodbye instead of taking the cowardly way around it.  Am I right?  Of course I am.”  she said. “Did you write her a letter?” 

She saw him look down for a second. 

“Of course, nothing says cowardly more than the final letter.  Lot easier to write a letter than to say goodbye in person, isn’t it?  Letters don’t talk back to you and cry and beg you to reconsider, do they?” She said.

“You’re the coward.” he said. 

She laughed.  “Yes, I suppose you’re right about that. I do not want to die and you can call me crazy for that but, what about you?  What about what you are planning to do?  How can you stand right in front of me and look me in the eye and tell me that this business your hell bent on doing isn’t a coward’s deed or a fool’s folly.” she said. “You’re too afraid to make a stand because you’re afraid of what your people might say or do to you.”

She looked at him intently for a moment. 

“You would rather play the judge, jury and executioner without even having a trial.  That sounds like a definition of cowardice to me.” she said to him.

“Shut up woman!” he yelled at her.

“Or what you’ll kill an old woman like me too.  Then maybe you can kill my grandson too, after all he is only five. Is that God’s will also?”  she asked him.

“SHUT UP, SHUT UP, SHUT UP!” His whole body was racked with violent tremors. 

“What’s it going to be son?  You know in about ten minutes those people in that churches are going to start coming out.” she said.  “Will you choose the light or be a prisoner in darkness forever?”

“There is no light in this place.  Look around.  You are surrounded by liars, thieves and scoundrels.  Where is the light?  I can‘t see It.” he said.

“Well, you just have to look for it that’s all.” she said.  “I agree that this world seems mighty dark at times.  But if there is a fire burning up your prized possessions would you pour gasoline on it or do you find some water to put out the flames.” 

“You defend evil?”  he asked. 

“I defend God’s vengeance as his own.” she said. 

“What if God wills it.”  he said. 

“Oh, I wouldn’t have a problem with it if God willed it.  Of course most of the time, “God’s Will” turns out to be just the will of a man, which I’m afraid are not mutually exclusive.” she said.

“God doesn’t love people that don’t follow his will.  They deserve to die.” he said. 

She laughed.  “Oh, how wrong you are.  You’re confusing the motives of men with the will of God.  God doesn’t work like that. Don’t you understand that?” 

He looked at her for a moment.  “They will kill me anyway if I don’t go through with it.  Then they will kill my mother also and the rest of my family.  So, what choice to I have?  Do I sign my family’s death warrant.” he said.

“I figured it had to be something like that.  You seem like such a nice boy.  Didn’t seem like the type to be up to this nonsense. Do you trust me?” she said.

“Yes, for some reason I trust you.  You have something different inside of you.” he said. 

“Then trust me enough to come with me.” She said.  “I know someone that can help us protect you and your family.  I know it may seem like a strange concept to you, but God has a way of making everything work out if you truly do follow his will.  Believe me on that!” she said.

The boy looked for a moment at the grandmother and the child intently for a moment. 

“So will you trust me?” asked the grandmother. 

“I will try.  But trust doesn’t come easily to me.” replied the young man.

“I see.  You trust someone well enough to let them send you to your death, but you’re mistrustful of a little old lady like me?” she said. “Look at me.  Do you really think I am a threat to you?  I don’t think I really could stop you if you were so inclined to carry on about your business.  Do you?”

“No you couldn’t stop me, it’s my choice.” said the young man. 

“Well then so be it.  Live with your choice and follow me.  I think you’ll be glad that you did.”  She said as she grabbed her grandson’s hand and walked right past the young man and opened the door to the church. 

She gestured to the young man. 

“Well, do you want to get out of this heat or not?” she asked. 

“Yes. That would be wonderful.” replied the young man and he walked through the door and left the heat of the day behind.




© Copyright 2020 dpardee. All rights reserved.

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