Pens of Praise Christian Writers Group meeting gave a special surprise to Rebecca McLafferty. She will be moving and Kathy Leist suggested we surprise Rebecca by writing something for her. Below is my offering to her. What diverse gifts of writing from so many of our writers! This was a night to remember. Some sent their pieces to me to give to her since they were not able to attend. What a precious talented group!
Chocolate Brown Surprise
Chocolate brown eyes with the warmth of a summers day, peeked out from underneath the wide-brim straw-hat. The ribbon tie flapped against her brunette hair as the breeze pressed its way toward Lake Michigan. Seagulls glided on wind currents and called out with playful exuberance as they spied the nearby park and the river’s edge for dinner offerings. Warmth from the sun heated her face and shoulders with a welcoming embrace. This had been an excellent idea after all.
Pen in hand, she flipped open the steno pad and shorthand spilled onto lined pages. The possible reason for her standing in this location approached. Rebecca measured the man with the blue dreadlocks and saggy pants. Too obvious for a bad guy. She noticed movement behind him and waited. Jogging along in a lime-green outfit and earbuds in place, another man streamlined himself around those walking along the sidewalk on 8th Street. He called too much attention to himself and sported no pockets, no hiding places. He would not do either. Besides, he was by far, too skinny.
A suit moved onto the bridge and turned toward the water. He leaned upon the metal railing and seemed to wait for someone or something.
She had to tilt her head up to the bridge to gain a better perspective. She liked what she saw and took note. Broad shoulders, tanned face, sandy brown hair, and mirrored sunglasses. Just enough mystery to matter. His cell phone chirped and he answered. Looking back and forth and seeming for all the world to be aware of his surroundings, he offered clip answers with just an edge of irritation. The man was a delicious specimen for inspiration.
Rebecca took out her cell phone and acted as though she were taking a selfie, but in reality, she wanted a reminder of his perfect contrast of classy and cheap. She snapped the photo just as the man pinned his mirrored glasses in her direction, which caught the sun and reflected back. Glairing light stabbed her vision, nearly causing her to drop her phone into the waters below. She held the button in far too long and what must have been sixty photos, recorded onto her phone.
Quick movement behind the man caught her eye. Two hooded men, from a stopped car, jumped out and grabbed the suit collar, dragging it down over the man’s arms, so that he was trapped in his own classy cocoon.
She watched and it seemed as though everything transpired in slow motion. The suit’s phone dropped into the murky waters below. The splash was spectacular. Nice touch. She dashed down worthy details, with shorthand of course. Peeking around the brim of her straw-hat she noticed that the thug-touting car headed her way. She dashed toward the door and entered the Maritime Museum as fast as her Prada heals would allow. Of course, one of the hooded men followed her inside. She laughed at him, which added to his discomfort and her pleasure in being able to crack that criminally minded hard shell over his face. If only she could see the result, for he wore a ski mask though the temperature loitered in the high 70s and humidity was beyond mention.
She swung her leg high to use the Prada heal as a weapon.
He ducked, and in a fluid motion—swooped her over his shoulder with a grunt. Bystanders and those safely tucked behind the service desk froze, slack jawed and eyes huge, they watched him carry her outside in silence. She’d almost dropped her steno pad and pen which would have been disastrous!
The man flipped her off of his shoulder and dropped her onto the car’s back seat, right next to the suit they’d abducted moments before. The hooded man slammed the car door.
Child proof locks clicked into place, and Rebecca sighed.
The suit acknowledged her with a nod. “Was that adventurous enough for you, Becky?”
“What?” The voice so familiar, she’d known its tone in the dark. She evaluated him again. The size was just right. The face—could that be him? And wasn’t that a wig on his head?
The man took hold of his glasses and slid them down his nose a notch or two.
A slow smile took her face.
He grabbed his wig off of his head. “Becky, you owe me a phone.”
The front passenger side door opened and, the man slid inside the car. Immediately, the two people in the front seat pulled off their masks and Mike, her son in law and their daughter Colleen finger combed their hair in place, while they laughed in Rebecca’s direction.
“And now, let the adventure begin!” Joe’s voice held such tender pleasure.
Becky rubbed her sore leg she’d swung at Mike. When had she moved like that? No matter. She slipped her arm through Joe’s. “Hey kids, do you have a working air conditioner in this heap?”
The accelerator revved as they sped off toward their greatest adventure—their future. Joe held Becky’s steno tablet as her pen jotted down the discoveries she’d made with sensory and emotive experience, so that as far as it could be possible, Rebecca would share exciting quests on the pages of her novels, devotions, and encouraging emails that would spirit her readers to have courage, be truthful, love better, and all those other benefits that are found in Rebecca’s favorite book of all—The Holy Bible.
By Susan Marlene <3
“Only be strong and very courageous…that you may have success wherever you go.” Joshua 1: 7
And so, it is that God, the Creator of the Universe, has a plan for you, for me. Be strong and courageous and He will be with you wherever you go.
Then chapter 7 in Joshua happens. Achan messed up. He followed his heart—desired the forbidden. This effected Israel, and some lost their lives because of one man’s disobedience. What if we drift or fail? Does that mean that we can’t return and follow the Lord?
Chapter 8:1 follows after the repentance of Israel. “…Do not fear or be dismayed…I have given into your hand the king of Ai, his people, his city, and his land.”
We only need to return and remember our first love. Remember relationship not religion with Him. His love will rescue us and His righteousness bring us through any trial. People or circumstances may tell you that you don’t matter. That is a lie. You are the only one who can fulfill your purpose in the finest way.
“...while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion for him, and ran and embraced him and kissed him.” Luke 15:20
Scriptures referenced from “The Founder’s Bible: The Origin of the Dream of Freedom” New American Standard Bible.
Christian & Secular Conferences:
Benefits to attending – Connecting with writers, agents, publishers, learning about various publishing opportunities, and receiving excellent teachings.
How to find them:
Taylor’s Professional Writing Conference (Taylor University $99.00 for 2 day conference.)
https://taylorsprofessionalwritersconference.wordpress.com/ August 4 – 5th 2017
Susan Marlene Kinney is published in Splickety Love Magazine, The Novice and newspapers. She writes devotions, fiction, and nonfiction. She is a member and co-founder of Pens of Praise Christian Writers and is a member of Jerry Jenkins Writers Guild, American Christian Fiction Writers, ACFW WISE, and Lighthouse Christian Writers. She speaks at writers groups and prepares devotions and teachings often for Pens of Praise Christian Writers. She is a wife, mother, grandmother and At-Risk Teacher’s Aide. She loves antiques and training her Leonberger, who in turn loves to train her. But don't tell the cat, she thinks she has everyone under control.