I decided to drag out a few old stories that never got finished for some reason and try to work on them some more. Here is one that I began work on a long time ago. It uses some characters that I have used for a number of stories. But, I am trying to write this one as a light hearted – semi-serious mystery. Here is the first chapter. I would love some feedback.
The Case of the Missing Bible
The front door of the motel room slammed, rattled the walls and punctuated the end of another loud, angry argument between the young girl’s parents. A deafening silence left in the void was broken by the sound of a bottle opening and then clinking against a glass. Dad was gone…again. Mom was going to get drunk…again. She would cry herself to sleep…again, if she had any tears left.
Laying in the small bed she shared with her younger sister, she looked out the window at the motel parking lot. Her mind wandered back to before her family’s life had unraveled, before they were forced to live in a seedy motel on an urban highway, populated with people you really didn’t want to know. She thought back to the nice home they used to live in, to when her parents both held good jobs. It was a nice house in a friendly neighborhood. They went to a good school, went to church, wore new clothes, had nice things and, in general, life was good…compared to now. She buried her face in her pillow and she began to sob, uncontrollably.
The questions she had asked so many times before came back to her when she could cry no more. “Where are you God? Where are you now when our life is a living hell? Where is the Jesus of all the Bible stories that loved people and healed them?” Her thoughts hung there for a moment and then the usual answers came into her head. “He’s not there now. He never really was. Those were just nice stories for people who have no real problems. They are all lies!” Then there was nothing. There was just silence. That was the way the thoughts usually ended, but tonight there was a second voice crowding out the first one. “I am here, child”, it said quietly. “Look for me. Look for me and you will find me. I am coming to you. I will find you.” Then it repeated, “I am coming to you. I will find you.” She felt a strange peace for a few moments after that and drifted off into a deep, restful sleep.
* * *
Talking excitedly on their way out of the girl’s room at Cascadia Middle School, Sue and Andrea both happened to glance out into the courtyard and saw Jon sitting on a bench, Bible open on his lap, staring off into the skylight and his lips moving. Curious, they walked over to him. “John 3:15 “…that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” John 3:15, John 3:15 “…that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life” John 3:15….”
“Jon ” asked Sue, “are you reviewing memory verses from Vacation Bible School?” Jon grinned. “I sure am, I don’t want to forget them. I especially want to remember this one because it reminds me that Jesus wants everyone to have eternal life like we have and I want all of my new friends here at Cascadia to know it too!”
Sue sat on the bench next to Jon. “Maybe we could start our own club here at school. They allow all sorts of clubs for different interest groups, why not one for the Bible?” Jon responded, “that’s a great idea.” “What should we call it?” asked Andrea. She turned at looked right at Sue. “I don’t know…yet,” said Sue with a thoughtful look on her face. “I think we should pray about it and see what the Lord suggests to us.” “That’s a great idea,” said Jon. A loud bell sounded throughout the school, “But lunch is over and we need to get back to our classrooms in a hurry!”
Jon grabbed his backpack, jumped up and and they all headed off to class still talking about their idea for a club. Left behind on the bench, still open to the highlighted verse he had been reviewing was his Bible. Students hurried to their classrooms. But, one person walked over to the bench, looked casually around, picked it up, looked thoughtfully at the verse Jon had highlighted, closed the Bible, quickly tucked it into a book bag and walked off quickly in the opposite direction Jon had gone in.