Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: MISSION (01/30/20)
- TITLE: The Hill
By Francie Snell
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“How long for the cement to cure,” one voice asked. “At this temperature... forty days at least, then we can build,” came the answer.
Then Jake awoke from the dream vividly impressed upon his mind.
On the second night, they appeared one by one, like fairytale cottages, with front porches enclosed by picket railings, each with its own rocking chair. Chimney stacks made of stone set high above the rooftops with smoke rising from each one. Then a man, haggard and destitute, with fear in his eyes, held out his arms toward the sky. “Please, help me, I’m cold.” Then the dream ended.
The third night Jake tossed in his sleep as he saw a vast garden a distance away from the cluster of cottages on the hill. Up sprang fruits and vegetables of every kind planted uniformly in rows, enclosed with a high chain-link fence on a parcel the size of a football field. Pure water pulled from a creek at the bottom of the hill by a pump - solar powered - watered the land. Then a man, haggard, and destitute held out his arms toward the sky. “Please, help me, I’m hungry and thirsty.” Then the dream ended.
Jake awoke and wiped the sleep from his eyes. The hill, the cottages, the garden, the man, what does this all mean?
Sara couldn’t shake the dream from her mind as she pondered the ten acres left to her by her grandmother. The sound of hammers and saws still rung in her ears as tiny cottages surrounded by white picket fences grew up out of the ground. Out of rock chimneys smoke twirled into the sky. The garden was vast, with a high chain-link fence surrounding freshly tilled rows. The scene was glorious, except for the man, haggard, and destitute pleading for help.
“What a crazy dream,” she scoffed as she rose out of bed. Yet, the vision of the man haunted her.
Jake poured the steaming brew of morning coffee into his thermos and headed for his truck. With his contracting business slowed to a halt, he was grateful for the work and didn’t mind driving the extra distance around the lake and into the next county.
It was early spring as he headed up the grade, the sun peeking just above the horizon. New grass was glowing green, and oaks with tender fresh leaves dotted the landscape. So beautiful, he mused as he bounced along the dirt road. Reminds me of my dreams.
Then he saw her, a woman at the side of the road, hands-on-hips, gazing up at a hill with a despairing look. A family of dear grazed peacefully on the dew-covered grass on the south side of the hill. Shocked, he jammed on the brakes.
He climbed out of the truck and gawked up at the hill then back at the woman. “Ma’am, do you know who owns this land?”
She answered with a puzzled look. “Yes, I do; I just inherited it from my grandmother. Why do you ask?”
He stammered. “Well, because, I know this hill. I mean, well … you might think I’m crazy, but I saw this hill in a dream.
The woman appeared interested. “Oh?”
“Yeah. There were buildings and a garden and …” She interrupted, “and a poor homeless man pleading for help?
“Yeah, that’s right, how’d you know?” he said, amazed.
“Because I had the same dream. I’ve been asking God what I should do with this land. There are ten acres here, and the soil is fertile, but I don’t know what to do with it all. I can’t afford to do anything with it right now, but with that strange dream, I wonder if God’s trying to show me something.”
He nodded. “Yeah, and if I had the same dream, three of them in fact, then it definitely means something. I believe we met for a reason.” He held out his hand toward her. “Hi, I’m Jake. Looks like God just might be placing us on a mission.”
She smiled as she shook his hand. “Yeah, maybe so. I’m Sara. Wouldn’t happen to know a reliable contractor, would you?”
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