Beacon News

The Path

| Student Work, Writing Center

 The girl walks down the road. It’s dusk, getting close to nightfall. She’s not scared, however. Just twenty more minutes and she’ll be home.

Suddenly, a bright light invades her vision. The girl raises her left hand to shield her eyes.

Huh? What’s going on here? The sun went down already.

As suddenly as it appeared, the light starts to die down little by little until the girl can see again. And what she sees makes her mouth fall open.

Standing in front of her is another girl about the same age as her, maybe a little older, with a silvery body, and hair that flows around in the air like water.

“W-What are you?” The girl asks when she finds her voice again. The being just smiles.

“I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that you don’t know an angel when you see one. We are so often misrepresented in media, after all.”

“You’re an angel?” The girl pinches herself, wincing at the sudden jolt of pain. Nope, she isn’t dreaming. The angel laughs softly.

“You’re funny. I’ve come to deliver a message.” She floats a little above the girl, sitting in the branches of a nearby tree. “Later this evening, you will meet God. The devil, too.”

“The devil?” The girl asks, suddenly scared. “I’ll meet…the devil?”

“Don’t be scared.” The angel says. “He can’t hurt you as long as God is around AND as long as you have faith.” She smiles once more. “I have faith in you.” And with those final words, she disappears.

The girl takes deep, shallow breaths.

I’m going to meet God-and the devil. She puts her hand to her chest, feeling her heart pounding.

It’s alright. I’m going to be alright. God will protect me. With this final thought, she takes off walking again.

It is a nice, cool evening, the wind rustling some leaves nearby. The sky is a deep blue, with a few stars already dotting the sky. Yet, the girl doesn’t feel afraid. Her walk is rather uneventful, except for the sight of some baby raccoons who run off as soon as they see her. Soon she is close to her home; only a couple more minutes and she’ll be there. Just as she’s beginning to wonder if she imagined the experience with the angel, a voice stirs her from her thoughts.

“Hello there.” The girl looks up in alarm. Standing in front of her is the most beautiful man she has ever seen. He is quite tall, lean and muscular, with wavy blond hair and blue eyes. He is dressed in all white-a white V-neck shirt, white pants, and neat white shoes. The girl can’t help but start as she looks at him.

“Sorry if I startled you.” The man says with a smile. “Do you want some candy?”


“Candy.” The man pulls a lollipop out of his pants pocket to show her. “I work in a candy factory. I always have a lot of candy lying around.”

“No thank you.” The girl says cautiously. She is then suddenly aware of someone tugging at her pant leg. She whips around to look at the other guy.

Like the man in white, he is quite tall, but also very skinny, making him look a bit like a scarecrow. His skin is the color of spoiled milk, making it look like he has never been outside. His hair, in contrast, is the color of pitch and longer than the girl’s, trailing down his back in greasy, unkempt tresses. He is dressed in all black, in stark contrast to the first man-a black trench coat, black sleeveless shirt, black slacks, and black biker boots. He looks exactly like one of the death metal singers her older siblings watch on MTV.

The pale guy looks up at the girl with sunken-in eyes.

“Please, could you spare some change? I haven’t eaten in days!”

“S-sorry.” The girl apologizes, unable to keep the fear out of her voice. “I don’t have any money with me.”

“Ignore him.” The man in white says. “He’s just a bum. Now, you sure you don’t want any candy?”

“No-but maybe he would.”

Now that the girl really looks at the guy in black, he doesn’t seem so scary to her. He’s far too skinny to look like he could hurt her in any way. He looks like one of those bums she sees on the street sometimes-grungy and horribly emaciated, like he would break in half if you tried to hug him.

The man in white apparently hasn’t heard what the girl said before, as he asks

“Perhaps you want toys? Pretty clothes? I’ll give you whatever you want-if you come with me.” The words send a shiver down the girl’s spine. Something about his voice just makes her uneasy. For as long as the girl can remember, her parents have been warning her about strange people who might try to steal her away and hurt her with promises of treats. She looks into the blond man’s eyes. There is no warmth there, no kindness. They’re just…empty.

“I don’t want anything from you,” she says decisively, “Because you’re the devil!”

“Smart girl.” The blond glares at her and she’s not sure whether or not she is imagining it, but his eyes briefly flash red.

“Well done, child. You passed the test.” The girl turns around. The black-clothed guy, who she now knows to be God, has risen to his feet. He smiles down at her, suddenly a lot more friendly-looking. The devil hisses.

“And here I thought taking on this form would work.” The girl ignores him.

“Test?” She asks, blinking in confusion.

“I wanted to see how well you treated your fellow humans.” God explains. “Lucifer, naturally, decided to tag along, to see if he could tempt you into sinning, instead.” Like the devil, His eyes flash briefly, but gold instead of red.

“Not only did you prove that you have compassion for other people, but also that you are smart enough to see through the devil’s lies.” His kind smile grows wider. “I’m very proud of you.” And with that, He and the devil both fade away.

A few minutes later, the girl makes it home, much to her parents’ relief. She decides not to answer when they ask what took her so long. They wouldn’t believe her, anyway.

~Jess Burks

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