Mary’s Memories

It’s Good Friday.  My sons, husband and I are watching The Passion of the Christ.  As I watch Mary follow her son on his way to Golgotha, I wonder what was in her mind.  Surely she knew that her son was The Son of God, that He was fulfilling the purpose for which He had been born.  (In the film, as Jesus is being beaten by Pilate’s men, Mary says, “My son, when, where, how will you deliver yourself from this?”  I may have the words slightly wrong, but that is close.)  Still, how horrible it must have been for her to watch that.  It had to have broken her heart to not only see each lash He was given but to hear the hatred and disgust those in the crowd–the same people who had welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem a few days before, were not hurling at Him.  Did she ever question her part in God’s plan? As her son was tortured and her heart was breaking, did Mary ever regret having agreed to become the mother of Jesus?

This is not the first time I’ve wondered about that.  A few years back, I wrote a little something from Mary’s perspective, examining just those questions.  I’d like to share that with you tonight.  Here is how I think Mary would have looked on her life after the death and resurrection of Jesus.

 

MARY’S MEMORIES

I didn’t know what I was agreeing to. That’s how it often works with God. He asks you to do something and you choose to say yes or no. He always gives you that option—that’s the wonderful part. He’s not going to force you to do something you are really not comfortable with. Of course, if you say no, there’s no guarantee He will ask you to do something else. The bad part is that He doesn’t always explain exactly what is going to happen.

That’s how it happened with me. I had a general idea of how this was going to work. Scripture told us what to expect.

But I didn’t have a clue just what would be involved. All I knew is that God was asking me to do something special. He could have chosen someone prettier or smarter or older. But He chose me. I didn’t understand why at the time and I can’t say I fully understand why now. But He asked.

All my life, I had wanted to do something for God. I hoped that He would find some way to use me. I just never dreamed it would be in such a big way.

I still remember that day so clearly. Or should I say that night. I had prayed before bed as usual. My friends thought I was too old to keep praying like that. They reminded me that my father had found a good husband for me. So what if we still needed to wait a while before the wedding? My friends said I should “stop bothering God and just be happy as Joseph’s wife.”

I wasn’t unhappy at the thought of being his wife. Joseph was a good man, a godly man. And he was always such a hard worker. He was a carpenter, which meant we would probably never be rich. I didn’t mind. He would be a good husband and I would work hard to be a good wife. Together, we would be good parents. Truly, I could be content with that. But if God wanted me for something more, I wanted Him to know that I was willing.

I can’t tell you how many times my friends said I was wasting my time. “God never uses women,” they said. I reminded them of Deborah, of Ruth, and of Queen Esther. Maybe there were more stories about the men, but God could use a woman, too. If she was willing to be used.

It was an ordinary night. I kissed my father, helped my mother put the younger children down, and then headed to bed.   But the light that woke me was anything but ordinary.

It was so bright. I had to shield my eyes. I was able to make out the outline of a tall man standing there. How had he gotten into my home? I was scared.

And then he spoke. “Greetings!” he said. “The Lord has blessed you and is with you.”

He said that I shouldn’t be scared, and for some reason I wasn’t anymore. Instead, I was excited. My prayers had been heard. God had a place for me in His plan.

And what a plan! For years we had looked forward to God’s promised Messiah. This man—this angel—was telling me that God wanted me to give birth to that Messiah.

For a moment, I did consider saying no. I wasn’t much more than a child myself. I wasn’t married and could only imagine what Joseph’s reaction to this would be.

Yet, I didn’t know how to say no. I’d prayed for years to be used by God. Now that He was showing me how He wanted to use me, it seemed unfair to tell Him no. If I did say no, would He ask me anything again? There was nothing more to say than, “May it be as you say.”

Joseph was very supportive—which in a lot of ways surprised me. He was so good about it. I wonder if he ever regretted it. Jesus was one of the best tempered children. Still, being his parent was not always easy. Joseph never complained but it must have been even harder on him than on me.

We did have to spend some time hiding while Jesus was very young. The only real trouble He gave us, though, was when He was 12. Though I can’t really fault Him for that. What kind of parents take a full day to notice their child is missing?

Missing isn’t exactly the right word for it. We didn’t know where Jesus was, but He was right where He needed to be. I remember Him telling me not to worry, that He was in His Father’s house. I didn’t know what He meant at the time. I only knew that I was relieved to see Him safe and sound.

Maybe it was foolish of me to be so concerned. I just had a small part to play in God’s plan. My son WAS the plan. He wasn’t going to be hurt, not until the time came for the Plan to fully go into action.

I was in Jerusalem the day he entered the city for the last time. I remember the crowds and oh how glad they were to see Him! For a moment, I thought the time for God’s plan was still years in the future. And to be honest, that is what I was hoping. I knew why my son was born—and to keep Him with me was selfish. But as His mother, I wanted to be selfish. I wanted my son to live—on Earth, where I could see Him and hug Him—for a few more years.

I knew the prophecies. Isaiah wrote that the Messiah would be wounded and bruised. Knowing that would happen to some random person and seeing it happen to my son were two completely different things. I wanted to protect Him. Each time they hit Him, I felt it. Every drop of blood He lost felt like it came from my own heart. I wanted to turn away, to run off and hide. And yet I couldn’t. He was the Messiah, the King of Kings. But He was still my son, my little baby boy.

When they led Him to that cross, I could see the little boy who used to follow Joseph around while he worked. As He hung on that cross, I saw Him as the sweet little baby I had rocked to sleep. I cried as He suffered. I wanted to stop His pain. Even though I couldn’t do that, I couldn’t turn away. I couldn’t miss a moment of His life.

At the same time, I couldn’t help feeling so proud. He was so strong. He cried out in pain, but he didn’t resist, didn’t fight back. And at the end, He had the strength to ask for forgiveness, not for himself but for those hurting Him. I’ll never forget the sound of His voice—the pain and anguish in it—as he gasped, “Father God, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

One of His last thoughts before He died was of me. He saw me there, weeping, and told His good friend John to look after me. As my son hung there, in pain and utterly humiliated, He was concerned about me being alone.

When He breathed His last breath, my heart stopped. There was an earthquake and the sky turned black. I’m told that there was no light at all. But all I remember was seeing His head drop to His chest and I knew my first born son was gone.

I was able to smile then, even through my tears. I know it sounds strange to some. Most mothers aren’t going to smile after watching her child die. Then again, most mothers didn’t raise the Son of God. At the moment He died, His pain was over. In that same moment, He was with the Father. With my eyes closed and face turned toward Heaven I could almost hear the angels welcoming Him back. There was no reason for me to be sad. His death was not the end. His death meant life for so many others. It meant that I would be able to spend eternity with Him.

No, I did not know what I was getting into. I did not know how much joy His life would bring and I did not know how much the end of His earthly life would hurt me. If I had known, if I had understood just what He would go through, would I have still said yes? Would I do it all over again? Knowing what I know now, if God were to send an angel to me in the night, would my answer still be the same?

Absolutely.

“May it be as you say, Lord.”

Book Review–HOUSE OF SECRETS by Tracie Peterson

I’ve read Tracie Peterson’s work before, but until I came across this book at my local bookstore, I had no idea that she wrote anything other than historical fiction! Not only does she occasionally write contemporary fiction, Peterson writes it VERY well.

FiftHouseOfSecretseen years ago, Bailee, Geena, and Piper Cooper witnessed their father drugging their mother. They kept the secret, thinking that was the only way to reserve any sort of “normalcy” within their family. When their father invites them back to the same summer home where the incident happened, the girls decide it’s time to share what they know. Only the more the talk about that night–with each other and then with their father–the more they realize that really don’t know anything at all.

HOUSE OF SECRETS is a beautifully written book that about the bonds of sisters, and the power secrets can hold over a person. The story also deals with mental illness, and the far-reaching effects an illness can have–even years after the ill person has passed away. The characters are real and relatable. I found myself in or near tears at numerous places throughout the book. This one has definitely earned its place on my bookshelf.

Worth A Read

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

Visit the author online at http://www.phildavidsonbooks.com/.

Dreamer, a suspenseful novel by author Phillip L. Davidson, is not your typical Christian fiction book.  There are some moments of rough language and some situations that can be viewed as paranormal.  This is not the type of “easy-going” Christian romance that I normally read and review.  However, I am open to trying new things.  And the fact that main character David Elliot is motivated, at least in part, by his intense love for his wife made this book worth reading.

This book is action-packed.  If you like something fast-paced, this one will be well worth your time.  My only issue with it is the language.  I realize that in wartime, the language used is much different than what I am used to using and hearing on a daily basis.  However, if a book is being marketed to a Christian audience, I do feel the author should take that into account and tone down some of the language used.  Though I enjoyed the story line, the language alone will keep likely keep this book from making it my “read again” shelf.

Lynn

 

 

About The Book:

Is the Dreamer good or evil? As war looms between Britain and Argentina over the barren Falkland Islands, Major David Elliott is having nightmares. Long ago, in a dark jungle near Cambodia, he failed to do his duty. That duty was to execute a member of his team. David’s weakness eventually led to his team’s capture. Tortured by the Viet Cong, they revealed the dark secrets of the CIA’s Phoenix program. Forced to leave the service in disgrace, his men now live in the ‘darkness’. What do the dreams mean for them? David’s wife, Sonia, sees them as harbingers of evil things to come. A revolutionary in Argentina before the war, she escaped to America and became a citizen.

Now, Captain Alvarez, head of the Argentine Secret Police, wants her back. He devises a plan that lures her into returning to Argentina where she is imprisoned on Los Estados Island. Meanwhile, a mystical creature has summoned David and his former team to gather once more to honor the ‘covenant,’ a pact they made with each other when they believed their lives were coming to an end. Together, with an errant priest, Father Perez, they reluctantly agree to assault Los Estados and free Sonia. As they travel across Mexico, Central and South America, they encounter the CIA, Contras in Nicaragua, the M-19 narco-terrorist group and the United States Navy; while all along being shadowed by the mystical entity. Is the entity God or Satan? Will submitting to the will of the entity allow David and his men to stand in the light of men once again? Is the Dreamer good or evil? You decide.

Dreamer is a tale of redemption, honor, courage, belief in God and betrayal! If you enjoy military fiction, this book is for you.

Desires

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Colossians 3:17

There are a lot of things in my life that I want to accomplish, especially where my writing is concerned. Some days, I look at all of the story ideas I have collected and I wonder where to begin. They all sound so promising to me. Oh, I am sure they are not all going to turn out to be best sellers (wouldn’t that be nice?) Many of them might not even make it off of the idea board. But there is so much material there, I just don’t know what to start with. What do I want to work on first?

And I think that is where my problem comes in. I get so focused on what I want to do that I lose sight of the real reason for my writing. It’s not to get my name on any Best Seller list or to pad my bank account or to bring any kind of honor to myself. Writing is a gift God. Using it to bring glory and honor to the Lord is my gift back to Him.

I know I’ve said it before, and I will likely say it again. This “writing thing” is not about me at all. It is all about HIM, about my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Without Him, I am nothing.

I lose sight of that every now and then. My dreams and desires come into play, and I forget that the focus needs to be on Him. I find myself needing the reminder that it’s not about me. It’s not about who I am, but what He’s done. It’s not about what I’ve done, but who He is.

So today, I am thanking God for the gifts he has given me. I am making a pledge to put Him first today, to think first about what He might want and pray for guidance before I put pen to paper (or finger to keyboard!) As much as I want to write, it won’t matter without His blessing.

Lord, be with me today. Guide my thoughts and my hands. Keep me focused on You, so that my desires can match Yours. I love you and I thank for…well, for everything.

2014 Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11, NIV

I’ve spent a lot of time in recent weeks thinking about plans. I suppose I am not the only one. As one year comes to an end, a lot of people think about what they accomplished—or in many case, failed to accomplish—in the preceding 12 months and begin to think of all the things they can do differently with the 12 brand new months just ahead.

Let me tell you, I’ve come up with a lot of plans. Especially where my writing is concerned.

Now, I don’t want to go into all of them here. Oh, I will share them with someone. My best friend will be getting an email shortly detaling my plans and goals, writing wise, for 2014. She is my accountability partner, my chief nagivator (yes, nagivator—she both motivates me to write and nags me to keep on track!) so I like her to know what I have planned. Kind of hard for her to keep me on track if she doesn’t know which track I should be on! I would like to share with you, though, some of the plans that I have for this blog for the coming year.

I would also like to stress that these are MY plans. One thing I know, and I freely admit there are days when is doesn’t feel like I know that many things, is that no matter how good I feel about a plan, if my plan is not God’s plan it is not going to work out. So even though this is what I plan to do, if God switches things up on me, I am going to go with that. My number one goal with my writing—a goal I am sad to say I have lost sight of in recent months—is to bring glory and honor to The One who gave me the ability and desire to write in the first place. This is all about God, what He wants, the stories He needs me to tell. Right now, I feel as if the plan I have in place is the direction He wants me to go. But if He asks me to change directions, I am willing to do that.

His will be done, not mine.

That being said, here is what I am planning at Lynn’s Corner in 2014.

  • One post per day, Monday through Friday, based on a Scripture. I have a personal goal to spend more time in The Word this year, reading my Bible daily and memorizing verses. Sharing them with help with that.
  • 52 book reviews, one posted each week through 2014
  • Spotlighting 52 Christian fiction authors, one each week, through the year. Look for the first author spotlight on Monday, January 6! (and if you know of an author I should add to my spotlight, please let me know!)

 

Those are my three main goals, my plans for the year on this blog. Of course, there will be other things in there, too. As I continue working toward my Bachelor of Arts degree (which I should receive in June!) I know I will be writing more short stories. Those will likely be shared here as well. And I am working on a novel. Something tells me I’ll be sharing progress on that throughout the year.

I am excited about this year! Hope you are, too!

New Year, New Heart

 

Create in me a clean hear, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

Psalm 51:10

It’s a new year.  Resolutions are flying all over, with people taking this opportunity to try to better themselves. 

I’ve made resolutions in the past.  I’ve not been good at keeping them.  Usually by the middle of January the good intentions of my resolution have flown out the window.  I think the longest I’ve ever stuck with one is through my birthday, in mid-February. 

That is why I have decided to not start of 2014 with a resolution.  I want a better life.  I want to be thinner, to make better choices, to be calmer, to be healthier, to be more content than I was in 2013.  But resolving to be isn’t going to helping.  Even taking action toward those things won’t change them.  Not unless I understand the motivations behind them.  So I have decided to start of this beautiful New Year with a prayer.

My prayer for this year comes right from the Bible, from the heart of King David.  Funny how a man who lived thousands of years ago could write the words that so accurately describe my heart today….  The words are recorded in Psalm chapter 51.

Verse 3: “For I acknowledge my transgressions: and my sin is ever before me.”  I am far from perfect.  I make mistakes on a daily basis, mistakes I cannot hide from.  Mistakes I no longer want to hide from.  Lord, I know my anger and my attitudes are wrong.  I see it, and I give it to You.  Take this from me and turn it into something You can use for Your good.

Verse 10-12: “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.  Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.  Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation and uphold me with thy free spirit.”  Cleanse my heart, Lord.  I want it to be filled only with love—love for You and for all of the wonderful things You have created.  I know I have messed up, but please don’t give up on me.  Don’t push me away.  I ask Your forgiveness for the times I have pushed You away.  Being with You is the sweetest joy, and I want more of that joy in my life.  I can feel You here now, in this moment.  I pray that I feel this sweetness and joy every moment, only a little stronger each day.

I love You, Lord.  I love You so much that the thought of hurting You, of disappointing You saddens me.  This New Year, 2014, Lord, I am dedicating it to YOU.  Everything I do is for You, for Your glory. 

Book Review: A Christmas Kindness

The Christmas season always brings with it a lot of obligations and expectations.  It’s easy to let these things interfere with the real meaning of Christmas, to get so focused on what we need to do and what we want that we forget all about others.

That’s just what happened to 8-year-old Robert in C.C. Gevry’s A Christmas Kindness.  He was excited to see Santa and completely focused on what he wanted to ask the jolly old man for that he didn’t stop to think about anyone else.  But that all changes when a loose shoelace leads to a chance meeting with a little boy who has only one very simple wish for Christmas—a picture of himself and his little brother sitting on Santa’s lap.  That one wish changes Robert’s whole attitude toward the holiday.

This adorable story, as well as the beautiful illustrations by Caroline Mabey, will warm the heart of the stingiest of Scrooges.  It’s sure to become a Christmas favorite for your family, as it has for mine.

 

cover wrap.indd

About the book:

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who has only one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?

Excerpt:

Inside the mall, Christmas music and the tinkling of jingle bells tickled Robert’s ears. With his mother, Robert weaved through the crowd of shoppers. He smelled fried food from Burger Mart. The sweet scent of warm chocolate chip cookies from the bakery made his mouth water.

 

Purchase information:

4RV Publishing

Amazon

Amazon Kindle

Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble Nook

Kobo

 

 

 

About the author:

Cheryl MalandrinosC.C Gevry is a children’s author from Western Massachusetts. A Christmas Kindness is her first book with 4RV Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI. Ms. Gevry is married with two young children and a son who is married. Visit her online at http://ccgevry.com

 

 
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Who Am I?

“(I)t annoyed me that someone else would decide for me whether I could or couldn’t handle following a dream while being a wife.  It was almost as if becoming a wife meant giving up any other part of me.  But I really begged to disagree.  And I was even more determined that it wouldn’t happen.”
My So-Called Life As A Proverbs 31 Wife
Sara Horn

This very accurately describes my life.  Between being a wife and a mother, I feel like I have lost track of who I am.  It’s not a decision anyone else made for me.  Honestly, it’s not even a decision that I made for myself.  Not consciously, anyway.

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a Mom.  Kind of strange, actually, because I am really not a big fan of kids.  It’s not that I don’t like them.  I just don’t want to be constantly surrounded by them.  And a mom, unless she is able to afford nannies, is almost always “surrounded” by kids.  I am not sorry that I have kids; these boys are the greatest blessings I could have ever imagined.  Life without them is not something I even want to consider.  I have to share them with school teachers, and that is bad enough.  Last week, one of them asked when he can date—and he is only ten!  My time with them is growing short.  I’m not looking forward to the day when there is another girl who is more important to them than I am.

But that doesn’t change the fact that I don’t know who I am outside of being their mom.  I went from Rob and Irma’s daughter, to John’s wife, to Andru, Robin, and Seth’s mom.  There is nothing wrong with any of these roles in my life.  My parents, my husband, my children, they are all very special people in my life, very special blessings that I would not want to live without.  It’s just that I have spent so much time filling those roles that I don’t really know who I am.

Who is Lynn?

I wonder if this is a normal thing.  Does every mom go through this?  Does every woman go through it?  What about men?  Do they have an identity crisis, a time when they just don’t know who they are?

I am in the process of trying to figure out just who I am.  The problem is, I feel selfish while doing it.  This process requires putting a lot of attention on myself.  It means thinking about my needs and my wants, my likes and my dislikes.   I am trying my hardest to balance out what is good for me with what is good for my guys, but it is hard.  Balancing is not something I’ve always been good at, but I am trying.

It’s important to me that I do figure it out.  I want to be the best wife and mom I can be.  My guys deserve that.  To be that, I need to figure out who Lynn is.  There has to be more to the woman I am than just wife and mother.

And I know that whoever it is that I am, God created me to be and do something special.

I just need to be patient while He works out just what that “special” thing is.

The Monster

The Monster

                I felt the monster the moment the car turned onto my old street.  I could not actually see the house, but I knew the monster was there.  My heart beat faster, my palms began to sweat, my breath came out in rapid gasps.  I shifted in my seat, craning my neck to look in the backseat, nearly convinced that my monster would be physically there, behind me, chasing me.  It was enough to make me want to vomit.

“We don’t have to do this.”  My babysitter and chauffer, my mother had been against this little trip from the moment I suggested it.  She’d been against a lot of decisions in my life, yet that had never stopped me.  Of course, if I had listened, the monster would not be there, following me, taunting me, keeping me from leading a healthy, normal, productive life.

But this time, ignoring her misgivings was the right thing to do.  It was the only way to ever get the monster off my back and out of my life.  It was the only way to get my life back, to be free.

And I needed freedom.  Needed it more than my lungs needed the air they were desperately grasping for.

“Keep driving,” I told Mom, forcing myself to face forward.  I closed my eyes, counted to ten, breathed in as deeply as I could, imagined being in my happy place—used every calming technique I’d learned in years of therapy to chase away the monster and every panicked feeling his presence evoked.  Nothing worked.  I could run—again.  But I was tired of running.  “I have to face this,” I said, as much to assure Mom as to reassure myself.

She still wasn’t sure, but she drove.  The car inched closer to the house; soon I could see the rooftop, then the upstairs windows, the porch, and finally the front door.  It stood there, innocently, as if the pain and anguish that had occurred in its walls had meant nothing.

DSCF5249The closer we came to the house, the less innocence I saw.  Sadness.  The years, I noticed with a small sense of glee, had not been kind to the building.  The siding was cracked and pulling away in places.  Paint had chipped off the wooden support beams of the front porch, some of which were cracked, broken, barely able to stand up to the weight of that porch roof, which itself was falling down.  If the house could feel, I think it would be feeling sadness.  Because it knew the end was coming?  Or because of the horrors that had occurred inside, horrors the building had been unable to stop?

Mom pulled the car to a stop across the street.  A workman wearing a yellow hardhat and orange safety vest approached us.  “Sorry, Ma’am,” he said gruffly.  “You can’t park here.  Demolition will start soon.”

“How soon?” I asked.

“Soon,” he repeated.  “The car is not safe here.”

I opened the door and got out, ignoring the look of frustration on his face.  The monster followed me out of the car, once again breathing down my neck.  The door closed behind me and Mom drove away, to a spot we had agreed on before making the trip.  She’d walk the two blocks back, to stand with me and watch the destruction of the first house I’d ever purchased, the building that should have been a happy home for me, my husband, and our children.  She wouldn’t be gone for long.  I turned to the worker, whose face still carried a great deal of irritation.  “May I go inside?” I asked him.

“Inside?”  The sound of his voice conveyed his true feelings; he wanted to ask if I was insane.  The answer, quite possibly, was yes.  Perhaps I was insane.  This house, that monster at my back, both had led to my questionable state of mind.

“It’s my house,” I said.  “Or it was until I sold it to the city.  All I want is one last chance to walk inside.  Is that possible?”

I didn’t wait for an answer, just walked across the street, marched up the three steps, and pushed open the front door.  It didn’t take long for someone to follow me, shouting at me that I needed to stop, needed to walk back outside.  I ignored the voice.  The monster was still behind me, but I knew I could leave him behind in this building.  All I had to do was see it, I had to see that room.  His life had ended here.  If I was going to finally put the monster to rest, I needed to see the place where he had died.  I just needed my eyes to rest on it one last time.

It was old, falling down from years of neglect.  Just like my heart.  The house had to be torn down.  And with it, his recliner, the chair that he had seen as his throne, the chair he’d not been able to tear himself out of to get help in the last moments of his sad, pathetic little life.  I needed to see it, and I wasn’t disappointed.  It was still there, in its place of honor in what had been the living room, positioned so that the view of the television, had it been there, would have been perfect.

As I looked at it, I began to breathe harder again, could feel my heart beat faster, could feel the monster closing in on me.  DSCF5248Hadn’t felt that level of hatred and anger in years, not since I’d escaped the house, escaped his rule.  But the fear, the fear I had always associated with this chair, with the man that lived and died in it was gone.  I was no longer scared of him.  But I was angry.

I hated him.  He was dead, and yet I hated him.  With every fiber of my being, I hated him.

I allowed myself to be escorted out of the house, back across the street to where my mother was standing.  I was admonished to stay put.

A man climbed up into a large crane, started the engine.  As the crane’s claw reached toward the roof of the house, I imagined I was in control.  It was my hand tearing through the roof, pulling apart boards and insulation, reducing the dwelling to broken bits of debris.  As the engine roared, I roared as well.  I yelled, I screamed.  I allowed another piece of my anger, of the monster that had followed me from this house to escape my body.  The claw tore through the upper floor, and I saw myself tearing him apart, piece by piece.  The way had done to me.  I watched the lower floor come apart, could see his precious recliner pulverized.

When it was over, when the roar of the engine died, I could only stare at the empty lot.  Other equipment was moved in to clear out the remains of the house, and yet I stared.  It was gone.  The house was gone.  The monster was gone.  I was alone.  I was free.

“Are you alright?” my mother asked.

I turned to her.  Smiled.  “I am,” I said.  “It’s over. I am free.”