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Monday, June 23, 2014

THE STRANGER: SHORT STORY BY MARIA CASSIA


THE STRANGER

Joanna lives in the southwest region of Bellavista in a simple
two bedroom house with a large backyard garden.  She is about
23 years of age, still single and working as a waitress in a
restaurant about 2 kms from home.  She lives with her
mother, brother and an old grandmother.

Life is just peaceful and normal until one day after coming back
from work, she noticed a man behind the bamboo trees outside of their
front-yard.  The man'countenance is serious; he had blue mellowed
eyes and of medium physique.  Joanna is not comfortable with
a strange man lurking in the twilight time because it is about half-
past six oc'lock!  When she looked again after 5 minutes, the man was
gone.

At night, she recalls the meeting of their eyes.  The man seems to be
cool, distant and far-fetched.  She brushed off her fears and did not
dare to tell her family members because she does not like to worry
them.

The next day is her off-day and she went to the back garden to cultivate
the soil for her flowers.  It was about 6:30 am and she used to do this
as a form of exercise.  As she rose up to get a pail of water nearby,
he saw again this man at the back of the tree behind their fence.  She
got furious and walked towards the man to confront him.  As she is close
to that tree, the man vanished like a shadow. 

She could not contain anymore her feelings because this happens already
for about a week.  She seems to be stalked and she is not happy at
all.  She asked herself, "What does he need of me?"  It is a puzzle for her.
She told her story to her mother who was equally frazzled.  At last,
she is not content anymore and reported the incident to the nearby police.

The police staff responded to her request to monitor this man who had
been hovering their place for about two weeks already.  After a series
of covert operations, they were able to capture the stranger.  Later,
Joanna discovered that this stranger is the latest escapee from the nearby
prison.  He is Edward Brown, a man convicted of rape and murder in
the rural town of Bonneta a year ago.  He is quite a dangerous person
with a predisposition for impulsive reaction!

Joanna prayed that night!  "Dear God, thanks for your everlasting protection!
I am sorry for my late response to the situation.  I would like to pray for
Edward Brown, that he may be touched by your power.  For nothing is
impossible for Thee!"

Morale: A quick response to a situation may mean success or failure.  On the other
hand, prayer is the most important of all.  Pray for protection and guidance for
as St Paul in Ephesians 6 mentioned,"We are not battling against the flesh, but
against the principalities of wickedness in the heavenly places." 
We need divine protection.  The battle is not physical, but spiritual.  Therefore,
as children of God, one must use the spiritual weapons such as prayer, attending
Mass, Adoration and Worship, prayers of intercession of Archangels, angels
and saints, reading the Word of God, rosary and so forth.  In a battle, one must know the
enemy.  The enemy is kind of strong, too, as Mother Mary affirmed in her apparition.
But the good news is:  Our God is the victor, the strongest, the best and the greatest!

All rights reserved:  Maria Cassia Austero

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