FRIDAY, OCTOBER 17th, 2008


"Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,

that saved a wretch like me!"

A child's beautiful and well-trained voice came through the stereo loud and clear, as Arthur hunched over his math homework, desperately trying to understand beginning Algebra. If x + 4 = 7, what is x? Why was this so hard?!

Skip sat on the couch, grading Wednesday's quiz. He marked a D on one paper with a sigh, and turned it over in the stack. Reading the name on the back, he rolled his eyes. That student was going to have to work hard to pass this class.

"Cory, please stop," Melissa said with a sigh, as Cory once again dropped the napkin on the floor from his high chair, and she once again bent over to pick it up and put it back on the table. The baby giggled.

Arthur put his math book aside, and stood up. He stretched, and walked over to the window.

"Need a break?" Skip asked.

Arthur nodded.

"Okay, just a few minutes, though."

Arthur nodded and looked out the window, half-expecting to see the demon again. He had seen so many demons outside his window at this point, trying to get into the house but unable because of the Christian music. He looked around, and was surprised at what he saw instead.

Outside, a white light descended from the sky, with bright white ribbons emitting from every direction. Arthur felt a warm feeling inside, and smiled as he watched what happened next.

A smaller light seemed to materialize out of nowhere, and then became a clearer shape. A small child, a little girl with pigtails and overalls, turned toward him. She smiled, and waved. Arthur waved back.

The child's voice on the stereo continued to sing:

"Through many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;

'tis grace that brought me safe thus far,

and grace will lead me home."

Then a kind, gentle voice inside his head that sounded much like his mother said, "Life can be hard. Keep your faith."

The little girl held out her hand to the larger white light, and both drifted away from Arthur's front yard. Soon, they had disappeared. "See you soon," Arthur whispered.