Friday, October 02, 2009

A Dilemma Of Faith And Physics

**Editor's Note** This is my entry into this weeks Flash Fiction Friday. This is based solely on a joke that a venerable Italian friend on mine told. Enjoy!

“I deduced that the forces which keep the planets in their orbs must [be] reciprocally as the squares of their distances from the centers about which they revolve: and thereby compared the force requisite to keep the Moon in her Orb with the force of gravity at the surface of the Earth; and found them answer pretty nearly" - Sir Isaac Newton

Hanging on with one hand, he considered his alternatives. He could let go and be dashed on the rocks a hundred feet below him and the surf would drag his smashed and tattered corpse out to sea or he could yell like mad in the vain hope that someone would hear him and come to his aid.

"Help!" he screamed as loud as he could, "I'll fallen over the cliff and I need help!" No one answered, and he wondered how had he gotten himself into this mess.

This was supposed to be a wonderful afternoon of golf on one of the finest courses in the nation. He was going to test his skill at the game on a course that even the pros struggled with. Everything went great. Every swing was perfect and the ball itself seemed to know just where to fall. He had parred on the first seventeen holes and his final tee shot was magical. The wind had carried the ball for a lot farther than he had ever hit it before. It was a long, straight flight and when the ball struck the ground, it bounced and rolled another twelve yards right up onto the green. It was a twenty foot putt to the pin with a downhill slope and it was fast, but his confidence had fooled him.

He hit it too hard, much too hard. The ball slid within an inch to the right of the hole and skittered off the green and into the tall grass at the back. He cursed his dumb luck and went charging after his errant ball, and in his haste had stumbled over the edge. He had managed to grab a tree root as he tumbled over and every ounce of his energy was channeled into his left hand grip.

The beads of sweat began to slide down his brow and into his eyes. The comfortable breeze that had cooled him and carried his ball so far before, now seemed to pull him in a not-so-gentle sway from left to right. He couldn't hold on like this much longer. He dropped his eight hundred dollar club from his right hand and saw it splinter on the jagged rocks below as he grabbed for more of the root.

"Help!" he screamed again, "I've fallen over the cliff and I need help!"

A voice from above spoke to him in calm, clear tones, "Fear not my son, for I am your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. If you will trust in me, you will live and prosper. If you let go of the root and let yourself fall, you will land safely in the surf, wet but unharmed. Do as I command."

He looked down the hundred feet into the raging sea as it slashed at the spiky points of the rock below and thought a moment.

"Is there anyone else up there?" he cried.



  1. A nice appropriation, sir! And isn't that what storytelling is all about?

  2. Doc:

    Very nice story! What I feel especially with your writing is the energy of the characters. Even when they are not moving, they are active.

    In your comment to me you speak of Kentucky Club pipe tobacco... I too am a fan! It is indeed good. My primary leaf, however, has been Sir Walter Raleigh... another simple, unadorned, potent burley. I took a bit of "poetic license" in my story, describing the leaf as "raspberry tinctured" because I thought it would help those not as familiar with pipe tobaccos be able to imagine the odor cues.


  3. Fore! Nice stuff Doc – really enjoyed it. Never trust divine intervention…

  4. My question is why in the world does Jesus always pull that crap from up above. Heck, its easy to talk about trust when your on top holding the golf bag. Now if he had been below on the rocks holding a beer in one hand, a surf board in the other, and a couple of giggly babes in bikinis hanging around I drop in a second. But that would be the devil.


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