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The Old Serpent and the Slacker
By Marsha West

"Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine upon you."  --Ephesians 5:14


SIX AM…

The spray off the water wet his body as he glided barefoot behind a ski boat moving at light speed.  The ride was amazing. 

"Carry an umbrella, folks," said a voice in his sleepy mind. "It's gonna be another wet-one..." 

Brady let out a moan, tapped the snooze button, turned onto his back and pulled the covers over his head. "
I need five more minutes…" he thought groggily.

SIX FIFTEEN…

A woman's voice broke into Brady's sleepy mind. "The president and first lady will spend the holiday weekend at Camp David…"  This time he pressed the
off button and rubbed the sleep from his eyes. 

The alarm had been set earlier than usual to give him time to read his Bible before work.  The room was as cold as an ice skating rink - and pitch dark.  Determined to spend time with the Lord, Brady tossed the toasty down comforter aside and slipped on his moccasins.  Why hadn't the heater gone on?  Through the early morning brain fog he remembered that he hadn't reset the thermostat for 5:45 so the heater would go on at 6:15 as usual.  He chided himself for forgetting. 

A burst of air from the floor vent caught his attention.  It would take a few minutes to heat the house. With determination quickly waning he pulled off his moccasins and crawled under the covers. "
The room should warm up in a couple of minutes … I'll still have time to read a few verses…pray a little…"  His sleepy eyes closed and he was gone.

SIX THIRTY… 

Brady awakened to the glow of light filtering through the window shades. He rolled onto his side and squinted at the clock….6:30.
"Rats," he said and slid out of bed.  He had fully intended to crash early last night.  The plan was to get up at 6 o'clock…but he'd gotten a text from Erica and the next thing he knew it was midnight and they were still texting!  He rubbed his eyes, yawned and thought, "Six hours of sleep.  No wonder I'm pooped!" 

No big deal.  He'd still have time to pray for a few minutes but his Bible reading would have to wait until he got home that night. 

As he stepped into the shower it hit him: Monday night football!  This meant that some of his friends would come over after work for pizza and then settle in to watch the game.  Another night with a few hours of sleep.  No matter, he'd still get up early and spend time with the Lord. "
Gotta remember to change the thermostat."

SEVEN O'CLOCK…

Brady was buttoning his shirt when he heard his iPhone signal that someone had texted him. 
"Erica?"  He looked to see who it was.  Dan.  Rats!

Stormy..carpool..u drive, k?

During rain storms the freeway was usually a parking lot.  Driving with Dan meant they could use the carpool lane. 

Brady replied: k..30 min

He'd better hurry.

As he was filling the thermos with hot coffee he remembered the thermostat.  No time to change it so he grabbed a yellow sticky pad and wrote himself a note.  When he finished packing his lunch he stuck the reminder on his Bible.  Looking down at the leather bound Bible Grandma and Grandpa McCoy had given to him on his 18th birthday, he felt a tinge of regret. 
"I'll read it tomorrow…for sure."

The grandfather clock struck half past seven.  He grabbed his backpack and headed for the door. "
God knows my intentions are good," he thought as he slipped behind the wheel of his Mustang convertible.  "And besides, it's not my fault it's raining like cats and dogs and Dan wants me to pick him up."

Raindrops sounded like gravel pelting the hood of his Mustang as he made his way to Dan's.  A flash of lightening quickly followed by a clap of thunder directly overhead made Brady nervous.  Now he realized why Dan had insisted that he drive.  He chuckled as he thought: "Ol' Dan didn't want to take his prized Porsche out in a typhoon."  He sighed.  "Can't say I blame him." 

The weather forecaster was wrong about one thing.  Trying to use an umbrella in a storm of this magnitude would be like trying to keep a hat on during a hurricane.  No one who ventured outdoors would remain dry in this.

** *


"Mission accomplished!" cried Bromos as he took off into the sky. 

Zip…..zip…zip, zip, zip…

In the blink of an eye the demon arrived at the house of his next victim and whooshed down the chimney.   Unlike slackers, Bible thumpers were almost impossible to tempt.  The thought of her sitting in her chair with that Holy Book on her lap caused the tension to build.   

Relax, Bromos, you can do this.

For several days the evil spirit had tried to steer her away from
Him.  He had tried every trick in the Demonic Handbook to get her mind on something else, still he had failed miserably.  Even the texting tactic hadn't worked on this Christian…zealot. 

The demon zipped into the kitchen and went pale.

"Ah, here she is, reading that ghastly Book." 

He steadied his nerves and moved closer to whisper into her ear and, just like the last three times he had tried to get close to her, he was deterred by the

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