|Initial Impressions (standard:Inspirational stories, 2623 words)|
|Author: Eutychus||Added: Nov 26 2007||Views/Reads: 1741/949||Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)|
|As part of a Sunday School study of the Erwin Lutzer book One Minute After You Die, one assignment was to give impressions of existence after death from the pov of a person in heaven and a person in hell based on what the Bible has to say on the subject.|
He looked at the original drawings and marveled at the shortsightedness of the engineers who had planned the retention basin for the storm run-off from the residential development off to the East. While the basin was more than equal to the task of holding a summer's worth of rainwater and allowing it to leech away at a reasonable rate, someone had managed to miscalculate the average amount of snow in this area of the country. That meant a powerful spring storm could cause the basin to fill beyond capacity and the overflow pipe, at four inches in diameter, was unable to handle the flow. After enough basements in the development flooded, the engineers rethought things and brought him into the picture to increase the size of the overflow. “Are you ready to get back to work, old man?” the summer help, a high school junior earning money for college, chided him good-naturedly. “Not quite. Come over here and learn something. This has been bothering me all morning. See this topographical rendering of the original project? There was a tall hill where the housing development now stands. That means a lot of earth has been moved. I'm betting it went over the edge of that ravine over there.” “So?” “That means the present edge of the ravine is not where it's shown in this drawing. This line indicates a thirty-six inch gas main at a specific distance from the edge of the ravine but I don't think the ravine is where it used to be. The call-before-you-dig people may have marked it in the wrong location, so I want you to run down to the Circle K and call the office. I have no cell signal on this side of the mountain. Tell them I'm shutting this project down until we get some confirmation.” The kid threw gravel twenty feet behind the truck as sixteen year old drivers do when given the opportunity to drive with all due haste. He ran across the field and reached the side of the backhoe just as the operator exposed and penetrated a large piece of polyethylene pipe. In two seconds, a number of things happened. Five hundred cubic feet of natural gas escaped from a three-inch wide puncture. The friction of the rapid release of gas through a polyethylene opening produced a lot of static electricity at ground level. The cloud of invisible electrons quickly aligned with a ground, the bucket of the backhoe, and the spark ignited the gas. It was later calculated that eighty percent of the windows in the development were shattered by the concussion of the resulting explosion. I suppose the first thing that surprised me after the gas main exploded was that I could be surprised. I mean, to my way of thinking, death marked the end of existence. I'm not sure how long it was before I began to feel uncomfortable. There were no Underwood Deviled Ham demons with horns, pointed tails, and pitchforks. Just a stillness that was punctuated with a background droning noise whose cadence rose and fell at regular intervals. The sky, if you could call it that, was featureless and dark, like the ceiling of a very tall unlit cave deep within the earth. Slowly, the droning became more differentiated. As I concentrated, I could hear variations in the sound. Eventually I convinced myself that it sounded like the voices of professional mourners whom you might see from time to time in news reports coming from any armed conflict anywhere in the world. If I was right, that meant I wasn't as alone as I felt. I began a search of sorts, looking for the source of the sound. As I wandered, I became aware that the air seemed unnaturally dry. Every so often, a snippet of memory would pop into my head and I would try to pin it down. Unlike the background noise of the place, the memories felt more like distinct words, and I suddenly realized where I had heard the words before. At lunch, a half hour before the backhoe operator found a thirty-six inch gas main in the worst manner possible, one of my co-workers (I Click here to read the rest of this story (220 more lines)
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