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Chapter Fourteen
Trial by Fire
(Friday night continued...)

"I being in the way, the LORD led me."
~ Genesis 24:27 ~

"Though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."
~ 1 Corinthians 13:3 ~

Friday was a busy day for Adam and Mike. Cary Jerrod stuffed his kitchen sink with table scraps, thinking he had a food disposer; Mrs. Bailey forgot that Kotex isn't flushable, backing up her toilet; and then Max Henderson, who, having a day off, decided he could fix the shower himself, flooded his bathroom in two inches of water, (to name only three).

With these disasters behind him, Adam visited Ruth at the nursing home Friday evening, and made sure she was comfortable. Adam, who didn't feel like playing chess with Jerome that night, excused himself from the game, for Charlton had been sitting nearby, reiterating his feelings on the unfairness of God and the uselessness of life. Charlton's diatribe against God grieved Adam's soul deeply. With a heavy heart, he left the nursing home and stepped into the night, little knowing that this walk home would forever change his life and the life of one who's danger of hellfire was foremost in his thoughts.

Adam's home was a few blocks away from the nursing home. It was not a long walk, but Adam, who suffered from insomnia, discovered that if he did a lot of walking before going to bed, it improved his chances of getting to sleep. It never worked 100%, but then, nothing did. It was for this reason, that Adam took the long way home, cutting over a large vacant field and then using a little known dirt road to return into town. Adam zipped up his jacket, for there was a coolness to the breeze that made a shiver go up his spine. Though this walk was routine to Adam, he couldn't help shaking a feeling that God was going to expect something of him tonight. When he crossed the field and reached the dirt road, Adam began to pray for Charlton. Just then, Adam paused. A car was coming down the road. He could tell by the tires hitting the rocks in the dirt that the vehicle was covering a lot of ground quickly. Not wanting to be hit by a speeding car, Adam stepped off the road, and watched expectantly for the car to pass him before he continued home. He may not have been able to see the fast approaching car, but he could hear it.

As the car drew closer, Adam began to feel uneasy. It was traveling too fast to make some of the tight turns that were coming up ahead. Suddenly, a pair of bright headlights cut through the darkness. Adam waved his arms and shouted to the driver that there were two tight turns ahead in the road, and to slow down. The car sped along, achieving the first turn successfully. But, as it tried to make the second turn, the driver lost control of the car. It slid down an embankment, slamming into a tree sideways. Almost immediately, it caught fire. Adam ran ahead, and looked down the embankment. The driver was screaming frantically for help. With no thought of his own safety or that the car might explode at any moment, Adam jumped down the embankment and worked his way to the car. The nearer he came, the more intensely he could feel the heat from the ever-increasing flames. Shielding his face with his left arm, Adam approached the driver's side. The driver, a teenage girl, was slamming her fists on the window, screaming for help. Adam tried the door handle. It wouldn't open. He looked down, noticing a rock was wedged just under the lip of the door, making it impossible to open. Adam kicked at the rock with his heel, slowly loosening it from under the door.

continued on next page...
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