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Steve Groll

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Todd in the Dark
By Steve Groll
Friday, September 24, 2010

Rated "G" by the Author.

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A boy who has all the answers is put to the test, and finds himself in the dark.

Todd has all the right answers in Sunday school. His teacher asked him, “Todd, is it okay to take something that does not belong to you if there is no way you can get caught?”

He said, “No, it is never good to take something that does not belong to you.”

Then she asked him, “Is it true that we do not have to be nice to people if they are not nice to us?”

Todd responded with, “You should treat everyone the way you want to be treated.”

Next, she asked him, “Is it okay not to tell the truth?”

The boy said, “You should tell the truth even if telling the truth will get you into trouble.”

The teacher asked one more question. “Is it nice to help people out, if we can, even if we are upset and do not feel like it?”

Again, he had the correct answer. “Yes we should be helpful whenever we can.”

Then the teacher began questioning another student, and Todd got bored. He decided to go to the restroom just to kill some time and goof off. When he got into the restroom, he closed the door, and it was totally dark. He couldn’t see anything at all. He turned on the light and discovered that he was no longer in the restroom. He was on a desert road. The sun was shining bright, and off in the distance he could see an old western type ghost town. He was frightened. He did not know what had happened to him. He called out for the teacher and his mom, but all he heard was the wind blowing and a crow squawking as it flew overhead.

He decided to walk to the town and hoped that he could find someone who would help him. Entering the town he called out, “Is there anyone here? I am lost and I can’t find my way home.”

He heard a noise in a store that had a sign over the door that read, HARDWARE. He walked in and found an old man eating a sandwich in a chair in the corner. There was nothing on the store shelves; however, there was a brand new pocketknife sitting on the counter. It was so cool looking that Todd forgot why he had come into the store. “How much is that knife,” he asked the old man.

“It is $10.00. My leg is hurt, and I cannot get off my chair. Just bring me the money, and you can have it,” the old man said in a weak voice.

But Todd did not have any money. He thought, The old man can’t even get off his chair. I can just take the knife, and he can’t do a thing about it. And that is what he did. He picked it up, put it in his pocket, and said, “Thanks for the free knife,” and ran out of the store.

When he got outside, he noticed that it seemed darker than before. He looked at the sun, but there were no clouds. Suddenly, he heard a girl scream at the end of the street. He ran to see what was going on, and he saw a dress shop. The door was open, and there was a girl tied up in a chair. She said, “What are you looking at you moron. Cut me free and be quick about it. What are you, deaf or something? Get a move on, stupid.”

Todd became annoyed at the girl’s rudeness and said, “Forget it; I’m not going to cut you free. You are rude, and I don’t like you.”

When he walked out of the store, he noticed that it was even darker than before. What is going on around here, he wondered. He looked around to see if he could find someone else who might help him. He saw a young man across the street. The guy looked really cool to Todd, and the man waved him over. Todd ran to him and said, “Can you tell me where I am, how to get back home, and can you tell me why it’s getting so dark?”

The young man said, “I will tell you what you want to know if you tell me the truth. Did you steal a pocketknife from the hardware store?”

“No. I just borrowed it so I could cut a girl free who was tied to a chair in the dress shop.”

“And did you cut her free?”

“Not yet, I was going to do it, but then I saw you motion me over to you.” Then, Todd noticed that it got darker still. It was almost like night, but the sun was still in the sky. “What’s going on here? Why is it so dark?” Todd looked up at the sky again. When he looked back down, the young man was gone.

Suddenly, an old woman walked out of the grocery store and walked right into Todd. She dropped her bag of groceries. “Oh my, please help me pick up my things, young man.”

Todd was so angry with the woman for walking into him that he said, “You ran into me! Maybe you will be more careful next time if you have to pick up your own stuff.”

Everything went totally dark after that. Todd could not see a thing, and he was terrified. “What happened? Lady? Is anyone here?” But there was nothing. There were no people around him, no wind blowing, no buildings, nothing but darkness.

After awhile, off in the distance he saw a dim light. It was moving toward him, and then he realized that it was four lights shaped like people. It turned out to be the old man, the girl, the cool guy, and the old woman. They stopped in front of Todd and said, “You have been tested, and you failed. You answered your Sunday school teacher with all the right answers to her questions. You know in your head the right things to do, but it is not enough to know right, you must do right. This darkness is the darkness of your heart. It is where you will stay forever if you do not change. If a person knows the right thing to do and does not do it, that person dwells in darkness.”

Then the four disappeared and Todd found himself, once again, in the dark. He started to cry and scream. Then he saw a light as his teacher opened the bathroom door and asked, “Todd, what are you doing here in the dark?"fantasy, religion and spirituality, children, kids, young adult, horror, dark, christian, values, church, spooky, Sunday school, doing the right thing, children's worship, home schooling, teaching story,

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Reviewed by Regis Auffray 12/6/2010
in a week voice
But there was noting.

A couple of typos.

You know in your head the right things to do, but it is not enough to know right, you must do right.

A good lesson to learn; I find your story imaginative and meaningful. Thank you for sharing it, Steve. Love and peace to you,

Reviewed by David Glenn 11/12/2010
It's definitely easy to say you'll do something, but not easy to actually do it.
Reviewed by m j hollingshead 9/26/2010
enjoyed the read
Reviewed by Shauna Hayne 9/24/2010
Quite a good short story. Makes you think twice about what you say and do.

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