With each passing second, the train’s metallic roar grew louder. Was it possible that it would brake in time? Surely somebody had to have called 911. That is, unless everyone in the crowd was under the assumption that someone else had already called. The Bystander Effect. Corwin had heard of it before, though he never expected to be a living example.
“Give us a hand!” yelled his partner as they neared the ledge.
Summoning the wherewithal to stand, the homeless man between them planted his feet, but his balance failed him. Luckily Mary reached down and grabbed one of his hands. Corwin pushed from behind, and soon others in the crowd were helping to haul him up. The tall businessman vaulted onto the platform.
“Thanks for the help,” Corwin called after him.
“You can pay me back later.”
“Hurry!” urged Mary.
Corwin didn’t dare look towards the train. He boosted the vagabond with one last shove and clasped Mary’s outstretched hand. Safety was only a short climb away. Then a heavy boot struck him square in the chest.
While clambering onto the platform, the drunk’s knee had slipped, his clumsy kick finding its mark at just the wrong moment. Corwin felt Mary’s fingers slip from his grasp. He was falling. A steel rail greeted the back of his skull with a sharp thunk.
Blacking out for an instant, a surge of adrenaline was the only thing that kept him conscious. He vaguely heard Mary screaming over the ringing in his ears.
“Corwin, get up! Corwin!”
As he turned his head, the world blurred into slow motion, yet one thing was crystal clear. In that split second, he saw every dent, every scratch in the paint, every glimmer of light reflected in the glass. The look of horror on the conductor’s face was burned into his mind. Corwin had never seen anything as vividly as he saw the front of that train speeding towards him.
A chill draft pulled at his cashmere coat. He felt his heart beating, the cool touch of the steel tracks, and then Corwin felt nothing at all.
Sparks flew from the rails and the brakes squealed in protest as the J scraped to an emergency stop. Mary collapsed to her knees, her eyes wide with a vacant stare. She couldn’t cry out, couldn’t speak. The breath had been robbed from her lungs. It all seemed so unreal.
“Get yer hands offa me!” slurred the drunk beside her.
With a violent twist, he shook free from the grip of those who had helped to pull him out of harm’s way. The stunned commuters parted before him. Bleary eyed, he glared into the crowd, completely oblivious to what had just taken place. No one spoke a word to explain, not that he would have listened. Only hushed voices and quiet sobs filled the station.
Spitting curses, the man stomped off for the stairs.
“Don’t nobody in this town know how to mind their own damn business?”
When outspoken atheist Corwin Holiday dies an untimely but heroic death, he’s assigned a chain-smoking, alcoholic angel as his defense attorney in the trial to decide the fate of his soul.
Today many cast Christianity aside, not in favor of another faith, but in favor of no faith. We go off to school or out into the world, and we learn that reality is godless and that free thinking means secular thinking. But must faith entail an end to asking questions? Should not the Author of Reason be able to answer the challenge of reason?
Dead & Godless is a smart and suspenseful afterlife adventure that explores the roots of truth, justice and courage. In these pages awaits a quest that spans universes, where the stakes are higher than life and death, and where Christianity’s sharp edges aren’t shied away from, because we’re not called to be nice. We’re called to be heroes.
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Genre - Christian Fiction
Rating – PG-13
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