Below you will find the results of my having challenged myself for a number of days to write a short story with a beginning and middle and an end inside of 30 minutes. Here is what I came up with. I hope you like it.
The Young Man stood on an elevated stage. Inexpensive. Made of old sheets of worn plywood. He was barely in his 20s, but much had been revealed to him. He fought what was revealed to him, but eventually he saw it to be true. Later, he came to realize that he was meant to make this truth available to the young, to the people who could make a difference.
He wished it hadn’t been him. Every day, he wished he were stronger, smarter. Still, he was The Messenger.
He stood before the hundreds of young people. He held his arms over his head.
“People. Brothers. Sisters,” he intoned. “I have fought this for years, and I am so sorry, but I must tell you: there is no God.”
Suddenly, the air was filled with a bright white light. There. Gone. A flash.
The Young Man had been hit by lightning. He lay on the stage, dead. The soles of his feet were on fire. His head had been transformed into a cinderblock.
The crowd was silent, until one young woman spoke.
“Oh, that just isn’t fucking fair.”