Eddy knocked on Karen’s door. “Karen, I saw something in my Lantern that I would like to share with you. Can I please come in?”
There was no answer.
Eddy knocked harder. “Sister, are you all right?”
There was still no answer.
Eddy turned the knob and the door opened. He saw that his dear friend was not in her room. The Lantern was shining brightly on her bed. Something is not right here, Eddy thought, Karen never leaves her Lantern behind. My goodness! I hope she’s okay! Eddy went down the stairs to see the inn keeper. He found him at his desk eating fried chicken.
The Small Faith Person went up to him. “Pardon me sir,” he said respectfully, “but have you seen Karen? She’s not in her room and I’m worried about her.”
The inn keeper stopped eating for a moment and answered after swallowing a huge chunk of the delicious chicken, “Yes, she just went out with Kelly, the mayor’s daughter. Heard them talking about going to see a movie at the theater.”
Eddy tightly gripped his Lantern. The theater was one of the Master of Darkness’ snares for people. He had to save Karen from the trap she was falling into! “Where’s the theater located?” he asked the inn keeper.
“It’s down the street by the video arcade. You can’t miss it!” the rotund fellow answered.
“Thank you!” said Eddy gratefully as he made his way out the door.
The inn keeper then went back to his eating. How he loved fried chicken!
Eddy walked down the sidewalk praying that he would reach Karen in time. He didn’t understand how Karen couldn’t know about the dangers of going to the movie theater. There was nothing in a place like that for a Lightbearer. The majority of the films that were shown there were against the Good King and His Holy Word. Even some of the films that claimed to be fine for family viewing seemed to have something that was inspired by the dark enemy. He soon spotted the video arcade, which was filled with young kids playing games and drinking soda. He then saw the theater next to it. He realized that to get to his destination he would have to walk past the noisy arcade building. Some of the kids saw him through the window and they did not look like the friendly type.
Eddy closed his eyes and prayed. “Master, walk with me tonight. Whatever befalls me give me Your strength to get through it. In Your Name, Amen” He then held his Lantern in front of him and continued walking.
As he got to the video arcade the doors flew open and five teenage kids came out. They blocked him from going further. He looked up at them. “Hi kids! How are you doing?” he said trying to sound friendly even though his heart was beating fast. “Can I please get through? I have a friend who needs me.”
A boy with a Mohawk hairstyle chuckled. “Did you hear that? The midget wants to pass us so he can help a friend!” The other teenage kids laughed.
Eddy frowned. “What’s so funny about that?” he asked.
The Mohawk hair-styled teen answered in a gruff tone, “See here shrimp! No one talks back to the Stingray Gang, the toughest and meanest in all of Carnal City! For opening your mouth we will beat you into ground beef!” Eddy had been beaten up before and he did not want to get beat up again.
A teenage girl from the crowd spoke up. “I don’t think we should knock him out. He’s kind of cute. I got a better idea.”
“What’s the idea toots?” asked the leader. The teenage girl whispered in his ear.
The Mohawk hair-styled teen grinned. “That sounds like fun!”
Eddy wondered what “idea” these hoodlums had in mind.
The five teenage kids tackled him down and loud laughter soon escaped from his lips.
In the theater Karen and Kelly were watching a movie that was both funny and serious. Karen was mesmerized by the pictures on the big screen. Just like old times, she reminiscent.
“Want some more popcorn Karen?” Kelly asked.
Karen took a handful of the buttery kernels. “Thanks,” she said.
The movie then stopped playing and the lights went back on. A voice spoke over a loud speaker, “Attention everyone! Due to a problem in the projection booth the movie will be cancelled for tonight. We are terribly sorry for the inconvenience.”
The audience moaned.
“Wow! That’s the first time this has happened,” said Kelly to Karen, “I wonder what caused the movie to stop working.”
“I’m going to go refund our tickets.” Kelly said as she got up from her seat. Karen got up to follow her.
As Kelly waited in line for her refund, Karen went outside for some fresh air. As she stood outside the theater she heard hysterical laughter coming from next door. She ran toward the video arcade to see what was going on.
“Stop! Stop tickling me!” Eddy cried as the hoodlums kept poking at his stomach.
Karen recognized the squeaky voice. When she reached the mean group she hollered at them: “STOP! LEAVE HIM ALONE!”
The teenage kids stopped their teasing and turned around. They then walked over to Karen and pushed her down. Karen fell back on the sidewalk. “You’re going to pay for ruining our fun!” hissed the leader. The Stingray Gang surrounded Karen.
Eddy was gasping for breath from laughing so hard but he managed to cry out: “Master save us!” On the sidewalk bright Light whooshed out of Eddy’s Lantern (he dropped it when he was tackled down) and struck the Stingray Gang. The Light didn’t hurt them but it scared them so much that they ran away.
Karen got up and went to her little friend. “You okay, Ed?” she asked as she helped him up. “They didn’t harm you did they?”
Eddy shook his head. “Nope, just tickled me to death that’s all,” he said chuckling.
Kelly came over. “There you are, Karen!” she said.
“Kelly, this is Edward Matthews the Small Faith Person. He’s my best friend.” Karen said introducing him to her.
“Call me Eddy,” he said shaking Kelly’s hand.
“Pleased to meet you, Eddy,” she said. She then noticed the Lantern. “What’s that for?” she asked.
“That holds the Light of the Good King’s Truth. It’s a very powerful weapon against evilness and wickedness.” Eddy answered.
Kelly didn’t comprehend at all what the little man just said. “The Light of who and what?” she inquired.
“The Good King. He’s the Lord and God of all things seen and unseen. The Light is His Truth that we share with others. We are His Lightbearers.” Eddy explained.
“Sounds other worldly and weird.” Kelly replied.
“It is different,” he admitted.
Kelly then turned to Karen. “You hang out with this guy? He’s crazier than a loon!” she whispered.
Karen said nothing.
Kelly changed the subject. “Karen, would you like to go to the pizza parlor with me? Tonight they got a special deal–two pizzas for the price of one!” The teenage Lightbearer felt hungry. A slice of pizza sure sounded swell to her.
Eddy took Karen’s hand. “Sister, let’s go back to Leisure Inn. The Good King has shared something wonderful with me from His Holy Word and I would like to share it with you.” he gave her hand a tug.
Karen didn’t budge. “Ed, I’m going to hang out with Kelly a little more tonight. You go back to the inn and I’ll see you later.”
Eddy became downcast. “Karen, I thought we were supposed to stick together no matter what. We’ve always been together on our past adventures.”
“Kelly, I need to speak with my buddy for a minute,” said Karen.
“Okay,” she said as she walked away.
When they were alone Karen spoke gently to the little man: “Eddy, I don’t want you to worry about me. I’ll be fine. Kelly is nice and we are having lots of fun together. Who knows, maybe she’ll decide to be a Lightbearer like us after I spend time with her.”
Eddy knew that to be closely tied to someone who didn’t know or believe in the Good King was a big mistake (see 2 Corinthians 6:14). Whenever a friendship like that took place the one who mostly ended up being changed was the one who believed in the Good King, and the change was never for the best. He noticed a change in Karen and he knew that if she kept hanging out with her new friend she would be influenced by her lifestyle. “Karen, please go with me! We need to pray!” he begged her with clasped hands.
“There’s plenty of time for that,” said Karen. “After all, a Lightbearer can enjoy both this World and the next. I can have fun and still serve the Good King.”
Tears started to roll down Eddy’s cheeks. Seeing his best friend change like this was worse than getting beaten up or tickled. He covered his face and cried in front of her. Karen watched him surprised. What was he crying about? Before she could comfort him Kelly called her. Karen then said goodbye to Eddy and went with her.
Eddy was all alone with his Lantern, glowing with all of its purity and holiness. With tears still falling from his eyes he picked it up and headed back to Leisure Inn. As he walked he recalled an old hymn called “Nearer My God To Thee,” that was sung during bad times. He tried to sing it but couldn’t because of his deep sadness.
To Be Continued