Peer Review by AbigailSauble (United States)

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The Nightwalker

By: Hannah Gaudette - JoyfulWriter


He walks the streets like a ghost, but chuckles to himself at the irony. He is a ghost. He does not exist. He has no name.

Except to these, the flock, the redeemed, those to whom he comes tonight with a heavy, troubled heart.

He watches the streets, cautious and careful in his approach. Surveillance is quiet tonight. He makes his way first to the prisons. Crude, gunmetal shelters built near the edge of the city. The people here know what to do when he comes – take the food wrapped in cloth as he holds it through the bars, say nothing. He whispers a prayer at each window, surrendering piece by piece his broken heart. Father, save these people.

Nothing was the same after the bombings and the radiation that poisoned the country. Law meant nothing when the military took rogue control. The people suffer now, more, he believes, from the oppression of occupation and persecution than from nuclear consequences.

He comes here every night, defies the danger of being spotted, struggles against the lameness in his leg and his wounded pride to comfort the persecuted. He was once their pastor, the man they followed and who followed no one. Thank the Father of the redeemed for His mercy.

He leaves the prison barracks, like a ghost – surreptitious, for he must go unseen by the soldiers – and crosses the meadows. Ripped to shreds, obliterated the glory of the Father's creation is what they've done. Even the fields they could not leave untouched. These are a broken people, living in a broken land. But the Savior . . . He was broken, too. It's His example to be followed.

Renewed, he hurries to the little homes which dot the land by the river. He sees their flashlight and candlelight and knows they've stayed wide awake to meet him. He enters the homes freely here, staying only short moments at each. He shares from the tattered-but-true Word of the Father, he prays with a woman for her ill son, for she cannot take him to the physicians and risk the discovery of their faith. She weeps as he prays, but he knows in his heart her son will be made well. The Father is with His redeemed.

He continues on his pilgrimage, he gives to the old man, food and clean drink, and by this man's faith he himself is strengthened, even while the pain in his leg nearly stymies his mission this night.

He brings food and games, tall tales and the Word of the Father to the little orphans who live with the brave young woman of faith. He warns her in private that some of the soldiers suspect her, and she does not show fear.

It is nearly dawn. He shares breakfast with the family on the hill, and begins his return to his home. He prays more, for the woman's son, for the old man near to his last breath, for the brave young woman of faith, for all the others, all the redeemed that he loves. The planes are beginning to circle the city. He has tarried too long in the valley, but this he will do again. Defy the risks and eschew evil, not the faith. No. Never the faith.

He limps homeward and can feel his face made light by the peace in his heart and the blaze of the reborn sun. Their faith has strengthened him. Yes. He is – at last! - at peace.

Message to Readers

Any and all feedback on this piece would be very much appreciated. Thank you!

Peer Review

'Yes. He is – at last! - at peace.' - Such a powerful ending! It makes me want to ask: How do I get that peace? Except that I already know. :) Very well-done in causing your readers to want what this man has.

Renewed in my faith! Like the man at the end. :) You described everything with incredible detail, completely drawing me in. I love the steadfast immovable spirit that you give the main character.

What place did you mean for the setting? It's okay if you didn't really mean a specific place. Even without mentioning where he was, you described the scene well, so that I was never lost.

Reviewer Comments

You did an absolute fabulous job with the descriptions! The main character is like a soldier of God. :) Helping those in the body of Christ, and praying for them. You showed me what a true disciple of Jesus would be like. :)
Thank you so much for writing this!
Keep it up!
God bless!