Fred!” yelled Norma from the front of the home. “It looks like a nasty storm coming and the horses are out!” Quickly the burly man jumped up from the wood-burning stove, where he had been fixing the cast-iron door. Fred Blanton’s wife normally quiet and very organized wife of 20 years was suddenly frantic and scared. And Fred knew why. The ten stallions, fine horses every one, had been sold to Bruester Farms only yesterday and tomorrow they were to be picked up. If something happened to any of them, Fred would be responsible and the money at this time was very much needed for the family. “Douse the lamps honey and watch the boys” he said as he looked out the window. “This looks like the worst weather around these parts in years.” Grabbing a jacket, he leaned over and gave Norma a kiss on the cheek. “Pray dear and I will be back in a few minutes.” Here he was, thought Fred, farming ever since he was a boy and this year of 1878 looked like it was going to be a doozy for tornadoes and rainstorms of all sorts.

Dashing out the door, Fred ran as hard and as fast as he could. The wind was powerful like he had never seen before, nearly knocking him down many times. Lightning flashed through the sky, sometimes striking the top of the barn that Fred stood right next to. Hurridly, the determined man led the horses in one by one. Done! Now to get back to the house safely. Looking in the direction of the two-story home, Fred could see his wife through the window. “I’ll be there in a few seconds honey,” the anxious man murmured to himself quietly. Barely able to see due to the wind-driven sand and dirt, he struggled through the unseen force, making very little headway. In just the last few seconds it seemed that the winds had increased a tremendous amount. The rain was also heavier and Fred was soaked! Just as made it past the barn, a blinding bolt of lightning suddenly appeared! Knocked to the wet and cold ground, the last thing that Fred thought of, was that at least if he died, Norma would have enough money to get by for a while due to the sale of the horses.

Fred awoke. The rain had stopped and as he got up, he saw the sky was now clear. Strange. How did the horrendous storm disappear so quickly? Something was wrong...things looked different. The house was pretty much the same, but the barn was nearly destroyed and there were large thick poles all over the property and they were connected to one another with massive heavy wires. What happened? Did a tornado carry me miles away and this was not my home, just one that looked somewhat like it? As Fred was tossing these thoughts around, he began to make his way towards the house. It was then that he heard the scream! And it was followed by some of the most vulgar words of profanity that Fred had ever heard! How dare someone use those words in my home! As he got closer, Fred realized that though there were some definite physical changes, how they get there he would investigate later, this was surely the Blanton home.

Bursting through the front door, Fred saw no sign of Norma. But again he heard more swearing coming from the next room! Intruders! Must be...oh if anyone has hurt my dear wife...or my three precious boys? Turning the corner, Fred saw a strange man standing at the kitchen table. The kitchen fact, the whole room, appeared different...somewhat similar...yet...different. Come to think of it, so did the living room. But Fred had no time to consider these things presently.

Some stranger...some man that Fred had never seen before...was in his home. The other man saw Fred and with a look of astonishment, began to move quickly towards him. Wham! Fred was faster and within seconds the unknown man was on the floor, unconscious. Yet, there was still more noise! People talking and even yelling! With no carefulness, the frenzied man rushed into the next room. Much to Fred’s disbelief, no one was there! But in the center of the room was a box and somehow that is what was producing the noises and the voices! What in the world...? The box had what appeared to be a sheet of glass on one side. Fred curiously stepped forward, eyeing this box very closely as if it was dangerous. There were...people...inside the box? I don’t understand. Getting even closer now, Fred suddenly darted around the back. No people here. What was he saying? People in a box...little people? Fred had to examine this box closer. Going to the glass again, he realized that these were ... not real people, they How? Surely, he had seen pictures before. In fact, he had some pictures at home that a photographer had taken in town two years ago. But these pictures spoke? Fred circled the box again. So, these were not real people trapped in this...thing...but rather pictures...or images.” Suddenly the yelling occurred again and the already disoriented man jumped back in fright! Such words! Words that pierced his soul! In his home...his home! Words that normally could only be heard in the vilest of places! And here was images of people that said these vulgarities over and over! As if in instinct, Fred peered around to see any sign of Norma or the boys. What if these words were heard by my Norma or my boys? How terrible! Almost instantaneously, he developed a hatred for this ungodly box. Oh, how he wept as he heard for the third time in only seconds, the name of God used in a way that was vain and blasphemous! For certainly, these vulgar persons, or rather these images, were not calling upon Him in reverence! Then a female...a woman...repeated the wicked phrase again! Enough! Fred’s heart cried out in anguish! As if the mysterious box somehow beckoned to his pleading soul, the glass went completely blank! But only for seconds. An image of a lone man, dressed very sharply, appeared now. This image also spoke. “ The conservatives in America have been hindered again. For 11 years now, abortion has been legal. Statistics reveal that at least five million babies have been terminated since this time.” Fred’s eyes grew large. Did the man say babies? Terminated? Dead? His heart sank. By the parents? No, it couldn’t be! Babies dead...apparently killed by the mother? The picture again produced words. “Some cry out that abortion is simple murder, but the Supreme Court has determined that a mother has a right to do whatever she pleases with her own body. It has been legally decided that the fetus in the womb is not life, until after the time of birth.” With those words, Fred grieved beyond description. With a grim and determined look, he walked towards the box. Such blasphemous words...such horror! Fred decided that this evil had to be stopped! Awkwardly, the distraught man pushed the insidious thing backwards with all of his might! Pieces went everywhere! The noise however instantly stopped and to Fred’s satisfaction, the images were no more. Breathing deep, he stood for long seconds staring at the object on the floor. He shuddered. Oh, how damning of a thing. And in a home. Suddenly, Fred had a very serious and sober thought. Only the devil himself would desire this monster, that was the most appropriate word Fred could think of, to be amongst a family. A noise heard, the wearied man hastily remembered his surroundings and his missing family.

Attempting not to dwell on the strangeness of his home, Fred went to the source of the sound that he heard. A cat scurried out from behind a chair that he had never seen before. Glancing around each room, Fred was very discouraged when there was no sign of his family. In fact, the only human being that could be found was the intruder that he had encountered. Fred did notice the pictures that were in every room. There were many of them and some were even colored. Oddly, none of them were of his family. But then something caught Fred’s eye. It was the date on one of the photos. 1989? What? 1989? How...what? His mind racing, the farmer recalled the box...the filthy words...the murder of babies before they even came into the world...God’s name being used so wickedly. In horror, Fred Blanton began to cry. His eyes were like that of a deranged and grief-stricken man! Like a madman, his brain being unable to comprehend all that he had witnessed in the last few minutes of his life, Fred turned and ran out the door! Hurrying towards the barn he noticed the eeriness of the sky. How utterly weird! A storm had started and it was not unlike the one he was in just a short time ago. Thunder, hail, lightning and suddenly a magnificent wind! The rain followed and drenched the poor man in mere seconds. Almost to the barn now, Fred could hardly believe his own eyes. Horses! Ten of them, all Stallions! What? But I put all of them away? Stopping, he looked up into the heavens, then slowly peered again at the animals, who were becoming somewhat frantic due to the weather. Instinctively, Fred ran to them and took a moment to lead them all into the old and decaying barn. Safe now, Fred turned and without warning, was suddenly enveloped in a bright flash! Lightning! Unconscious, the stocky farmer lay on the cold and wet ground.

Rain. It was hitting him furiously. Fred had a cold chill as he stood and regained his senses. What now...what is going on? The barn was no longer of a run-down appearance! Shaking his head, he got another chill. The rain was a cold rain and the lightning was getting more fierce by the second. Towards his home, he ran. As he did, Fred noticed that the strange poles were gone! Strange. From the distance and even through the blur of the driving storm, Fred saw an image at the window. It was Norma.

For many years I have been attempting to get God’s people as well as lost people to see the difference in what we now consider acceptable. The Bible forbids much of what comes into the living room in our homes today via the television set and other inventions. Often I have stated what a shock it would be to most people from the 1800's if they were to step into a home of this century and set their eyes in front of what many view from day to day. Through this fiction story, I pray that some will discern the slide which our world has taken in recent years and go back to the old paths and walk therein.


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