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“You have been given a gift,” Thomas said to his son, James.  “The Maker has picked you.”

James, who had just turned ten, looked up at his father.  “You think so?” he asked him.

“Definitely so,” Thomas replied and gave his son a hug.

It was a couple of years ago that James started to help his father on crafting doors.  Many people of the day thought it was a strange craft, but once father and son performed their talents they applauded them for such great work.

Thomas for the most part either created a more sturdy door, or took the current one and made it more sturdy.

“Anyone of bad intent will have a tougher time getting inside,” he explained to the people.  “With all the noise they will create you will be prepared to deal with them.”

After his work many people would agree that he made their home more safe.

“Why did you start doing this?” James asked his father when he was five.

“Your mother would be around still,” he replied to his son.

It was three years after James was born that Thomas went to the city for supplies, and the tragedy took place.  Even though they lived close to other homes thieves were able to easily break into their home, and take the few possessions they had, and the life of his precious wife.  His neighbors found James lying beside his mother, many tears having flowed, and spending much time trying to wake her up.

Thomas didn’t know if a tougher door would have saved her, but he wanted to believe so.  Either the noise would wake-up the neighbors and chase off the thieves or the thieves would have given up and left.  

“A strong door will save lives,” Thomas said to his son.

The years went by with James working with his father a little more and more.  The two traveled by wagon from town to town, creating or fixing doors as much as they could.  There were many occasions his father worked on a door for practically free.  Many people had little to offer due to taxes being high to support the war in the north.  Many of the strong were gone to fight in the war, leaving the elderly, weak, and young home to take care of the home.  Many were prime for thieves so Thomas did his utmost to put on his doors as quick as possible.

It was when James was a little after nine that it was when James gift came from the Maker.  It was while he was working on a door that a design flashed through his mind.  A vision of what needed to be added to the door to make not just the door, but the home itself protected.

James told his dad of his experience, which he scratched his head in thought, then ran his hand through his beard.

“Let’s give it a try,” Thomas said.  “It can’t hurt, but we should at least ask the homeowner if it’s okay to do so.”

The majority of the people were just thankful for the door so they were fine with designs.

“If it keeps the evil away I am fine with it,” many of them said.

James took what he envisioned, and chiseled into the door, realizing it was quite easy for him.  The vision of the design flashed through his mind a few times as he worked until it was done.

“How do we know if this design will work?” he asked his father.

“You believe it’s from the Maker,” his father replied.  “So I shall believe it’s from the Maker.”

As they moved on different designs came to mind as they worked on each door.  It took a little more time, but knew the homeowner would be more protected.

The years went by as the father and son continued to go throughout the land to make doors.

“What will we do if everyone has our doors?” James asked his father.

“I’m not sure if that will ever happen.  We have been doing this for many years, and have only covered the western lands.  We have the eastern and southern lands to go to, and hopefully one day the northern lands.”

They moved on, heading to one of the towns near the outer rims when they were met with another life changing event.

James rested inside the boxed wagon when it came to a sudden stop.  A small hatch slid open as James got out of bed.

“Stay inside,” his father told him.  “Don’t you dare come out for there are many questionable characters coming this way.”

“I don’t want to leave you out there alone,” James said.  “Hurry inside to be protected.”

“It’s too late.”

“Well, well,” James could hear a gruff voice say.  “Looks like we have the door maker here.”

“What do you want?” he heard his father ask.

“You are the one making it difficult for us to make a living.  It’s time to end it.”

Next moment, James heard a thud, and his father cry out.  James went to the door, putting his hand on the door handle, about to turn it, but stopped.  He knew his life would be taken too if he stepped out.  He stepped back as someone tried to open the door, then started banging on it.  The thugs started to bang on the sides, front, and top with no luck.

“Burn it!” a voice called out.

A couple of flaming arrows struck the sides, but there was no starting of a fire.

“They used their magic on this wagon!” a voice called out.  “Lets go!  We took care of the door maker!”

James heard them ride off, waiting a few minutes longer before he stepped out.  He saw his father lying on the ground as he rushed over.  An arrow through the heart told him there was not a chance to save him.  Tears flowed as James felt like his heart was about to explode.  He wanted to scream at the top of his lungs for he no longer had anyone.  His mother and father were killed by thieves.

“You gave me this gift to save lives!” he cried out as he looked up at the darkening sky.

“It didn’t save my parents!  You don’t give a damn about your creation so why should I!”

James went to the nearest town where he buried his father.

“My days of making doors are at an end,” he said.

James moved on, trying his hand at other trades.  He realized as he saw any door there was no vision that came to mind.

“I guess you took my gift away,” he thought.

For the next five years he worked as a carpenter and a builder of homes.  It kept him financially stable, but he didn’t feel as satisfied as his design making days.  There are times he thought of giving it a try, but wiped the thought away.

“There is no way the Maker would give me back my gift.”

James decided to head north to join the military to help in the continuous war.

“This will be a good cause,” he thought.

When he got to the front lines he offered his services in anything but combat.

“I never handled a weapon, and don’t plan on doing so, but I believe I can help with the contraptions, and pretty much anything else to defeat the enemy.”

They brought him onboard, and he performed quite well.  The commanders were impressed with his skills, but James still felt a missing part inside him.  Many times he thought of calling out to the Maker, but kept himself quiet.

He was a couple of years in helping the military when his next life changing events took place.

James was working on making the shields better when a priest sat down next to him.

“You are doing a fine job,” the priest said in a calm, soothing voice.

“Thank you,” said James, feeling uncomfortable.

“It looks like you are quite gifted at this.”

“I do my best, but I once had a better gift,” he said then wanted to smack his head for now the priest will want to know.

“Pray tell of your past gift?” the priest asked.

“My father and I made doors,” he explained.  “I was able to make designs on the doors that helped protect homes.  A gift I once had, but taken from me once my father was taken from me.”

There was a bit of silence as the anger started to resurface.  He was about to tell the priest he had to check out other jobs when the priest spoke up.

“I hope you know the Maker never leaves you,” the priest said.  “Only you and everyone else in humanity can walk away.  The Maker will always be there to greet you with open arms.”

“I feel like the Maker wasn’t there to protect my father,” he told the priest.

“We live in a fallen world where we all have free will,” the priest said, resting his hand on James' leg.  “The Maker doesn’t interfere in our lives, but is there when you need help.”

James didn’t know what to say, but felt foolish as he thought of the situation.  It is so easy to blame the Maker when something goes wrong, but ignore the Maker when life is going well.

“Take a look at the shield,” the priest said.

James looked at the priest then at the shield.  Once his eyes glanced upon the shield a design flashed through his mind.  He looked at the priest, seeing a warm smile.

“The Maker welcomes you back,” the priest said standing up and walking off.

James smiled and started his designs on the shields.  Shields that started to protect his fellow men and women even better than before.  The war started to turn as time went by until thirty-five years after it started it came to an end.

James was given a medal and enough funds to retire in style, but he continued to use his gifts to his final days, thanking the Maker that his children inherited his gifts.

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23 comments

Harken Void
07:47 Jun 30, 2020

Hey Corey! Wow, this is a great story! I love the message it has and how you managed to put an entire novel-worth-of-story in this short format, without it feeling rushed. Such a cool perspective on fantasy, taking something simple like door-making and turn it into a very interesting thing. It sure made me look at doors in a new light :) Great work! I did notice some punctuation errors and repetition (with the word 'as' or 'priest' twice in the same sentence), but nothing too major. Still, if you can manage to edit a little bit more, then y...

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Corey Melin
13:56 Jun 30, 2020

Thank you for the comments and appreciate letting me know where I need work. To be honest there are times I either don't go back over my stories or skim over it. Imagination in play

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Anja Z
10:27 Jun 25, 2020

Fantastic and beautiful story :) do you mind checking out my latest story too

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Corey Melin
17:04 Jun 25, 2020

Thank you for the comments and just read and commented on your story.

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Anja Z
18:50 Jun 25, 2020

Thank you so much

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Benny Njuguna
13:19 Jun 23, 2020

Sad how people turn against people's inventions because of their selfish ambitions or desires. But the good thing is that we should never lose hope in the Maker and ourselves. It's intriguing to read your story.

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Corey Melin
16:03 Jun 23, 2020

Yes indeed. But the word is that if one does not use their gift it is given to someone else that will use it. The main thing is all of us have gifts. Our choice to use them.

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Benny Njuguna
15:38 Jul 01, 2020

You're right. Everyone has a gift. We need to know which they're, and use them. If not, it will be taken away from us.

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Nandan Prasad
04:36 Jun 23, 2020

Beautiful story! Very touching and heartwarming with great characterization of James. Liked it very much! Also, would you mind checking my story 'Enemies of the State' out? Thanks and good luck!

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Deborah Angevin
21:36 Jun 22, 2020

Wow, a great story! Did not expect the ending! Would you mind checking my recent story out too? Thank you :)

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Cho Blu
20:39 Jun 22, 2020

I really enjoyed this! Love seeing "the Maker" at work ;) I would like to 'see' more of the emotions behind his 'designs' and maybe even his reaction to the impacts of the design. Let us into his character a bit more??? Maybe an example of seeing his door save someone in front of him? That would be totally cool. Great story!

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Corey Melin
20:51 Jun 22, 2020

Greatly appreciate the feedback. I realize that there are times I can be quite vague due to time constraints in my lovely life so I try to punch out a story in one day's time, which when I read it later I realize how much more I could have done with it. Much appreciated!

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Millie Spence
13:33 Jun 22, 2020

This was amazing. I loved the positive tone in the ending. I really enjoyed reading this.

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Corey Melin
20:10 Jun 22, 2020

I really appreciate the feedback and glad that you enjoyed it.

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Shirley Medhurst
13:11 Jun 22, 2020

I liked this. I find it reads like a fairy story - although I'm not too sure what the moral of the story would be....

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Corey Melin
19:17 Jun 22, 2020

Thank you for the feedback. I wasn't thinking of a fairy tale as I wrote, but if it's a good read then I have accomplished my task. I would say the moral is to continue to use your gifts even during tough times, and even if you do depart from your gifts they will always be waiting for you.

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Laura Clark
08:29 Jun 21, 2020

Lovely premise and sweet ending! Thanks for sharing.

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Corey Melin
17:15 Jun 21, 2020

Thank you for the feedback. Much appreciated!

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Arya Preston
15:19 Jun 19, 2020

I really liked how James understood the Maker's role in their lives towards the end, it was quite profound and well-written!

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Corey Melin
17:02 Jun 19, 2020

Thank you for the comments! Always nice to get feedback. My imagination is in full mode so sometimes there are areas that do not make sense until after I submitted it.

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Arya Preston
05:33 Jun 20, 2020

No problem! I feel the same way sometimes! Could you please read my story as well? :)

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Iris Koga
16:17 Jun 17, 2020

I felt James’ grief at the loss of his father, and the ending was very touching. Great story and portrayal of emotions!

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Corey Melin
18:35 Jun 17, 2020

Greatly appreciate the feedback!

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