Several days ago, I had yet another conversation with my mentor. The topic was simple; how to end the story. There were so many questions I had yet to answer. What happens to the body in the end? Is John left with proof of the divine? What does John do with this information afterwards? I set up a phone call with Robert, and he gave me some phenomenal ideas that I can’t wait to implement. Generally, I release my ideas for my story after a spoiler warning, but since this is the ending, and by far the most intriguing part, I am going to leave this unsaid. I can however, say that I’ve added an excerpt to the beginning, in which John is home in the USA after the events of the story, reflecting on his time in Iran (see below).
I’m really interested in this beginning excerpt because it will give the reading a lot of context that otherwise wouldn’t be provided. This isn’t shown below as I haven’t written it yet, but John is going to return to the church he grew up in, then rejected as a young adult. Unsure whether the dead angel was proof of God, he visits with the pastor that he listened to as a child, and has a conversation about facing the realities of religion. This is intended to be a revealing scene in which John actively struggles with the knowledge that the religious childhood he rebuffed may have held truth afterall.
Lastly, I have been doing research on the existence of God throughout this whole project (as it obviously relates to my story), and today I stumbled upon as article which brought up something I find incredibly interesting; the idea the science can prove the existence of God (and potentially vice versa). The other discusses a biologist who believes in God because of his study of DNA. The scientist, Dr. Antony Flew, argues that DNA contains remarkable similarity to a computer code. And in the great history of the universe, there has never been a code which wasn’t written by someone else. Therefore, the only explanation for the complexity of life and nature is some form of higher power. Read more here.
And finally, here’s an excerpt from the opening scene:
I don’t know if I left Iran to leave God, or to find Him. As I threw everything I owned into a taxi and jumped in the back, bound for Tehran, all I knew was that I never wanted to lay eyes on Chamkhaleh again. The journey back to my hometown in Michigan was long, taking me through Istanbul, Bucharest, Berlin, and eventually to London, where I caught the first flight across the Atlantic. Doctors Without Borders paid for the entire trip, thanking me for my years of dedicated medical service, and hoping that I’d enjoy my return to America. When I arrived at their office in Berlin, I was given a form detailing the important parts of my service. At the bottom it asked why I had decided to leave. I checked “other”.
Yesterday morning, I arrived back in Turnbull, Michigan, to find life exactly as I had left it. The streets were clean and orderly, songbirds tweeted gentle lullabies between trees, and my parents were as cranky as ever. Like clockwork, I smiled through an agonizing, hour-long lecture about how the town had gone to hell since I left.
“Mr. Kline closed the bakery last month! Can you believe that? He just up and left, no warning at all! Some nonsense about spending more time with his wife. Now where are we supposed to get our bread?”
I nodded politely, knowing that Mr. Kline’s bakery was one of exactly six in town, all of which were pretty much identical.
After catching up on the latest inane Turnbull drivel, I took a drive through town to visit my old haunts. Mama’s Pizzeria was still bustling with local high school students jamming thick globs of cheesy heaven down their throats. The tavern was empty but for a few businessmen having a quiet meeting at the bar. La Cocina Mexicana was boarded up, with an aggressive amount of foreclosure signs plastered across the walls. As the sun began to sink and the air turned chilly, I turned off of Main Street and headed up Saint Jude’s hill.