(One of the true but short stories in Part I)  



Keys To The Kingdom



Stepping out of the door that morning the first thing I noticed was a set of keys lying on the ground. I had no idea that these keys would be used to open the door to divine protection. Before I left work yesterday Tammy Faye said “I’m going to get you tomorrow for taking my job.” Thoughts of being in grade school came rushing back to me. I remembered the dread I use to feel when a classmate would say to you “Three-thirty” (3:30pm) while placing their fist over their eye and then their nose. After which they pointed at you. That only meant one thing; you were about to get beaten up after school. Only I wasn’t in grade school. I was a 34 year old mother of two.


I was hired to permanently replace Tammy Faye the  temporary secretary. I didn’t find out that she had a mental problem until after the fact. Tammy Faye was 6’8 and weighed in at 350 lbs. I am not exaggerating. It took everything in me to not call in sick that day, but it was my first week of employment and I had to be there. Once I got to work I took a closer look at the keys and noticed that they were from the University of Chicago.


Although the keys had a tag attached that read “if found drop in any mailbox, postage will be paid.”   When I got to the office I telephoned the University and found it odd when they   informed me that they would send someone over to pick them up. Thank God there was no sign of Tammy Faye.


Towards the end of the day, I was getting more nervous than ever. The Executive Director called Tammy Faye and I into the board room to officially announce the transition. Tammy Faye was furious; you could see the hatred and murder on her face. I was totally terrified. She slammed her fist on the board room table and demanded with a loud theatrical voice that the Executive Director explain to her “Why? Why are you taking my job?”  


The Executive Director did everything to try and soothe her, but to no avail. Tammy Faye wanted revenge. Her performance in the board room gave me more than enough reason to exit stage left, but I remained. It was my pride as well as my poverty, I needed that job. After the heated, non-productive meeting I returned to my desk wondering why no one had dialed 911 yet. The next few hours were agonizing. I sat at the front desk mapping out my escape route to the smallest detail.


My desk was positioned with a wall behind me and a wall to my right, in front of me was the only door. If Tammy Faye came from the board room I would be trapped like the children at the Red Sea. If she came through the front door, I would also be trapped.   I decided that my only recourse would be to roll myself in a fetal position and protect my head.


I know some of you are probably thinking I should have remembered to “Fear Not.” I say “bla yadda,” “bla yadda,” “bla yadda.” You weren’t there. Talk to me when a seven foot, 350 pound Amazon, full of hatred has it in for you. All of a sudden I heard stomps. Had I been in Jurassic Park I would have had some warning by seeing the vibration in a puddle of water.


The moment I was dreading all day was upon me.  I looked up and saw Tammy Faye coming from the board room.









(One of the many original poems in Part II)





I dreamed that I was walking 

Through a field of tall grass 

Not really sure how long my journey would last


If anyone had been with me 

They were now long gone 

For when I came out of the field I was all alone


As I pushed back the brush 

Complete awe was my state 

There before me in its splendor 

Was one of heaven’s gates


With my mouth wide open 

Eyes extremely wide 

I leaned my head back 

And lifted my eyes


The majesty of this structure 

Was unlike anything in the world 

The gate was made of what appeared to be 

Fifty-foot pearls


Its bottom row had12 pearls 

Next row 11, 10, 9 and so on; 

A pyramid so bright but not blinding 

God’s glory shown.


This was the most beautiful site I’d ever seen 

It now felt like reality and no longer a dream 

As I proceeded to take a step 

I was halted by the darkness I felt


Suddenly the wall was obscured 

By an ominous dark cloud 

My expression quickly turned to a frown


I was scared and confused 

Not sure if I should hide 

At that moment God spoke; 

“This cloud is your pride.”








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© Sandra DeBose