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A Given Reason

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Kent Heister was an average person, living an average life. Recently, he had gotten a divorce from his wife. They just were not ready for that level of commitment. He had also stopped attending church and devoted himself to just working. Being single, now, this wasn’t much of a problem. Though he had been religious before, he no longer saw a reason to keep up the act.

This news upset Richard Carson, his long-time friend and neighbor. Richard, being the spiritual person that he was, was deeply concerned by his friend’s deviation from the path he had been on to God. He was also schizophrenic, a fact of which he was unaware.

Every now and again, Richard would hear voices telling him what he should do or say, and he took those as the words of God. After a few weeks of watching Kent slide into drinking alcohol and smoking cigarettes, the voices in his head told him what to do.

Richard took Kent on a nature walk in the forest near their houses. Kent was asked what it would take for him to get back on the path of righteousness and rejoin the church.

Kent told Richard that if he found some smokes while walking, he would join the church. After a few feet, the two came across an unopened pack of cigarettes. Kent picked them up and told Richard that it was just a coincidence and that if he found something to drink, he would rejoin.

After a few minutes, they came across a six pack of beer lying in the middle of the trail. Kent snagged the fresh pack of beers and looked them over. As he put them in his backpack, he told Richard that this was still some strange coincidence. He rationalized that some hiker was not only missing some cigarettes, but some tasty beer as well.

He told Richard, who was now ahead of him, that he needed a reason to pray and turn back to God. He said that was what it would take for him to rejoin the church.

Nodding to himself, having received confirmation from the voice, Richard turned to face Kent. He smiled as he reached into his pocket and gave Kent a reason to pray as he pulled the trigger.

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