Published by Bradley Dietrich at Smashwords
Copyright 2013 Bradley Dietrich
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The first inspiration for the story came as my daughters entered into confirmation and I became their Sunday School teacher. I realized I needed to figure out exactly what I believed before I started attempting to teach (probably a good thing…). What I found was that I was a religious pluralist. I never explicitly stated that I was but when I interrogated my beliefs I discovered I took the easy and politically correct view that all roads lead to God. They clearly do not.
The second inspiration for this short story came from C.S. Lewis’ novel The Great Divorce. The similarity can be seen in the first couple of sentences and the idea of the courtyard came from Lewis’ gray town. Anyone who knows of C.S. Lewis’ history knows that he, along with his circle of literary friends ‘The Inklings’, frequented a bar named The Eagle and Child (or Bird and Baby) in Oxford. I was blessed to visit this pub with my wife Stacey and have a couple of Old Hookey beers. So as an obvious nod of gratitude to C.S. Lewis the pub and beer are referenced in the story. I also reference the pictures of Lewis and Tolkien above the fireplace in the pub. From there the similarities cease other than this story is an allegory.