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Previous Challenge Entry (EDITOR'S CHOICE)
Topic: Ow! (01/07/10)

TITLE: Deliverance
By Lisa Tyre
~3rd Place


Lauren boarded the bus, and found her seat. It was a banner morning; so far she hadn’t been forced to make eye contact with anyone. She scrunched low in the seat. Maybe she’d get lucky and go unnoticed.
Thwack! A thick notebook smacked her on the back of the head and landed in the floor at her feet.
She turned, rubbing her head. “Ow! That hurt.”
Tommy Ledbetter stared back, his eyes wide. “Sorry, Four-Eyes, it slipped!’
“Sure it did.”
The back of the bus dissolved into laughter.
Lauren turned her head toward the window to hide the tears welling in her eyes.
Really, God, she offered silently, is this necessary? If you kicked Pharaoh and the Egyptian’s butts, how hard would it be to smite a few eighth graders?
The bus stopped to pick up another group of kids, all of whom avoided Lauren like the plague.
Plagues, God, where are the plagues? Lauren continued her silent prayers. Frogs would be perfect- Grady Middle School, overrun by frogs. At least THINK about it.
“Hey Four-Eyes, hand me back my notebook.”
Lauren ignored him and the giggles that accompanied anything he said. Tommy was the most popular boy in school, a fact that was completely unfathomable to Lauren. She was not the most popular girl. In fact, she wasn’t even close. It wasn’t that she was without friends; it was just that none of them attended Grady Middle School. Her two best friends, Lacy and Melissa, went to Bethany Christian. Lauren had to be content with seeing them on Sunday’s and at their weekly youth meeting.
“Yo Four-Eyes, are you deaf as well as blind? I need my notebook.”
Lauren looked at Mrs. Bevin, the bus driver. Not once in three months had she intervened, but Lauren could always hope.
You know, God, that death-to-the-first-born thing you did seemed to do the trick. I’m not sure if Tommy has an older brother, but if he does, he’s probably just as bad. I wouldn’t let that worry me.
The bus shuttered to an unexpected stop and Mrs. Bevin opened the door. The Thomas house had recently sold, and Lauren, along with everyone else, turned to see the new kid that had moved in.
A tall boy with wavy, brown hair hesitated at the front. He was wearing a Braves t-shirt and carrying a Nike backpack.
Lovely, another jock. You couldn’t send a girl?
The boy moved forward, and then sat next to Lauren.
“Is this okay?”
Lauren nodded stiffly then rested her head against the window, waiting for the next painful blow. She didn’t wait long.
“Hey, look, Four-Eyes has a boyfriend!”
Lauren felt the heat flood her cheeks.
God! Didn’t you fill the Egyptians mouths’ with flies? This would be a perfect time for that!
“Smoochie smoochie. Four-eyes is in LOVE!”
The bus erupted into laughter.
Humiliated, Lauren couldn’t even glance at the new student.
Maybe I can walk to school from now on, she thought. What is it, four miles? I could totally do that.
The boy beside her shifted to look toward the back of the bus.
“Hey, Doofus. Aren’t you Tommy Anderson?’
Lauren stared. No one ever called Tommy Anderson names. Ever.
“What’s it to you, loser?” Tommy called back, elbowing his friends, and grinning.
“You’re the basketball player, right?”
“Yeah, that’s right. So?”
“So my dad’s the new basketball coach. From what I hear, you might want to spend more time on your grades and less time picking on girls. F’s don’t cut it with him.”
“Dude,” someone said, laughing. “You got a F?”
“Shut up.”
Lauren smiled, the first one since she’d gotten on the bus.
“Thank you.”
“Hey, no problem. There were jerks at my last school too. I learned you better stand up right away ‘cause it only gets worse.”
Lauren laughed. “Well, you just stood up to the biggest jerk at Grady Middle School. I’m Lauren, by the way.”
“I’m Moses, but my friends call me Mo.”
“Moses? Like the bible, Moses?”
He laughed. “That’s the one. I guess you’ve heard of him.”
“You might say that.”
“So, you want to do a poor kid wondering in the desert a favor, and show me around the school today? I‘ve got classes all over the place.”
“Sure,” Lauren answered. She turned back to the window to hide her grin.
Okay, God, I admit that’s pretty cool. Not as good as swallowing Tommy up in the Red Sea, but I’ll take it.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Colin Swann01/15/10
Amusing and cute - very enjoyable indeed! Thanks - Colin
Donna Brown01/15/10
I loved this story. The irony that the boy's name was Moses was a little over the top but I really liked it.
Lisa Harris01/16/10
Awesome story! I especially loved the Old Testament pleas to God...very entertaining dialog. Beginner???
Oni Mustapha Abu Bakar01/18/10
So amusing. I felt as if I were sitting in the bus. This is one of the best entries I have read this week.
Jan Ackerson 01/18/10
Clever and witty--loved your MC's inner voice. Could you put it in italics to make it clearer when she's thinking? (see the forums FAQ for instructions on doing italics in HTML).

I've started a class in the FaithWriters forums for Beginner and Intermediate writers. I'd love to see you there--look for "Jan's Writing Basics".

You're an extremely promising writer!
Lisa Johnson01/21/10
Wow!!! First place in level and an Editor's Choice on your first time out!!! Awesome!!! Congratulations!!! I thoroughly enjoyed your story!!!
Joan Campbell01/21/10
Congratulations on your win Lisa! Such lovely humour in this, I really enjoyed it
Carol Penhorwood 01/21/10
Congratulation and your 1st place! It is so very well deserved! I thoroughly enjoyed this believable story. I wish it would have continued!
Jean Lopez01/21/10
I really enjoyed this story, it was so believable! Good job and congratulations on your win!
Shirley McClay 01/21/10
This came across very realistic! Excellent dialog and inner dialog. If you leave spaces between paragraphs it will be easier to read. I look forward to reading more of your writing!
Deborah Engle 01/21/10
What a great entry! Congratulations on your EC.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/21/10
I really enjoyed your story--I loved your main character and her thoughts and the way her problem was taken care of.
(Your story will be easier to read if you'll put a space between paragraphs.)

You show great promise as a writer. Congratulations on your EC.
Faithful Okoye01/22/10
Wow, this was funny and really interesting. I like how her deliverer was called Mo, Moses. Very funny :)
Rachel Rudd 01/23/10
Wow!! This is great! I totally understand why you placed like you did. Congratulations and I look forward to reading more of your writing! :) (I think I'll have to read this to my daughter. She'll get a kick out of it. :))
Lisa Tyre01/24/10
Thanks to everyone! What a nice welcome to the community.
Amanda Brogan01/25/10
This is such a cute story! I like how the new kid stands up to the hot-shot school bully! His name being Moses was perfect, especially the way Lauren had been praying. Excellent writing!
Judith Wolven01/26/10
Like this story line. First thing I thought of was dare to be "uncommon", which is something that needs to be taught to kids, because most of them just follow the leader to get along and with a little help or mentoring could really be that other person. Love the name Lauren also.