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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)

TITLE: A Good Bad Day
By Catrina Bradley


As blinding smoke billowed across the interstate, Paige strained to make out the car in front of her. She was already late for class, and now this blasted fire had the heavy Friday traffic more jammed than usual. Too late, she saw the cherry red of brake lights. WHAM. The airbag smothered her, and now her vision was blocked by white instead of black. UGHH. Why now, God?!? Rubbernecking drivers steered around her car as the airbag slowly deflated. Cautiously, she got out to see whose day she had ruined. She froze in place. Stunned and embarrassed, she watched a fireman in uniform get out of his car.

He took a quick look at his fender. "I don't see any damage. And I'm afraid I don't have time to wait on a police report - I've been called to a fire." He gave her a friendly grin, and Paige wanted to shrink into the concrete.

"Wait!" Hastily she grabbed her purse and fumbled for paper and a pen. Coughing and tearing from the smoke, she scribbled her name and cell number. As she handed it to him, a breeze cleared the air. She saw that, not only was he a fireman, he was a very handsome, young, fireman. Flustered, she stuttered, "Um, yes, I can uh, see. You're a fireman. Well, uh, please call me. I mean call me if you change your mind. Or… whatever…" Aggh! When will I EVER learn how to talk to a man? I'm 22 years old, for crying out loud! I'm such a dolt. He thinks I'm a TOTAL idiot now. Miserable, Paige slunk back behind her wheel.

He gave her another grin and a wave as he pocketed the wrinkled receipt she had written on and jumped back in his car. As he sped away, Paige muttered to herself and struggled to move the now-deflated airbag so she could leave also.


"In a memorable epigram the historian Richard Hofstadter stated: "Memory is the thread of personal identity jwioud dcmcatcae dioedild…." The words ran together on the page of Paige's Christian History textbook. She was already bored stiff after just the first sentence. WHAT was I thinking taking this class? This is NOT what signed up for. Paige had THOUGHT this class would be a fun and interesting elective to fill her schedule the last semester of college. Not only that, it might even make her parents happy for a change. Being home, alone, studying, on a Saturday night is depressing enough. Images of the good-looking fireman filled her daydreams, but the jingle of her cell's ring-tone jolted her back to the present. She greedily snatched the phone from the nightstand, welcoming a diversion from studying. She didn't recognize the number, but answered it anyway – even a wrong number would be better than reading anymore of that monotonous book.

"Hello, Paige?"

"Yes?" she answered curiously. Something in his voice sounded familiar.

"This is Tim. We met yesterday on the interstate?"

Paige was so overwhelmed, she could not utter a word.

Tim apparently mistook her silence. "You rear-ended me. The fireman, remember?"

"Oh, yes, I remember you!" she finally gushed. Ok, Lord, help me stay cool, and don't let me say anything stupid. "So, how was the fire?" UGH, that was stupid!! "I mean, how are you?"

"I'm okay, no damage. And the fire is out, too." He chuckled at her gaffe. "No casualties, praise God. But I wanted to check with you, make sure YOU were ok. You know you need to take your car to the shop to have your airbag replaced?"

"You are so sweet! I'm fine. And my dad told me the same thing about the car. I'm going to make an appointment on Monday." Yea! I made it through a whole sentence without embarrassing myself. Thank you, Lord! "My dad's a fireman, too, back in Des Moines." She strove to not be a stammering fool.

Tim said slowly, "Look, I know we don't really know each other, but I'd like to. Um, there's a concert at my church tomorrow evening. Would you be interested in going?"

After chatting a few minutes more, making plans, Paige hung up glowing and excited. She dropped to her knees and gave thanks. She had been waiting so long to meet a Christian man. She was tired of frat boys who were interested only in parties and sex.

How ironic. God, who is the all-consuming fire, and the unquenchable fire, sends me a fire-fighter!

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This article has been read 1327 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 10/12/06
Really enjoyed this! Not sure if it was a word count thing, but I would have LOVED to hear more of Tim and Paige's conversation at the end - at least heard exactly how she answered! You did a great job of getting Paige's personality and insecurities on the page for all to see! Great ending, too!
Betty Castleberry10/13/06
This is a very readable, enjoyable story. While the ending was good, I felt like it sort of "fell off the page". In other words, it was a bit abrupt.
I didn't really detract from the story line, though. Good job!
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/14/06
Great story! Very entertaining. Personally I think the ending would have been perfect stopping right when he asked her to meet at the church, but I like the last sentence, too. Good job!
Donna Powers 10/15/06
A nice and heartwarming story. I really enjoyed reading this!
Ruth Neilson10/16/06
*stupid grin* what a way to meet a guy huh? Love it, keep up the good work and you'll be moving up quickly.
Jan Ackerson 10/16/06
Welcome to FaithWriters, and this is a fabulous first entry!
Jen Davis10/16/06
A really cute story. The dialogue sounded very natural and I enjoyed her stammering. "So, how was the fire?" I smiled at: "Yea! I made it through a whole sentence..." Great title too!
Stacey LaMontagne10/17/06
Good job. You could use a bit of help with punctuation though. I see the comma monster has you; he can be very tricky. I would look for commas that don't need to go before every "and" also try not to start sentences with "and". With a bit of advice on grammer and punctuation I think this would be a very strong story. I agree your character development was great and I love your main character. Any girl can SO identify. That is a dream story. Thanks.
Glorey Wooldridge10/17/06
I liked your story - lots of possibilities and shows how God delights in surprising us when we least expect it!
Donna Haug10/18/06
Ha! I loved when the words turned to gobbledegook. I re-read that and went, "huh?" and then kept reading. Made me chuckle.
Sara Harricharan 10/18/06
This was a great story. Your characters were very realistic. I would love to know what happens after this :)
Great job!
Suzanne R10/19/06
Fun! This was really delightful.

Just being picky here..... I did pause at the description of the traffic being 'jammed' and Tim speeding off and her soon after. I guess the traffic had slowed a bit, but it couldn't really be jammed if he sped away, right?

Nit picking stuff only. This really was very good, CatLin. Well done.
Jacquelyn Horne07/06/07
Cute story.
Joanne Sher 07/06/07
Enjoyed reading this again, my friend - a great first entry. (I remember you chomping at the bit to enter LOL)
Julie Ruspoli07/06/07
Such a pleasant romantic story. I enjoyed this very much.
Loren T. Lowery07/11/07
I really enjoyed the way your story came together - it was logical and the emotions true to form (for everyone involved). I can see why you've progressed so well at FW...great job!