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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Police (10/12/06)

TITLE: A Time to be Born and a Time to Die
By Catrina Bradley


Evie knew that he had lied. What he said didn’t even make sense. It WAS important what people thought about her. And she knew that people always look down on the rape victim. No matter what Evie said, no matter how loudly she proclaimed the truth, people would doubt her. “I wonder what she did to encourage him?” “How was she dressed, by the way?” “Was she maybe a bit too friendly?” Oh, yes, Evie knew – she herself had asked those same questions when reading the newspaper, or seeing a story just like hers on TV. No, the cop may have been a nice guy, but he didn’t tell her the truth.

The old Evie was just a memory now. Her life didn’t end during the ordeal, but she could feel the emptiness, the dead hole inside of her soul nonetheless. She had told him that, but the lying cop said that a NEW life can be born from this death. She didn’t want a NEW life; she just wanted her OLD life back. She wanted the smiling, friendly, trusting Evie back. But she couldn’t fathom ever seeing that Evie again, let alone some “new, better” Evie. “Unblemished?” “Clean?!?” Right! She bore a permanent Scarlet Letter worse than the classic “A”. Hers was a red, neon, flashing “R”, for Rape. It wasn’t embroidered onto her bodice, but branded on her heart.

Stifling a sob, she turned and stared once again out the windows of her sun room. She felt relatively safe curled up here on the loveseat; she could see in every direction. She would be able to see if someone snuck through the secluded back yard this time. She scanned the ground for what seemed like the millionth time, searching for the condom wrapper the cops didn’t find. She knew they didn’t believe her about the condom any more than they believed her about the knife. Yes, she could feel the shameful “R” burning, charring, scarring her. There could be no “cleaning” it away, no matter what the cop had said.

Evie’s neck began to ache. The last two weeks were a blur of not sleeping, sitting guard, and re-living over and over the eternal 30 minutes when she had died inside. Standing to stretch, still watching the windows, she idly put her hands in her pockets and felt paper. Numbly, she pulled out a folded little pamphlet – ah, yes, the “tract” that the nice cop had slipped into her hand as he lied to her. She rolled her eyes, and started to toss it in the trash, but something compelled her to look at it. After one more glance to the right, and to the left, to make sure no one was sneaking through the yard, she started skimming over the booklet. Certain words caught her attention.

“All of us have become like one who is unclean…” I know I’M certainly unclean now.

“…the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us…” Ick! How can blood cleanse?

“What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?” Hmmm, good question!

“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Gift, huh? Nah, nothing is really “free”.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. What?!? Can it be THAT easy, just “believe”?

Her curiosity was spiked and her fixation forgotten. She had to know more about this stuff. She thought about calling that nice cop, but knew he’d be busy with more important things, like catching rapists. Instead, she dug in the back of the closet and pulled out the dusty Bible her Grandma had sent years ago. Settling once again into the refuge of the loveseat, she glanced at the pamphlet again, and then searched until she found the first verse she had read, then the second, and soon she was devouring entire Books at a time. Not noticing that the sunlight had grown dim, she was startled when she heard her husband’s key in the lock. Only then did she realize how long it must have been since she last checked her back yard. Glowing and confident, she rose to greet her love with a smile and a light in her eyes he hadn’t seen for a fortnight. “Honey! I’m so glad you’re home. There is something you’ve just GOT to hear…”

Scripture used, in order of appearance:

Ecclesiastes 3:2, NIV (Title)

Isaiah 64:6, NIV

1 John 1:7, NAS

Mark 8:36, NIV

Romans 6:23, NIV

John 3:16, NIV

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This article has been read 1392 times
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Sara Harricharan 10/19/06
This was quite a story to read. I love how you showed the conflict and portrayed Evie's emotions and feelings.
Pamela Kurbat10/20/06
I really like this story. You were able to bring me into the thoughts and emotions of this young rape victim. I love the fact that she was consumed with finding answers in scripture, and that there was a change for the better as a result. Light shone in the darkness! I also love the fact that she was eager to share what she'd learned with her husband. Great story!
Donna Powers 10/20/06
A very good story. You definitely showed the progression of her inner thoughts and brought it to a very nice conclusion. Keep writing!
Jan Ackerson 10/23/06
Great title for this story, and you told it very well, doing a marvelous job of accurately portraying her brokenness.

A suggestion: resist the temptation to tie everything up neatly, especially given the word limitation. Your ending seemed rushed, and might have been more effective if you just let your readers peek at her eventual salvation.

Lots of really, really good stuff here.
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/25/06
Great story! I agree that you don't always have to wrap the ending all up, and could end with her headed to get her Bible, but on the other hand, sometimes it's okay to give a complete ending! Good job!
Donna Haug10/25/06
Great take on the police topic. I thought it was good that you showed what had happened to her without reliving every detail. Just enough so that we know. Good job.
Stacey LaMontagne10/25/06
Good job!

You do show promise in being able to write about emotionally icky things like that and still keep a good feeling by the end. Wow. I felt for her. So sad.

Keep writing! HUGS. :)
Cassie Memmer10/26/06
Good job! You let us completely into the girl's thoughts and feelings, then brought hope back into her heart. Great writing!
Val Clark10/27/06
An unpleasant subject, you did a great job in plumbing the depths of your character's emotions. You took us on an emotional roller coaster without going into gorey details. Well written.
Jacquelyn Horne07/19/07
This was very good. A believable account of how a rape victim might feel. Very good word picturing.