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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Doctor/Nurse (11/02/06)

TITLE: Dr. Eira's Health Resort
By Sara Harricharan


Sharon poked a tomato with her knife, jabbing at lettuce with her fork, scowling at both. “Stupid health resort!” She muttered.

“May I help you ma’am?” A too-cheerful voice with a brightly smiling face appeared at her elbow.

“Yes! Show me the way out of here!” The last words came out as a shriek, and a look of puzzlement briefly flitted across the cheerful face.

“I’m sorry ma’am. Dr. Eira will be ready for you in a moment.”

“Thank you, Daphne.” A new voice spoke from directly behind her and Sharon jerked around to look at the speaker. Dr. Eira dismissed her with a slight tip of her head, turning to Sharon. “Hi. I’m Eira. Welcome to the resort.”

Sharon glared back in response. “There’s nothing to eat here!”

Eira perked a brow at that. “Really? I’ll fix that. Daphne!” The smiling face appeared almost instantly, and Eira bent, whispering softly.

Straightening, she beckoned to Sharon. “They’ll fix you up something new, come with me in the meantime.”

Sharon eyed her suspiciously. “Where are you taking me?”

Eira smiled faintly. “Are you all right?”

“All right?” Sharon gave a short bark of laughter. “I was signed up to win a free trip to a kooky health resort by my ex-husband. My children decided to stay with him because his new girlfriend buys them bigger toys. My boss fired me for taking this free trip-my father died of lung cancer, I threw up twice on that stupid plane. My sister has been calling me non-stop to the point that I’ve turned off my cell phone. My luggage has gone to Alaska and you want to know if I’m alright?!”

The faint smile was replaced by a look of compassion, Sharon was close to tears and Eira gently guided her away from the café. “Tissue?” She offered.

Sharon accepted, blowing her nose loudly. “You don’t know what it’s like.” She whined, letting herself be pulled along. “And what kind of a name is Eira?”

“Welsh. Means snow.” Eira stopped in front of two large, wooden, doors, removing her slippers she waited.

It took Sharon a moment before she bent down and tugged off her Italian loafers, staring as Eira opened doors into a wide and empty room.

Circular, with fancy scrolls on the pale green and brown walls, smooth wooden floors and dressing rooms along one end, with a closet and shelves at the other side.

Leaving her in the middle, Eira headed for the shelves where she selected a white outfit and brought it to Sharon, motioning towards an empty dressing room. “Change into these, it’ll help you relax. After all you’ve been through-you need some time for you.”

Sharon stared at her for a moment then took the clothes, entering the room nearest to her. Her muffled voice filtered out through the bamboo doors. “White gets dirty too easily!”

“Let me worry about that-when was the last time you wore white?” Eira suppressed a smile.

There was silence and then a grunt. “You mean besides my wedding day?” The door popped open and Sharon walked out, tugging at the drawstrings. “I hate pants like this.”

Stifling a smile, Eira knelt, tying it loosely, then straightening and studying the result.

Reaching up around Sharon’s head, she gently pulled a scrunchie free, lightly combing her fingers through it.

Crossing the room, she pushed aside a curtain to show a hallway leading outdoors. The floor was sectioned off into boxes and to Sharon’s surprise, Eira walked right in them, motioning for her to follow.

First box was water, second box, a rough rock, third box, more water, fourth box, a white cream, fifth box, a reddish-brown powder.

Eira hopped out of the last box and onto the warm brick floor, her feet evenly coated in the strange mixture, watching as Sharon awkwardly followed suit.

Once outside, she led her down a walkway ending at a giant rock.

Showing her the footholds, she climbed up and waited.

The rock was warm and comforting to Sharon as she scrambled to the top and automatically headed towards Eira and joined her sitting, dangling her feet over the edge.

“You’re a strange doctor.” Sharon yawned.

Eira smiled. “One that cares. How do you feel now?”

Sharon blinked, her eyes misting over. “Great. Hungry. Sad.” A lone tear trickled down her cheek, and she turned into Eira’s open arms.

“Healing begins with closure.” Eira whispered.

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This article has been read 1548 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Dan Louise Mann11/11/06
Wow, you really took us all on a rollercoaster ride here. Very interesting. I find it hard to believe that Sharon could get "closure" with just this one strange session on that pretty big list of horrible things she related. But the strangeness of the setting and the treatment certainly did keep me reading. Kudos to you!
Betty Castleberry11/13/06
This is well-written. I see a couple of grammatical errors, but nothing major. I don't know if the word count got in your way or not, but the ending did feel a bit rushed. I did enjoy reading this, though, and would really like to see this become a longer story. I think it is something a lot of women can relate to. Nicely done.
Amy Michelle Wiley 11/13/06
Very facinating story. I found the boxes a bit confusing at first, but enjoyed the trip.
Donna Powers 11/13/06
An interesting story and I also would have liked to learn more about this place and what the boxes meant. A great start!
Joanne Sher 11/14/06
Definitely interesting! I enjoyed the read, but was also curious about the boxes. Great description!
Everest Alexander 11/14/06
Your writing is near impeccable. The tightness of your dialog and the smooth flow of the story make it a joy to read. Your descriptions work very well. Your narration is both entertaining and intellectual.

My two concerns are: (1) The use of the hyphen when a comma would suffice, it became a little distracting. (2) The ending: What happened? I suspect you're the victim of the ever dreaded 'word count.' But then again, THAT'S the challenge: To say what you need to say within that word count.

You left me wondering where the rest of the story was, and it was going soooo good! You're very skillful as a writer and I'm sure you won't stay in the beginners category for very long. Keep up the good work, mon ami!
Pat Guy 11/15/06
This was great! Just be a little clearer about box things and you've got it made!

You did a great job with dialogue and atmosphere. And you 'showed' the reader instead of 'telling.'

This was so interesting to read - well done all around! :)
Suzanne R11/16/06
What an interesting piece - excellent - I feel like I've just woken up from a dream I don't really want to leave. Great writing.
Val Clark11/16/06
So true that healing begins with closure! Visual story with very real voices for your engaging characters. yeggy
Jacquelyn Horne02/22/08
Liked the last line. Good message.