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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Unsung Hero (12/07/06)

TITLE: "When the Rooster Crows"
By Annette Ciaravino


Laura enjoyed the peace and quiet of Grandma and Grandpa Ellis’ farmhouse. It was always a welcome reprieve from her hectic life in the city. Spending the first weekend of every month there proved to be the only way of keeping herself from the ever-present temptation to murder her boss. Listening to Mr. Young bark out orders day in and day out was more than Laura could bear, not to mention having to deal with the incessant flirtations of her new coworker Dave. No matter how many times she turned down his requests for a dinner date, Dave just wouldn’t give up. He even went as far as to follow her home once, which really gave her the creeps. So, Laura was thankful when her weekend getaway time rolled around again. She smiled with anticipation as she pulled up to the old farmhouse, half expecting Grandma Ellis to greet her on the front steps with the aroma of freshly baked apple pie wafting through the screen door. Of course, Grandma Ellis was long gone, so Laura settled for kicking back on the porch swing as she basked in the solitude of nature’s ringtones.
That night Laura drifted off to sleep easily. No subway sounds, no sirens, and no boss! Ahhh…just the sounds of nature. She loved it all, except for the incorrigible rooster that would inevitably crow at 3:45 am. She wondered why God had made such a horrible creature whose only purpose seemed to be the interruption of her sleep. Oh well, maybe this time she would be able to ignore it.
Thankfully, Mrs. Murphy, who lived a mile down the road, never chose to ignore the rooster. In fact, she welcomed the reminder to rise up out of slumber. By 4:00 am, Mrs. Murphy could be found kneeling upon a pillow on her now arthritic knees as she eagerly sought out her morning assignment. This day, as she moved her lips in prayer, an unsettling image came to mind. A man in his mid-thirties was leaning on a windowsill as he stared with trance-like eyes at a sleeping woman inside.
With militant fervor, Mrs. Murphy began to speak forth the Word of God, taking authority over the unseen forces of darkness. She called forth legions of angels to guard and protect the sleeping woman as she diligently persevered in prayer for the evil intents of the man to be stopped before he could do any harm. She continued in this manner for the span of one hour until suddenly her lips became peacefully silent.
Down the road, a prowler was enjoying the sight of Laura covering her head with a pillow to block out the sound of the rooster. The prowler thought the pillow might be equally effective in drowning out Laura’s screams. After a time of watching her, he walked around to the front porch and easily pried open the aged lock. He entered and paused for a brief moment as a twinge of guilt played tug-of-war with his cold conscience. A cuckoo clock announced it was 5:00 am.
He headed towards the bedroom only to be distracted again by the sound of footsteps moving across the wood floor. He tried to run, but was frozen in place as a large man moved in his direction. The prowler cried out, “Please don’t hurt me! I promise I’ll never bother her again!”
Hearing muffled screams through her feather pillow, Laura reached for the phone and called the police. The man’s desperate pleas continued as Laura quickly got dressed, tiptoed to the door, secured the lock, and peeked through the keyhole. To her surprise, the man’s voice belonged to her coworker Dave!
Laura’s shock was interrupted as the sheriff arrived with his gun drawn expecting to find a dangerous criminal. Instead, he found crazy-eyed Dave yelling at a blank wall in the hallway of the Ellis’ farmhouse. After cuffing the man and putting him in the squad car, the sheriff called Mrs. Murphy to come sit with Laura until her nerves calmed down. Mrs. Murphy arrived just as the sheriff drove away.
“Oh, Mrs. Murphy, thank you for coming. I was so scared! That man kept hollering at the wall as if someone was actually there telling him not to hurt me…talk about crazy! I hope all the commotion didn’t wake you up.”
“Oh no, dear. Don’t you worry about that. I always get up when the rooster crows.”

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Member Comments
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Catrina Bradley 12/15/06
I like this story! Very nice. I love this: "she basked in the solitude of nature’s ringtones." Good descpriptive writing, and a nice ending. Well done!
Dennis Fletcher12/15/06
Well written, but for a few small typo's. Good story, like the way it ended, very nice.
Try to seperate your paragraph's with spaces. This makes it much easier to read. I recieved this comment twice before I finally listened.
Pamela Kliewer12/15/06
I loved this! Your story really pulled me in! It brought tears to my eyes... and really made me think...

One thing... separating your paragraphs is a good idea.
Leigh MacKelvey12/15/06
This had a lot of qualities a good story needs: suspense, visuals and a good ending! Take the suggestions above and you'll have a winner!
Donna Powers 12/15/06
This story definitely drew me in and kept me in suspense. So glad for prayer warriors like that. Nice work.