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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)

TITLE: Vanished into the Night
By LaNaye Perkins


Maggie could hear her dogs barking wildly that night. Several times she and her husband Sam had gone out to see if they could spot what had them so riled up. They knew from past experience that something was out there, even if they couldn’t see it. Later that night as she lay in bed, Maggie said another prayer asking God to watch over them and keep them safe. Even as she drifted off to sleep she could hear their barking fade into the distance.

Shawn and Duchess were good farm dogs. They guarded the livestock: that was their job and they did it very well. Shawn was a white German Shepherd and Duchess was a brindle boxer with a beautiful white markings. Both had been rescue dogs that Sam and Maggie had saved. They had been keeping this farm safe for several years, and were always close by whenever Maggie and Sam were out working on the farm. It seems all rescue dogs have a strong devotion to the humans that save them and Shawn and Duchess were no different. You just couldn’t find two dogs more loyal to their humans.

The next morning Maggie looked all over for Shawn and Duchess, but there was no sign of them. Throughout the day she would call out for them, but they never came. Later that evening she drove around the borders of her farm. She was hoping that maybe they had just gotten lost out in the woods surrounding her farm, but no luck.

By the second day she and her husband faced the heat and humidity of late August. Saddling up two of their best horses, they headed out into the forest that surrounded their farm. They searched the deep valleys and tall ridges, but came up empty. It was as if Shawn and Duchess had vanished into thin air.

The weeks slowly went by. Maggie took flyers around her small town and posted them. Several people called to say they had seen her dogs. Yet when she’d go to look she always came up empty. She missed her dogs terribly. The worst part was not knowing what happened to them.

The weeks turned into months and still Maggie looked for her two dogs. There were no longer any sightings of them. Yet, it still wasn’t in her heart to give up hope. She continued to look into the woods and fields whenever she left the farm. She never gave up hope that one day she might catch sight of them.

One day as Maggie headed down the gravel drive on her way to town. She was praying once again and asking God to keep Shawn and Duchess safe wherever they were. Then God spoke to Maggie’s heavy heart. He told her that He was with her dogs just as He was the day He led her to them. With that she knew in her heart that God is with all His creation, all of the time. She knew in her heart that she would probably never find out what had happened to her beloved dogs. However, she could rest in the knowledge that God knew, and He had been with them the night they disappeared.

Slowly Maggie turned her old truck onto the blacktop and headed down the road toward town. She hadn’t solved the mystery of what had happened to her dogs, but she knew she could trust the One who did.

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This article has been read 854 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Angela M. Baker-Bridge04/12/07
Very well written. Good job.
Jacquelyn Horne04/13/07
This was good writing. It kept me reading to the end. Flowed well.
Catrina Bradley 04/18/07
Good story - I really like the ending. It reminds me of how I need to be satisfied that God is in control even when I have no clue what He is up to. Thanks!
Julie Arduini04/18/07
You had my attention all the way through, good writing but that last sentence is the best, I can chew on the worth of that sentence for a good while! Keep up the excellent writing!
Emily Blakely05/18/07
Loved the story and can truly relate to the woman's heart of not giving up the hope the dogs would return, or at least finding out what happened to them. Living on our farm, we have prayed the same prayer many times, and as in your story, we ultimately must leave it in the Lord's Hands.