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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)

TITLE: Doom Approaches
By Douglas Sowers


Sam leaned forward and stared for a while at his glass of ice water. He stared at the water beading on the outside while a variety of emotions washed over his face. Finally he stilled the muscles and with only a small crinkle between his eyebrows, he looked at Mort and said, “If you are to survive, we must devise a backup plan.”
Mort, sagging in his chair, kept his eyes aimed at the table while he twisted and untwisted the napkin. He opened and closed his mouth twice and then burst into tears. As his shoulders shook, Arthur reached over and patted his shoulder. Finally, grabbing the shoulder firmly and giving it a small shake, He stammered, “I know that this may mean some time for you in the cooler, but we’ll come visit regularly.”
Nick slammed his coffee down; splattering what little was left onto a passing waitress. “Mort, if you keep ignoring the issue,” he growled, “not only will you spend time in the big house, but Your wife will leave you, you will never see your kids again, your work quality will go down until you get fired, lose your house, and end up living on the streets. You need to trust the professionals to prepare you for the judgment.”
Mort looked at them with that lost hollow look. “It is too late for them. I really lost it this time. I tried everything I knew, but I just can’t seem to obey the law.” With a hand shaking that half the whiskey spilled out, he lifted the shot glass and downed the remainder. He motioned to the waitress to bring another, but she took one look, brushed at the new coffee stains on her outfit and turned to service another table.
Nick continued, “You got to go now, maybe they will bring the evidence during the middle of the trial.” He grabbed Mort’s arm roughly and pulled it up saying, “Help me you guys.”
Arthur and Sam leapt up and more gently raised Mort to his feet. Sam said, “There is no more time, Mort. You got to go. We will be working on a plan. Just don’t admit anything until the end.” Mort slowly straightened and walked confidently for a few steps, but then hung his head, dropped his shoulders and shuffled towards the door.
Arthur muttered, “He is dead. Even if we come up with something, he will have been judged already.” Just then, the loud screeching of tires and the slamming of doors was heard. Charlie and Amanda burst through the door crying success. Charlie stuffed a box of chocolates into Mort’s hand while Amanda gently laid a gorgeous bouquet in his other arm. Charlie said, “you only have five minutes to get across the street to beat you wife to the restaurant. Hurry and she will never know.” With that, Mort, eyes bright and head held high, strode out of the Lounge.
Amanda then took charge, “That will be $700.” Their jaws dropped, but she continued, “The chocolates were easy, but we had to cut the florist off at the exit to her parking lot. Then I had to keep bidding up the price on her most expensive bouquet until she turned and unlocked her door to make it. That wouldn’t be so bad, but in our rush to get back, we were stopped by the police. Only by promising to save his skin for free the next time he broke the law and forgot his wife’s birthday, did he let me off. At least this isn’t costing as much as the $1,500 spent last month when we had to send the violinist in mid meal to serenade Nick’s wife and present her with the anniversary ring. Remember, next month is a double. We have Sam’s anniversary and Charlie’s wife’s birthday.” With a laugh, she added, “call me to cancel if you don’t need me.”

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This article has been read 630 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 09/03/07
Great job with the dialog. I must admit, though, that I was a bit confused as to what exactly happened. They were breaking some relationship law? Maybe a bit more explanation would make this a little clearer.
Keep writing!
Brenda Welc09/03/07
Cute story. Hard to read though. A little more descriptiveness here and there would be helpful. Overall good writing! God Bless
Tracy Walshaw09/03/07
I like honest, gritty critique and hope you do, too. Here's my two cents: Really great dialogue and description paced the story quickly and made it interesting. Remember your basics: When a character speaks, always begin a new line. Never mix speakers in same paragraph. Also, leave a line of space in between each new paragraph - I made that mistake at first, too, - it makes for easier reading. Being evasive about the storyline is great for a while, but by the end we should completely understand what it was about, and this was a bit confusing as you left out details to help us understand: Time it took place (future?) and why such a law existed. Hope my rambling helps. You are really good. Keep writing!
Dee Yoder 09/03/07
I caught the gist of your story, and it's very clever and amusing! A bit more spit and polish, a few more words of explanation (use that 750-if you have to!), and this will be a bright, funny story. Keep at it! You have a great style developing here. :)
Julie Ruspoli09/03/07
Your idea's and imagination are great. Just polish up on your paragraph structure. Your description is wonderful, just make sure all the pieces of the story are included, have someone read it for you. You are a great writer in the making.
Joanne Sher 09/07/07
Congratulations, Douglas. Your entry has placed 15th in Level 1. With so many entries in this level, you've really done well. The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall is available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards.