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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)

TITLE: The Alley
By Skittles .


Impenetrable fog drenched blackened stone of a cluttered alleyway. The sound of footsteps echoed down the narrow space. A lone boy trudged aimlessly toward the alley. He couldn’t remember from which direction he had come, he had long since gotten lost and couldn’t use his cell phone to call for help because he had no signal. Confusion was written on his face, uncertainty clouded his eyes.

Panic bubbled up in his body, as it did ever time her entered an alley.

Listless, he stared at the toes of his worn boots. A glass container skittered down the musty space as his boot struck it, he looked down the passageway. Empty beer bottles and cigarette packages were scattered with other debris that littered the walkway. Fresh spray paint oozed down the pitted, muddy walls.

Shuddering, he pulled away from it.

A soggy cardboard box scrapped on the gravel, a hand scattering shredded pieces of paper. A muted moan drifted back toward the boy, along with the stench of cigarette smoke and an unwashed body. A haggard, drunken man staggered forward, his red shirt stained many times with alcohol. Fresh liquid was smeared down his front. A half empty beer bottle was clutched in his muddy hand. A package of cigarettes stuck out from one pocket of his filthy jeans.

Holding onto a thin emotion of calm, the boy backed up, his elbow jammed into someone’s stomach.

A much larger drunk roared at him, throwing his weight against him.

The boy’s insides melted in pure terror as the man gripped him in a tight head lock. Immediately his panicked mind thought back to what his karate sensei had said in class two days early; “The fight is over the moment you tense up and freak out. Its terrifying to be attacked. So if you are, take a deep breath and relax.’”

Sucking in a ragged breath, the boy dislodged the head lock. The bloated body of his attacker flipped over his shoulder. The boy staggered, banishing his fear he forced himself to focus on his calm center.

The man with the red shirt wildly swung a punch. The boy dodged the fist, kicking out backward as he did. The drunkard spun as he fell, his beer bottle flying out of his hand, smashing into the wall above the boy’s head, splattering him with the fowl tasting liquid.

He felt a stinging pain under his eye as the broken shards dropped to the ground.

The drunkard was livid, cursing in a loud voice. He ran at the boy, jabbing the air with his fists, spitting as he yelled. The boy ducked under the first punch, stumbling on bottles the second punch hit his jaw, causing him to bit his tongue.

Blood traced a crimson line down his chin as he fell spinning, throwing a hooking kick to the back the drunkards neck.

The man fell motionless to the cold cement.

As he fled the boy thought; I may have done the fighting, but I thank God helping me stay calm.

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This article has been read 563 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 09/23/07
This reads like a cinematic moment--I could see and hear every action.

I would have liked some explanation--how old is this boy? Why is he lost? How did he get there? Not knowing some of these things just sort of niggled at the back of my mind as I read, because I had to constantly shift my mental picture.

Good, terse writing in a voice that fits the situation.
Sharlyn Guthrie09/24/07
You did a good job of describing the action and building the plot to its climax. I hope you keep writing, because your writing shows promise. Be sure to proofread your work, or else have someone proofread for you.
Brandi Roberts09/24/07
Not sure why you're nervous about what we'll say. Your writing is fantastic.

You held my attention the whole way through, you showed good judgment in word choice, the piece flowed, though a little background might have helped.

I really enjoyed reading this piece!
Catrina Bradley 09/24/07
I was right there in the alley with him - great descriptions of the scene and the actions. A few minor technical things, but your writing is very good! And welcome to FW!
Dee Yoder 09/25/07
Welcome to FW! I agree with the other comments that you have a fine writing style. I was drawn right in to your story. Your descriptions are quite vivid, and you presented this topic with a unique voice. You only need to have someone else read over your entry, polish it up a bit, and you'll have a great first start! You did much better than I did on my first entry. I predict you'll really grow and learn here at FW!
Laurie Walker09/25/07
Like the others said, you did such a good job for your first submission! Follow the advice you've been told: proofread! I too was confused by the age. When you say boy I was thinking seven or eight. But being able to stand up to a very large drunken man made me think he must be older. I also couldn't understand why he was in alleys. I thought he might easily find a main street to ask for help.

Your descriptions were wonderful, and you kept it flowing. Well done.
Joanne Sher 09/25/07
Absolutely amazing descriptions. You will do well here. Thank you for hinting!!
Dianne Janak09/26/07
Excellent writing.. Loved all the descriptions, the tension, the drama... felt I was there at teh scene... thanks for your offering..