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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Evangelism (11/01/07)

TITLE: Under Anesthesia
By Yvonne Blake


Under Anesthesia
(a true story)

NO FOOD OR DRINK AFTER MIDNIGHT was written on her charts. She was hungry, and she couldn’t sleep. The clock on the wall taunted her with its ticking. The street lamp in the parking lot shined through the pink and white striped drapes, showing that it was only three o’clock. Suddenly, the fluorescent light above her bed glared in eyes.

“Sorry, Dear, I have to get your vitals before the end of my shift. Hmmm… Your blood pressure is a bit high. Are you nervous about the surgery? It will be over in a few hours. Try to go back to sleep.”

It was dark and quiet again, with the street lamp illuminating the ticking clock. "Back to sleep?" she thought. "How can anyone sleep when they’re poking you every few hours?"
She must have dozed, because the next thing she knew, the curtain next to her clacked along its track, separating her from the other bed. Voices whispered, bed rails clanked, and starched sheets ruffled. Finally it was quiet again.

“Hello? Is someone there? I’m Dorcas.”

A feeble voice answered. “I’m Sally.”

“What are you in for? I’m having thyroid surgery in a couple hours.”

“I’m having surgery today, too.” Her voice sounded tight and strained. “My kidneys are failing. They have to remove one and hope the other one will be enough. I expect I’ll be in here for awhile.”

“My birthday is Saturday, but I doubt I’ll be going home by then.”

“Saturday? That’s my birthday too!”

“Really? How old are you, Sally?”

“I will be sixty-seven. How about you?”

“I’ll be fifty-three.”

A new friendship budded as the ladies chatted back and forth through the thin striped curtain. Meal carts and cleaning carts bustled back and forth in the hallway outside their door. Buzzers and footsteps were ignored by them as they shared stories and experiences.

A nurse in pale-green scrubs swished into the room holding a tray of syringes, gauze, and alcohol wipes. She checked the charts at the foot of their beds.

“Dorcas? I need to give you something to relax you before we take you to the OR.”

Her pale face winced at the prick of the needle which placed the IV port into her arm. She felt the sting of anesthesia flow into her vein.

“Just relax, now. It will be all over before you know it.” The nurse checked the drip bag and opened the drapes. The sun peeked through the fluttering leaves of the maple tree.
“I’ll be back in a few minutes to get you, Sally,” she added as she scurried back out into the hallway.

The medicine was making her mind fuzzy…sleepy.

“Dorcas?” came the small voice from behind the curtain. “Dorcas, are you scared? I am… I’m afraid I’ll die.”

“No, Sally, I’m not afraid.” Her mind was drifting. "No…I can’t go to sleep. I have to tell Sally about Jesus. I can’t think! Lord, help me…"

(four hours later)

“… believe…”

“What did you say, Dear? Would you like some water? That will make your throat feel better. Here’s the button if you need me for anything.”

(two hours later)

“Dorcas?” a hoarse whisper floated through the room.


“Dorcas, I did it.”

“Did what?”

“I believed, just like you said.”

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This article has been read 1047 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Therese Witkus11/12/07
Your story flows nicely and the message is on topic. We do our best and God uses what we offer to further his purpose. Well said.
Jan Ackerson 11/12/07
You did a super job with this, especially in the first half.

Instead of the parenthetical phrases toward the end, consider writing transisitional sentences. Your writing skills are definitely up to the task, and it'll keep the flow going better.

Very nice story--I was expecteing you to go in another direction, and was pleasantly surprised.
Jan Ross11/12/07
Good job! Particularly interesting angle on the topic. Your descriptions were very well written. I agree with Jan, the parentheticals near the end aren't necessary--it would have been very easy to eliminate them and the reader still understand everything well. You're a good writer. Keep it up! You should be pleased with this entry whether or not you place! You did very well! :)
Marita Vandertogt11/13/07
This flowed nicely - with good character development through the budding friendship - and right on topic as well. Keep writing!
LauraLee Shaw11/13/07
Great story--very realistic and held my attention the whole way. And I LOVE it when the outcome is a positive one!
Patty Wysong11/13/07
Great job! You kept the flow going even through the time lapse. Very good!! Hugs!
Anothervoice Sunstar11/13/07
Realistic description of "going under" and the fogginess of coming out of anesthesia. I was only disappointed that the story ended! :) Would love to know more of further conversations between these two before they were discharged. Nice job.
Betty Castleberry11/13/07
This has a great sense of place. I was right there in the room with the ladies. Very nicely done.
Kristen Hester11/13/07
Very well written. You are a very talented writer. I enjoyed the vivid descriptions and images. Keep up the great work.
Laury Hubrich 02/18/08
Wow! Love how God used the woman even while she was put to sleep!