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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

By mick dawson



A squat man tore the running beast to the ground just as a pack of feral dogs caught up with him. Clamping his jaws down on the neck of the animal spurred the canines to attack it simultaneously quickly ending its struggles.

They backed off waiting with freely salivating mouths as they had just tasted blood after the kill. The little man stared at the pack and tore free some of the meat and began to eat. He retired to the top of a nearby crest and ate his morsel in silence as the dogs ripped the carcass among themselves.

A small female broke away from the pack with a slab of meat in her mouth heading toward the feral man incurring a warm smile. She dropped the meat by his side.

“Ah sweet Natha. You always look after me little sister.” he yapped.

The barks in themselves were not words as such, merely a conveyance to transfer thoughts.

“Tonunda you always look after the pack before you look after yourself.” Natha pulsed, her words clearly resonating in his mind. “You cannot live on scraps.” she lamented. “Now eat.”

The man-dog hugged and patted the female before taking up the proffered meal.

“All this sacrificing.” she lamented. “Your dog brethren will be the death of you one day.”

“I would gladly die for them.”

“I meant needlessly!” she snarled.

Tonunda ceased to listen. His gaze fell on a large striped dog ambling at first toward the feeding pack then lunging at one of them. The unfortunate dog yelped and ran off. With flattened ears the intruder snapped left and right forcing away the indignant pack. He glowered at the assembled canines. They growled but didn't approach the larger beast. Satisfied that they would not incringe on his meal he closed his jaws on the semi eaten carcass.

“I did not think that we had strayed from our land.” Tonunda said to Natha.

The feral man stood on the embankment to address the unwanted guest.

Even as he chewed the flesh the striped canine looked at the absurdity on the ridge.

“Ah the man-dog! What is it men call you? 'Tonunda the Savage'?” he called.

“And you, what is a tiger dog doing here? We are not on your land!”

“What reason do you think? We have come in search of new lands.”

“Leave now.” the man-dog growled.

“I am a mere vanguard.It will avail you not to fight me. Even if some human god gave you victory over me the rest of my dog brethren will come in force if I do not return by sunset.” he growled.

With a sharp yap, the dog raced up the incline toward Tonunda who in turn, sped to meet him.

In mid leap, the two bodies collided and fortunately for the man-dog his superior weight was enough to over power the other beast. In a flailing of heads and a snapping of jaws, they slammed to the ground heavily.

The tiger dog managed to fold his jaws over the back of Tonunda’s skull, when he felt the pitiful teeth of the human clamp around his lower leg. With a yelp the striped dog surrendered his grip as the stubborn human encircled his arms around his ribs making any further biting impossible. The striped beast did however, kick and claw at the chest of his captor, raking gashes into him.

Tonunda gasped under the pain then tightened his grip and leapt two strides to the edge of the cliff hefting the beast over the edge. He watched as the tiger dog fell in a desperate flailing of feet struggling in a vain attempt to right himself all the way to the base of the mountain.

“Wait here.” Tonunda commanded the others as he began to desend the cliff face.

A large pack of tiger dogs had assembled by the edge of a clearing ready to search for their leader. With a meaty thump they turned their heads to see him laying among them evidently flung by the stranger present.

All curled their lips at the man with long raven black hair and eyes as green and untamed as the bush land itself. He growled at them savagely and snapped his jaws.

“He was your best.” he pulsed. “Look on him and see your fate if you venture into our land...be told.”

Saying that the man-dog turned for his home unharmed and unchallenged.

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This article has been read 713 times
Member Comments
Member Date
James Dixon01/10/08
A gripping narrative and a well told story. You made the packs feel real. Well done.
Jan Ackerson 01/10/08
You did a great job here, and this will appeal to its intended audience.

I can't find a connection to this week's theme...

Your writing skills are top-notch--well done!
Julie Ruspoli01/10/08
Wow...Did I say Wow. Such great discriptive writing.
I read it three times to understand it. So much action, readers who are used to reading this style will love it.
Once I understood what happened, I liked it even more.
I think I figured out your intended connection to the topic. More explanation would of course make it clearer.
Well done, keep writing for Him. I can't wait to see who you are and read more of your work.
Yvonne Blake 01/11/08
Wow! This is certainly a different approach. I was drawn in by the dialogue and setting.
You probably repeated the word "feral" a bit too much, but the descriptions were great.
Well done... keep writing.
Temple Miller01/11/08
Wow, terrific drama. Your writing was so descriptive that I watched the action. I enjoyed your very different take. But true to the prompt, your man-dog nipped (sorry, I couldn't help myself) the problem in the bud. Great work!