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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)

TITLE: The Wrong Crowd
By Amy Kuncaitis


The house was strangely quiet once again. The only light was the dim reading light near the sofa, in the living room, where Sandy sat up waiting for her son to come home. She knew in her heart he would not be back until morning at best but still, she waited hoping this time would be different.

“Come on to bed now honey, Cory will be fine.” Gerald gently tried to reassure his wife.

“I just don’t know how this happened.”

Sandy stared blankly into the night outside the large picture window.

“I mean, Cory is a good boy. He has always gone to church with us, kept his grades up, and never really has given us any trouble until now.” Sandy turned to her husband, with her eyes she pleaded with him to do something about Cory’s behavior.

“I know honey, I know. I am sure this is just a phase that all teenagers go through, I am sure he is just getting in with the wrong crowd…it is the crowd of friends he is with that is causing his behavior. Gerald gently put his hand on his wife’s shoulder, “Now, let’s go to bed, Cory will be here in the morning.”

Sandy reluctantly made her way up to bed. She knew in her heart that Cory was not just getting in with the wrong crowd. She knew by her husband’s passive attitude he did not believe Cory was the problem, that it was only his friends who were dragging him down. Before Sandy crawled into bed, she knelt down by her bedside and prayed that things would turn around before it was too late.

As dawn broke through the living room curtains, the rays of the morning sun shown down on Cory who was sleeping deeply on the sofa.

“Good morning sleepyhead!” An over cheerful Sandy greeted her son.

“Ugg. I need more sleep.” Cory took the sofa pillow and covered his head.

“Oh no, sorry dear, it is time for school and no, it is not optional.”

Just then, the phone rang.

“Hello?” Sandy waited on the line to hear another mother’s voice.

Cory glanced over to the kitchen to see the look on his mother’s face then, put the sofa pillow back over his head knowing he was in trouble.

“I see. Oh, I assure you Jane; we will get to the bottom of this and see that it is taken care of …today. I am so glad you called….no, no don’t apologize Jane, they were all there, they are all responsible. I am truly grateful for your call.”

When Sandy hung up the phone Cory knew it was not going to be pretty.

“What happened last night? You need to spill it now young man and I mean all of it!” Sandy yanked the pillow out of Cory’s hands and pulled off his covers.

“Ok,Ok” Cory put his hands up in the air as if to surrender.

“Me and my friends were hanging out…got bored…did a little T.P.ing…then a little egging….of Mr. Nelson’s new car…then Mr. Steven’s car….and…Mr. Connor’s car…but here’s the thing Mom, I swear I didn’t do any of it…well…except the TP but that’s it I swear! I told ‘em egging messes up the paint on cars and...I didn’t want to have to pay.”

Sandy was not impressed. “Well, guess what, you are going to have to pay just like everyone else! That was Mrs. Thompson on the phone and she already got a call from Mr. Steven saying he saw you boys last night. He said the damage wasn’t bad but it will take a day’s work to fix it.”

“But mom!” Cory blurted in, “I did not do it, it was my friends. I know they are the bad crowd…maybe I need to find some new friends…but they did it not me.”

“Well Cory, I prayed just last night this would all come out before it was too late. It is a hard lesson to learn but the fact is, if you are hanging with the bad crowd, you are the bad crowd.”

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This article has been read 432 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marlene Austin02/09/08
Nice story on the reality of how youth must experience difficulty themselves before they take the lesson to heart. :)
Laury Hubrich 02/09/08
Very good story. You showed us how much the mother truly cares for her son. I also like how she wasn't tempted to blame the other boys for her own son's behavior. That's rare these days. Good job. Keep writing!
Joanne Sher 02/10/08
Even if I DIDN'T know your "mental state" when you wrote this, I would be impressed. But, knowing it, Amy, I am absolutely praising God. Right on topic, and a very engaging story. A few "polishy" things to improve it, but nothing major. This is, I tell you, VERY impressive. Keep writing, my friend (and neighbor!).
Jan Ackerson 02/10/08
Good job--perfectly on topic, and I love that the mother didn't shield him from his consequences.
Holly Westefeld02/11/08
Way to go! Keep it up.
Leigh MacKelvey02/11/08
Nice story, on topic completely and well written. Keep the writing going on!
Shelley Ledfors 02/11/08
This is wonderful! The fact that you were able to write this, AND the story itself. Praise God!
Dianne Janak02/13/08
Yes.. great story.. on topic.. realistic and good handling of the situation with Mom's wisdom.. You hit the nail on the head.. and I loved the way you illustrated the moral.. Dianne J.
Sara Harricharan 02/13/08
Yep, you nailed the topic. I felt a little sorry for the mother, staying up late for her son and then having to get that call in the morning, but at least it all came out. The last lines were really good! Nice job. ^_^
Loren T. Lowery02/13/08
Good for the mom, standing her ground and teaching the boy a very valuable lesson. Your writing style is so easy and natural that it is a joy to read. Great job, keep writing, you certainly have the talent for it.
Maxx .02/13/08
This is very well done. You'll do well! Hope your doing better from the injury!
Lyn Churchyard02/14/08
Great story! Well written and on topic. Very smart mother too. So glad you are feeling much better Amy.