Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Light and Dark (05/21/09)

TITLE: The Light Went Out
By Terry Atchison


“Hey! C'mon, you guys. Let's go down and shoot some buckets. We're burning light here, and I have some money to win back. Get up!”

It was another beautiful, bright, sunny day, off the coast of North Vietnam. The USS Shangrila was slowly cruising along through the calm, emerald waters. Today was Sunday, a 'stand-down' day for the crew. There was a bar-b-que on the flight deck for the six thousand plus men on board. A lot of them were tanning on the flight deck. It was very hot and humid, as usual, but a strong little breeze kept the heat just below stifling.

Stew had just came down to the operation department's compartment to see if any of the electronics technicians wanted to play some B-ball.

“Go away! Let us sleep!” Was about the only answer that he received from most of the men who were in their bunks.

“Okay, you're on.” That was Danny Brown. He was always ready for a challenge.

“Hope y'all have a lot of money. A dollar a basket; first to thirty with a two point lead, wins. Okay?'

“I'm in too.” Terry answered.

“I'm coming too.” John called out, as he jumped out of his bunk. John's family name was Blanke, so he had been dubbed 'Zero' from the first day he came on board.

So, the four young men played basketball for several hours in the hanger bay of the aircraft carrier. They were like brothers, a family. Stew, Danny, Terry, and John. They were all twenty, except Danny, who was twenty-two.

A few nights later, as Stew was refueling a fighter, his gas hose split open and JP5 jet fuel spewed all over him, two other men, and the flight deck. A few seconds later, there was an enormous fire. The night became day for some terrible, long minutes, as the fire raged.

Terry didn't recognize him, as the medics carried him down to the sickbay. Only later did he learn that the charred body passing by him in the corridor on the stretcher, was Stew. He died two weeks later. The two others survived with minor injuries. Stew was twenty, had been married a year, and had a six-month old baby boy. He had two months of active service left to do.

At night, in the Pacific Ocean, there is a plankton that rises to the surface. They are phosphorescent, and make any disturbance in the water appear to glow. Terry was watching the 'glowing' wake of his ship as they cruised along in the moonlit night. The trail stretched to the horizon, behind the ship. It was another warm, beautiful night. He was praying and talking to God.

“God, why did this happen to Stew? He was a good man who would give you the shirt off his back, if you needed it. And his family. The pain they must be suffering. Please let me know that he is in Your hands now.”
At that moment, a shooting star flashed across the sky.

He remembered Genesis 1:2 “Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.'” Terry knew that God was watching over them and that He had chosen to 'turn off' one light here below, so as to allow a bright star to shine in the dark sky.

“Hey Stew. We love you and miss you, buddy.” Terry smiled and went back inside.

Stew was a young black man, from San Diego, and Terry, just a young white kid from a small town in Illinois. They were friends.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE

JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 494 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 05/28/09
Your last lines carry a lot of impact and a good twist to this story, I think if you'd dropped a few more hints about Stew etc, earlier in the story, it would've carried a much biggger kick of an ending. otherwise, still a good story, thanks for sharing.
Jan Ackerson 05/29/09
Both heartbreaking and heartwarming--thanks for this story!

FYI--I believe Shangri La is two words.

Love the little epilogue, and the fact that the men's races were insignificant in their friendship.
Loren T. Lowery05/29/09
You write in a very engaging, believable way. Your dialogue was very good and I really like the way you used elements of nature to bring us into the mind of your MC. I agree about the hints regarding the color of the skin; and I think introducing it in a subtle way at the beginning would add depth to the friendship of both your characters. Nice job!
Delores McCarter06/01/09
I thought I was reading from a page out of a book. Good story line.

In my humble opinion, I think you should not be writing at the level designated for novice writers. Your writing is polished enough to graduate to the next level at least.

I'd like to read more of your work, so keep writing and polishing your craft.
Helen Murray06/03/09
Great story, and I don't doubt there are many more where that came from.