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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Adolescence/Teen Years (07/16/09)

TITLE: Vacant Eyes
By Cheryl Copp
07/23/09


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Vacant Eyes. That’s the name they finally decided on for their band. Michael couldn’t remember who came up with the name, but it was the first name that all four of the band members could agree on. Besides, it didn’t matter anymore who came up with the name, because they were about to do their biggest show yet.

It was the last week before Christmas break and there was a dance at their high school that Friday. Michael did a great job of reassuring the vice-principal that there would be no “moshing” or any other “dangerous” activities. (He could be SO convincing when he put his mind to it.)


“Great show, Mike” the girls yelled to him when he finally left the school auditorium. He didn’t know who they were, never even noticed them before, but apparently he had “groupies”.

“You wanna go for a ride?” one girl asked, waving what appeared to be a bottle wrapped in a small paper bag.

Not wanting to let his biggest fans down, Michael jumped into the back seat. The girl in the back seat opened the bottle and handed it to him. He took a swig and almost gagged, turning his head so she couldn’t see that he had never tasted alcohol before. He pushed the bottle back to her, but she told him “It’s for you. Drink up!” The next gulp didn’t taste so bad, nor the one after that… then everything just faded away.


Carol was excited for her son and couldn’t wait to hear about his concert at the school. His singing sounded to her like screaming, but hey, it’s what kids like to listen to these days. Of course, she thought, she would have to wait until sometime the next day, because Michael always spent the night at one of his friends’ houses on Friday nights.

She had just finished washing the dishes and was ready for bed. She turned off the light in the bathroom and was about to head downstairs when a thought entered her head, 'check Michael's room.' She tried to dismiss the thought, because after all, Michael and his brother James were both spending the night with their friends.

She was halfway down the stairs when the thought came back, 'check Michael's room.' Okay, she thought to herself, this is silly, but I’ll do it or I won’t be able to sleep tonight.

Carol turned the light on in the boys’ room and was instantly struck with panic. There was her son Michael, lying on his bed. He was on his back, eyes wide open - but he wasn’t seeing her.

There was a line of drool coming from the corner of his mouth and Carol heard a faint snoring sound, then nothing. She felt his face and it was cool to the touch. Another several moments went by then there was another faint snore. “Michael”, she yelled right into his face. No response.

She ran to the top of the stairs and yelled for her husband. He ran up the stairs, took one look at Michael and said calmly “Call 911.”


The words from the emergency room doctor kept replaying in her mind “acute alcohol poisoning” and “coma”. The nurse hooked him up to a saline IV drip to flush out the alcohol in his bloodstream.

They had only been there a short while when their pastor came into the room. A few minutes later, Michael’s best friend showed up along with his parents. Carol told them what had happened and what the doctor had said.

Everybody that came into the room reassured Carol that Michael was in God’s hands. They then gathered around Michael and prayed not only for his complete recovery, but that God would use this experience to shape his life. Carol even tried to joke at how the name of Michael’s band, Vacant Eyes, seemed so fitting right about now.

Just after one o’clock in the morning, Michael regained consciousness. He looked around the room, surprised to see so many people gathered around. He laughed nervously when he finally realized why he was there.

The doctor had questions for him. Carol had questions for him too, but mostly hugs and kisses. God had preserved her son.

Then the pastor prayed over him that his life would be sealed in Christ. Michael nodded in agreement. It was good to be alive.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 07/23/09
Oh, good story!

I felt the ending was a tad bit weak. It didn't pack quite the "punch" I was expecting. Perhaps try ending it with some dialogue?

A great message, which was presented well! Great job.
Laura Manley07/24/09
This story kept the reader's interest throughout; however, I would like to have seen a bit more dialogue in the story. When you are using quotes, the second set of quotes are always on the outside of the punctuation. Thanks for sharing. Laura
diana kay07/27/09
a good story. I loved the vacant eyes link up to the band and the state of the son. Every parents nightmare but also a little unreal at times. How did the son get to his room without her knowing.? Maybe you could have explored the mums mixed feelings about her son. Alcohol is now such a big problem especially in the UK.I am pleased this young man survived.