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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (the season) (07/23/09)

TITLE: The Spring
By Reta Medlin


The roar of the crowd rang in her ears as soon as she stepped through the curtain. The smell of sweat and odors so strong filled her nose, anyone who didn’t have adrenaline rushing through them for what she was about to do would’ve been losing all of their supper from the five previous nights up until now. She could hear the cheers and the insults from supporters and those against her alike. Some saw her as their own personal hero, someone who could go against the odds, prove the strengths of women, endure some of the greatest hardships and fight the good fight. Others saw her as a little girl threatening the dominance of men. She peeked out from her pink-lined robe, embossed with her name on the back. Those for her and her cause were raising their hands for a high-five, hoping to touch this anomaly of a woman. Others spat at her and on her, and she could see the disapproval on their faces as they booed her, hurled insults, and told her to get out of this man’s world.

She was relieved to be fighting Jack, one of the greatest fighters of modern times. Jack was a great fighter, polished in skill and honored by all who stepped into the ring with him. But Jack was also a fair fighter, and he would never try to take someone out in pure meanness. Jack fought by the rules, and only fought to win, not to hurt, maim or kill. Some of the men in this sport had a pure hatred for her for what she was doing in terms of trying to make a name for herself in this sport, and would try to be unnecessarily rough with her, beyond what was legal for the sport. The purpose of the sport was to showcase talent, not injure someone beyond their ability to lead a normal life, and definitely not to kill anyone. That’s why there were referees who would stop the fight in a second if things got too rough or it looked like someone was only out for blood for the pure enjoyment, or if a fighter looked as if he or she was trying to kill his or her opponent.

She had been injured in the ring by a man who had pure hatred for her and what she was trying to do, and was determined to over-compensate and prove a point. Taken out of this sport she loved for quite some time, she had healed her injury, and then got back to training. Through hot, sweaty, grueling months, she pounded the bags…and the pavement…getting up every morning at sunrise to run at least 5 miles a day, trying to get back into shape for fighting, and also to maintain her endurance. That was just the start of her day. The rest of the day, she would spend with coaches. Often it would be hours of just pounding the bags, her hands often growing bloody from rips and tears from the impact. Often she would have training partners with whom she would work on her submission moves. On so many days, she thought she was going to faint from the heat and loss of fluids, but she persevered. It was no easier during the cold winter months, when the sweat would practically freeze on her brow as she walked outside after a hot workout. She would collapse into bed, completely weightless and sore, but unable to feel it due to the pure numbness, and it wouldn’t take her long to pass out cold, only to get up the very next day at the crack of dawn and start it all over again.

That was how her summer, fall, and winter months went. But the spring brings with it a renewal: new hope…new opportunity…new chances.

As she approached the ring on this night, her ears started ringing in anticipation as she grew in nervousness. The crowd was now just noise, a sound buzzing in the background. She stepped into the ring, hearing her name called out. Then his name. This was it. Her moment. The spring.

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This article has been read 433 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jeanne E Webster 07/31/09

Very descriptive and imaginative. Good handle with grammar. The MC has terrific endurance and grit.

I am puzzled as to what sport this woman is working. With so much variety at play now, it's hard to tell what sport.

Good intro for longer story.
Nice smooth read!
Reta Medlin07/31/09
Thank you!

I wanted to comment as to what sport this woman was working. I left it purposely subtle for 2 reasons: 1. so that more people could relate to it and 2. because it had more than one inspiration.

The first inspiration was pro-wrestling, because I live in an area where it is really popular and grew up in the same area close to where Rick Flair lives. So I know many avid fans of pro-wrestling. But I wanted it to have more of a real feel to it. And my boyfriend is a HUGE UFC fan, and 'encourages' me to watch from time to time with him. When I watched, I was inspired by a fighter by the name of Matt Hughes who is always gracious to his opponents, gives them honor win or lose, and always ALWAYS gives glory to God for the strength to do the sport. So it is mainly inspired by ufc-style fighting. However, there is even another inspiration here, and that is the everyday work of women in male-dominated fields. A good friend of mine from high school and I got into a conversation about this, and it kind of sent my mind in this direction.
Reta Medlin07/31/09
In addition, I wanted to add, but wasn't sure how many characters I had to work with here, I had a part in the story where it expanded more on Jack and his Christianity, but I had to unfortunately take it out due to word constraints...however, in a way, I like the story better with fewer word and without this excerpt, but here was the original part that had to be taken out: She had sometimes wondered why Jack even fought at all. He wasn’t
your typical fighter. Jack was a Christian, and she wondered why a
Christian man like Jack would come and fight in a sport that had a
tendency to get so violent and bloody, in spite of the attempts at
making it a legitimate sport and not allowing anyone to die while
performing in it. She had watched as Jack had held pre-bout
devotionals with his coaches, refusing to discuss the regular stuff.
She had watched as he had prayed with his coaches, insisting upon
prayer before every fight. She had watched Jack’s kindness to his
opponents after every fight, and the grace at which he handled every
fight. And after every fight, win or lose, he gave honor to his
opponent, recognized his opponent’s achievement, and thanked God for
the ability and strength to fight.

She liked Jack as a person. Although she was not a Christian and
couldn’t relate to him on that level, she appreciated how he handled
his opponents, and respected him for his greatness in the ring. One
show, after a series of fights, he walked quietly back into the main
locker room and went to his locker, got a Bible out, and prayed. She
was trying so hard to get out of there quickly, as she had things to
do, but he came up to her. “Can I talk to you for a minute?” he
asked. “Yes,” she replied, because she knew how great he was and
figured it was an honor. “Do you know the Lord Jesus Christ as your
personal Lord and Savior?” he asked. “No,” she replied, “I don’t
even know what you’re talking about.” “Well, I can see you’re in a
hurry,” he started, as he saw the speed at which she was gathering her
things and trying to scurry out the door, “but can we talk about this
some other time?” “Yes, sure thing. I am sorry, I’m not trying to be
rude, but I really have to go. I have other things to do.” She said.
“No problem. I just noticed you were in a rush and didn’t want to
hold you up.” He said.
What a nice guy, she had thought as she hurried to her car to make the
fast getaway. He was always so thoughtful and considerate. She
always meant to have that conversation with him, but hadn’t had the
privilege of running into him again. She hoped he didn’t think she
was avoiding him. And then came the injury that took her out for
nearly an entire year. (in fact, this was a very difficult decision for me to make, what part to take out...but it just flowed better when I took this part out and not any other, so I almost had to choose this particular part to take out)
Connie Dixon08/01/09
Pretty impressive for a woman to go intot the ring with a man. My hat's off to her. Good read, keep writing!
diana kay08/04/09
good peice. I thought it was wrestling! If you had given the woman a name it would have made her more real and meant that there would be less "she" in it which although good to emphasihe the woman in the male world. I did not like the second sentence about the adrenaline and the vomiting of 5 days suppers??? I found it confusing and so interupted the flow at the important begining.
I know how hard it is to keep in the word count. I always write too much and then cut down. Why not put the longer story into the critics circle for some comments and feedback.
Finally I dont think the spring theme is strong enough !