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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Reader (04/15/10)

TITLE: The Reader (iv)
By Lynda Davis


As he lowers himself into the dark chair by the unruly fire, He looks at the cover of an old book. Abigail Davis. Heís read this story before. The cover is worn and partly ripped from circumstances of an aged life, but the inside pages were pristine. The protagonist is introduced, Abigail Davis, but she is very familiar to the Reader already and an instant connection inspires Him to pull His glasses from a small pouch for a more detailed look.
Itís a beginning like any other, small steps with big firsts that build and connect the character and Reader. But as the story grows, so does Abigail. Page by page her life is exposed; raw and bear waiting for the Examiner to pull apart the ascending and descending plots that bound the book together.
Devastation impacted Abigail early in the novel. The sudden death of her father was as instant blow to the entire Davis family; however, Abigail did not recover as quickly as the rest. Heartache and grief gripped her body and paralyzed her mind. The unbearable loss only taught Abigail to withhold love from those placed in her life.
The Reader pauses, her pain has gripped His heart but with tender hands He turns to the next page.

Blank. Void. Nothing is written on the page. Itís a part of Abigailís life that emptiness had taken over and there was little she could do. Since his death, every decision took her farther away from the family she had once known. A new boyfriend: jailed. Different friends: on drugs. Chains of events that lead Abigail down the wide path of destruction. Every decision started a new link and every link started a new page. But this wasnít the story she wanted to write.

Abruptly the Reader stood. Where were the clean pages He had seen before? This story had changed and the filthy collection He was now holding began to burn in His hands. There was no other choice. As He took off His glasses and brought those large hands to His face, the Reader tiredly rubbed His eyes and brought Abigail Davis to the hearth.

But something caught His ear. There was a soft calling that tugged at His heart as He opened the book once again. Something was different. Something was new.

Abigail had descended to her lowest and hope had withdrawn into the dark but someone was calling out. It was a voice familiar to her, a kindness she had known in her childhood. Abigail closed her eyes and answered.

The Reader stopped, and as the soiled pages transformed into the spotless paper that once was, He laid the book on the fire and patiently waited for it to turn into gold.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Maria Egilsson04/23/10
I read through your words a few times. The thoughts were hard to follow, at first. I then I saw the beauty of what you had written; Abigail will come forth as gold. I felt the tenderness and sadness of the Reader as He read the soiled pages of her life. The pages of our lives, He knows and He will redeem each and every part.
Phee Paradise 04/25/10
I like the way Abigail's life actually occurred during the reading. You had some inconsistencies in tense and phrasing and I was confused about the empty page, since you went on to describe her actions. I really liked when He put her book in the fire and saw her life turn into gold.
Misti Chancellor04/26/10
Interesting approach to the topic. A little hard to follow. A couple of suggestions that have been made to me in the past that I'd like to pass on: 1) Do more showing than telling. This felt like it had a lot of telling in it. 2) Come up with a title for your work rather than using the topic. It will help draw people in to read what you've written.

I like the thought you share in your story. Keep writing. :-)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/29/10
This is absolutely beautiful.

You might want to divide the first paragraph into smaller ones. It'll help grab the reader's attention.

Congratulations in placing in the top 15 of your level. Good job!