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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Editor (05/27/10)

TITLE: The Old Well
By Maria Egilsson


The unedited draft

The woman

Dust swirls around her feet as she slowly makes her way to the old well nestled at the foot of the mountain. It is the sixth hour and the desert sun blazes hot and heavy in the cloudless sky.

Sweat drips between her shoulders as she hoists the heavy clay pot onto her head. This is a task for a younger woman but she is childless and has no female relative to help.

It would have been cooler coming to Jacob’s well earlier but she wants to avoid the wagging tongues of the townspeople. This is the time of day when all but the very young seek shade and rest.

The watcher

He is tired and thirsty. His followers have been sent on to buy food so he is alone at this well on the outskirts of Samaria.

He waits as the woman approaches. Her eyes are downcast and her face ravaged by the rays of the Mediterranean sun.

The water

The woman of Samaria draws near and is startled when a voice calls out demanding a drink. Her eyes quickly note that this is a Jew. How well she knows her lowly status in his eyes. Why would this man be asking her, a shunned Samaritan, for a drink?

How well she knows her sinful state and here is a pious Jew asking her to serve him. Astonishment gives an edge to her voice as she retorts, “How is that you, a Jew, asks a drink of me?”

He begins to speak to her about living water. Water that is so pure that one drink would quench her thirst forever.

Hope begins to rise within. If she could drink of this water, even just once, then she would not have to walk in open shame to this well again.

The shame

The Jew asks her to call her husband to come as well to this well. The pain of her shame pierces her soul as she blurts out the sinful truth, “I don’t have a husband.”

She, who had been discarded by many men, lives in open sin with another. Disappointment is like dry sand in her thirsty soul. Averting her face she makes herself ready to leave the well.

The final draft

The shame erased

Jesus reaches out his hands to gently turn her face to his. Just one touch and the woman understood the spiritual refreshment that is hers for the taking.

With this man from Galilee there is no reason to hide her shame. The living water washes away the guilty stain as she drinks thirstily from the cup he holds within his hands.

The woman redeemed

Leaving her water pot at his feet she nimbly runs down the dusty road to the village. Drowsy townsfolk stumble from the shade as her voice calls them to come.

Rubbing the grit from their eyes they scarcely recognize the woman who stands straight and tall before them.

The watcher revealed

“Come see a man who knows all about the things that I have done,” she cries out to them. “He offered me living water to drink and he took away my shame.

With eyes no longer downcast the woman faces the gathering crowd and asks, “Could this be the Messiah?”

The water of life

The disciples return to the well and offer food to Jesus. He tells them that he has already eaten.

In bafflement they look around but see no traces of food. Jesus explains that he is nourished by doing the will of God.

Turning he looks at these men who struggle to understand. He speaks to them of a harvest that is ripe and ready to be gathered in. The ones who are thirsting for living water that gives eternal life.

A new chapter

The woman leaves her water pot, her livelihood, at the well. She has decided to follow this man she calls Messiah.

A crowd gathers around as she tells them about the man who waits at the well. Her words compel them to follow her as she leads them to the One who offers living water to all who ask.

Dust swirls around her feet as she leads them to the old well nestled at the foot of the mountain….

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This article has been read 572 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ashley Nicole 06/03/10
Very layered and engaging. I loved the play on words -- the physical well and the semantic well, and then as I read, it seemed you made the Samaritan well (the woman). She is dry and cracked (as we all are), but when Jesus comes and speaks, hope rises in her (like water in a well), and He brings living water (to fill her empty well). Excellent. Inspired and literary. Thoroughly enjoyed. I also really enjoyed the fictionalized explication of a "story" from the Bible.
Mildred Sheldon06/03/10
What a beautiful story. I enjoyed this very much. Good job and God bless.
Dusti (Bramlage) Zarse06/04/10
I love when writers seem to bring the Bible to life, and you have done a masterful job. Thank you.
Jan Ackerson 06/04/10
Gorgeous writing that I'd expect in a higher level. Very well done.

My only concern is the on-topic-ness; I understand that you made it into an extended metaphor/allegory for 'editor', but if this ECs, it may not fit in with the intent of the final compilation (all about the writer's life).

Nevertheless--this is superb!
Fredrick Nicholson06/04/10
Very well done. You definitely brought the story to life! The Bible is layered in truth and speaks to the soul and spirit of those who will hear. God has spoken through you to our benefit. Be Blessed!
Karen Laskowsky06/04/10
Nicely done. When I read it, I am the woman at the well.

Seems skind of off topic, but then I'm new here, so take that with a grain of salt.
stanley Bednarz06/05/10
At first, I too thought it skirted the topic, until seeing Jesus who edited her life with forgiveness, and charged her to script a new bginning. both clever and engaging drama based on scripture.
Fern Brown06/07/10
I enjoyed this story very much. You did a great job!
Ruth Clowater06/09/10
Very creative! You managed to sand down the corners of a square peg and hammer it down a round hole. Great storytelling.