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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)

TITLE: A Tough Story To Write
By Gary Morris


A Tough Story To Write

The dawn of another autumn Saturday slowly began to appear as the long dreary Friday night faded into history unlike any before it. Through red swollen eyes, Jim stared out the kitchen window watching the leaves fall to the ground. Only weeks ago they had budded into a bright yellowish green to announce that Spring had arrived. Today they are covering the ground in bright orange and brown. Tomorrow they will be raked into a pile and discarded like all the leaves before them, too soon forgotten.

The ringing cell phone quickly demanded Jimís attention. The display flashed ďTony JamesĒ who was Jimís boss at the local paper where Jim had delivered a daily news article for almost twenty years. Tony and Jim argued for several minutes over Jimís Sunday article that was yet to be written. Tony insisted on having another writer prepare the story to make it somewhat easier on Jim. However, Jim was determined and after much arguing finally won the debate.

Saturday evening Jim pulled away for the crowd gathered in his home, walked into his study and closed the door behind him. Collapsing on his desk, he sobbed uncontrollably as his tears soaked the papers on which he was to write. This was going to be the most difficult news to share with his faithful audience, but he had an obligation.

Several agonizing hours of replaying the unfortunate happenings of Friday night slowly evolved into a touching story suitable for the readers of the Sunday news. It would be painful for the readers, but not as painful as it had been for the writer.

Jim slowly leaned back into his leather chair and brought the printed papers closer to his tear filled eyes to give it one last proofing. The game, the trip to Hardees, the fateful ride, the accident, the ambulance ride, the phone call, the emergency room, the doctors and the devastating news was all there. It contained more detail than other stories. It was certainly more personal than any that Jim had written before.

He clicked send and the story was off to the editor in time to beat the deadline. Soon Jimís latest newsworthy piece was printed, folded and stacked. The bundles were thrown into the vans, and the delivery team was on their way to fill the empty racks all over town with the Sunday paper. Some were thrown onto lawns to greet the early Sunday morning risers. Soon the entire town was reading in a state of shock.

Tears dripped on the papers at the diner as the regulars gathered to eat their morning omelet and have their coffee. An eerie silence roamed the small town. All that could be heard was the whisper of the town crier making for certain everyone had read, or at least heard the news.

Jim, in his own elegant way, pushed through excruciating pain and revealed to his faithful readers that while each slept in their cozy bed on Friday night he had faced the chilling hand of death.

He had answered the call. He had driven to the emergency room at the local hospital in the chilling hours before dawn. He had plunged through the door only to hear the words, ďIím sorry, he didnít make it.Ē He had felt as though his world had come to an end and his plans had all been shattered.

Jim then faced the painful task of planning a funeral, choosing a gravesite and dealing with deep pain within himself. His one and only son, his namesake, and his new found golf buddy had been tragically taken from him in an automobile accident .

As Jim wept over his son, the entire town mourned over their Sunday morning paper as they felt the pain from Jimís pen. As Jim gathered with his family for the final word and prayer, the entire town pressed closely to hear and give support to their admirable news writer. Jim had opened his heart and shared his pain in the most difficult story he had ever written.

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This article has been read 360 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lizzy Ainsworth06/17/10
Simple but touching.
It caught you in from the beginning to end.
Ruth Clowater06/18/10
Very well written, and powerful. We all need to be more like Jim and make ourselves vulnerable by sharing our griefs, as well as our joys.
Verna Mull 06/18/10
A great story. After experiencing a similar experience(though I didn't have to write about it)it really tore at my heart, and have a great appreciation for one who could actually share at the time of his grief. Very well done!
Dee Yoder 06/20/10
The power of the pen is shown in this story. The town was able to rally and support this writer's journey. I felt this way about a columnist in my own hometown paper when he shared the loss of his beloved wife to cancer. Good story.
Connie Dixon06/20/10
The emotion in this story really touched me. Great job on this heartwrenching piece.
Mildred Sheldon06/21/10
A tough story indeed. Very touching and heart felt. Beautifully told.
Joanne Sher 06/21/10
Such vivid emotion - and certainly a terrible story to have to write. You did a very good job with this.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/25/10
Congratulations on placing in the top 8 of your level.