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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hotel/Motel (09/12/05)

TITLE: Hellish Hotel
By Christopher Jenyns


Room number 401. The wallpaper's coming off the walls. I can smell sweat in the air and it's damp like the place hasn't breathed in years. I've been here too long.

Down the corridor I hear shouts and screams: people fighting. Their room is double booked by the sounds of it. They should be so lucky. I've been relocated twice already since I arrived. First, 203, then 302, now this.

I can't seem to relax in this heat. I put my remaining luggage down. A second thought and I kick the luggage under the bed. No point in losing more than I already have, I reason. The hand luggage bag was gone when I came back to my room to be relocated, the first time.

I head for the shower. There's one bathroom in the whole building. First floor. I take the stairs down. When I get there, I find a queue.

"How long have you been waiting?" I say to the guy ahead of me.

"Long enough, long enough," he says; I think he's going slightly crazy. I look down the queue. Noone can stand still. Everybody scratches irritably. I'm not going to wait, I tell myself.

On the way back to my room I pass a father and a son fighting in their room. Nice hook, I think to myself as I head back to the stairs up, this place is the pits. A moment later I pass a mother and daughter pulling each other's hair. I don't even bat an eyelid.

After climbing back to the fourth floor, I find the door to my room wide open. There's a dog in my room. No luggage. I pause in the midst of this dire Hotel, amidst the echoes of heckling laughter, alongside the debauchery behind unlocked doors, standing on a broken cyringe, steeling myself, bringing myself to a single-minded resolution: I will personally see the manager.

It doesn't go as planned. He thinks I'm telling jokes in a strange language and laughs at me with black teeth. After he sees that I'm persisting, he gestures at me violently. I can see that he's going to grab a bloodied knife off his kitchen table.

I feel a hand on my shoulder and turn around. A humble man is smiling gently at me. He leads me out into the foyer talking of a place in a mansion that he has prepared (parallel w/ John 14:2). An argument starts up though, because the manager does not want me to go. Nevertheless, the humble man indicates that I should go and so I do.

I hear someone being stabbed.

I find that the mansion is as grand as it had sounded. There is a fountain of water in the entryway and music that soothes every muscle in your body. The humble man is just behind me and I hear his voice.

I turn to see the humble man clothed in white. His garments are red with blood, but he tells me not to worry about it. This is my home, he says, this is where I may stay forever. From that point on, we talk and talk and I listen with joy.

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This article has been read 596 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 09/19/05
This works as an allegory and a story of hope, but I'm not sure if the parallels to hell / heaven are exact enough. Why'd he go to hell at all, if he was a believer? (Ironic, because I wrote a piece once with a similar theme. It bombed. Yours is better.)
karen McLamb09/19/05
This is nice! But different,I like it.
sandra snider09/19/05
watch spelling: none, instead of noone; syringe, instead of cyringe
M'Kayla Kelly09/19/05
I think with a little more work, some clarification and depth, this could be really powerful. You really had me with the door-to-door- gore thing...almost like scenes from a horror movie. Toward the end it took on a dreamy feel, but the ending itself was too soon, too brief. I hope you keep working on this one. Blessings!
dub W09/19/05
Creatively different, some language conflicts and minor edits, but a good effort.
Julianne Jones09/24/05
Creative. I didn't interpret it as hell/heaven but being rescued from Satan's clutches and being born into the Kingdom of God. Agree with other comments that it works well as an allegory and needs light editing, but overall, well done.
Deborah Porter 09/26/05
Christopher, I just wanted to stop by and encourage you. I was acting as a judge for this Challenge, and I thought your entry was quite good and has the potential to be exceptionally good with a bit of a tweak here and there. I'll be interested to see more from you in the Challenges in the future. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)