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

TITLE: Best $300 I Ever Spent
By B Brenton


"This is my side, puke-brain!"
And within seconds the defensive crossed arm stance had given way wrestling and slapping yet again. You'd think after a 36-hour car trip that they'd be able to keep their hands to themselves but even though they now had all the space of a hotel room, they still carried on as though they were confined together again, which made Marietta feel breathless and irritated.
Her voice snapped, like the television switch, "Here!" Turning it on and plunking them in front of it like a couple of three year olds.
Not even five minutes in front of the Disney channel watching 'Mucha Lucha' an inspired Tom said something quietly to his sister in Spanish he evidently thought he would get away with.
"I know what that means, Tom!" Marietta roared, turning momentarily away from the suitcases she was unpacking.
Shorts, socks, wristwatch...
"Mom!" Whined a girl's voice.
They were at it again.
"Shut up both of you or we're leaving right now!"
Wiping her brow exhaustedly, she noticed her heart felt heavy inside her chest.
'I have to get out of here!' She thought frantically, and left her dumbfounded children in the room alone, slamming the door behind her.

"Wow, mom's really..."
"Whatever" he rolled his eyes, picking up a hotel room pillow and pounding it with a fist. "You think it's our fault?"
Kat (Katherine) brought her legs up to her chest. She didn't want to be there either. She was 14 and there were much better things to do at home, where her friends were. Nevertheless, becoming the voice of reason to her brother (too at the mercy of his surging hormones for rational thought), she said "We should make it up to her you know?"
Tom gave her a blank look, and then resumed thoughtlessly punching the pillow. "How?" His words sounding more like a complaint. "I mean, what does she like?"
"She'd like us to be better Christians" Kat sighed.
"News flash, sis: We're on holiday. No church/ church connections nearby."
"We just have to be creative. There's a Bible in every room."
"Two steps ahead of you sis." Tom said pulling out the Bible from the beside table drawer. "Let¡¯s top what we gave her on mother's day. I packed just what we need in my bag. We'll create the perfect atmosphere for this next three weeks. Trust me."

"Lord, please help me to be strong, to handle this trip. We just got here and already I feel like I'm falling apart...
I can't help but wish the kids were back at school again.
Lord please lead them to live according to your will and follow your way.
I've tried my best to raise good kids. Please Lord. I just lift up Your name right now..."
Marietta leaned her back against the bathroom wall. Barry was still out exploring and to be honest, she just wished she'd went with him.
But could they be left alone?
No. They couldn't.

14 and 16 and they still hadn't proved capable of accepting any responsibility.
She looked over at the tub. A nice bath was in order - after all, she would still be in the room if they needed her.

"What's going on it there?" She yelled, rattling the doorknob and trying to wedge it open with newly washed hands.
But it was locked.
"Nothing mom. Just wait."
But Marietta couldn't wait. Images went through her mind of the two trying to clean up a broken TV set, a broken jaw, a broken wrist, broken anything!
"Kat, I'm warning you," she yelled to her daughter, hearing frantic scuttling from the other side.
"Are you ready?" She heard Katherine whisper to her brother.
"Ok, mom. You can come in now."
The knob turned on the other side to let her in.
Unable to help herself, Marietta stormed over to her little darlings. "You have some explaining to do. What..."
Something caught her eye.
"We love you mom."
"And decided to do a mural for you."

A mural?

Spray paint on every corner of the wall, taken passages of The Bible and put them to art.
Flabbergasted she just stood back, mouth agape.
Barry was home.
3 weeks later

"This was a great holiday."
"But, mom! The hotel. You had to pay for that damage..." Kat protested.
Marietta just smiled, "Best $300 I ever spent."

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This article has been read 1075 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 09/19/05
Your characters are realistic and well-written. Put spaces between paragraphs, and use transitional phrases rather than the horizontal lines to indicate the passage of time. Nice ending to this story.
Anita Neuman09/20/05
Very cute story! A minor thing: clarify that she's leaving the bedroom and going into the bathroom. I thought she was going out into the hall, and the bathtub out there confused me. :)
Debra Brand09/22/05
Story line good. A few missing words and run on sentences. Great effort. Keep it up!
terri tiffany09/22/05
It was a very good story. Work on your grammar and sentence structure abit and you will do great!I personally think the hardest part of writing is finding the idea, and you had that, then comes the fine tuning of the actual writing of it. And we ALL struggle there!:)
Garnet Miller 09/22/05
This was very funny. Sounds like something my kids would do. It is a great story!:)
Katherine Douglas09/23/05
sounds like a couple of juvenile delinquents to me; but the story was good.
Shari Armstrong 09/23/05
Oh wow - that was awesome :) I can just see it now lol
Julianne Jones09/24/05
I agree that they sound like juvenile delinquents but that it's a well-told story. Rather than breaking up the story, you could use a few phrases to show time passing. For example, when Marietta leaves and slams the door, you could try:
"Tom and Kat stared at one another.
'Wow, mom's really ...' "
And then:
"As the water ran into the bath, Marietta found herself praying.
'Lord, please help me to be strong, to handle this trip. We just got here and already I feel like I'm falling apart...' "
Just a thought. Keep writing.
Suzanne R10/07/05
Yikes ... that's one creative way to be good Christians! A fun story, well-told. Good work!