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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Era (02/03/11)

TITLE: Wasteland


Sparks flew all around her head. The ideas that were smoldering inside were not beautiful and she felt even uglier on the outside.
Her hair hadn’t been washed for a month. The house lie in ruins with old potato chip bags strewn everywhere and hot dog buns, half eaten,
sat on plates. The ground shook beneath her feet, morning and night, and relief just never came. The mourning and cursing could be heard
all the way down the second floor hallway of St. Andrews Apartments.

“What are we going to do about that howling woman?” The questions flew around the room.
The apartment manager had invited all the residents to a general meeting to discuss the commotion coming from apartment 208.
No one knew her. She listed no family on her rental application. Persistant knocking on the door or calling her phone brought no response from inside.
Ten days was all anyone was willing to endure. It was either knock down the door or contact the police. Unanimously, they voted to call the police.

“Hi. I’m Sargeant Oliver. I had a call for a disturbance at these apartments.”
“Yes. “ Jessica reached for her sweater.
“Would you please come with me.” He waved his hand towards Jessica, the apartment manager on duty.

The air was beginning to chill in expectation of fall arriving. The crispness of the air and the brightness of the sun just didn’t mesh in Jessica's mind.
Her mind wandered to apartment #208’s door. Would what they found look as ghastly as it sounded?

Sargeant Oliver knocked once. No response. He attempted two more knocks, before he rammed his body twice into the steel door without a budge.
Jessica reached into her sweater pocket and pulled out a set of keys. “Perhaps these will work for you?” she was proud of herself for remembering to bring them.
Her smile turned to a frown when she noticed his embarrassment.

As the door crept open, they peered cautiously around the corner. It was as Jessica suspected. The place looked like a war zone or some third world country.
There wasn’t a sign of where the noise was coming from and they both were in utter disbelief at the state of the place.
The bed sheets rustled quietly from the bedroom, so they tiptoed through the debris and entered the room.

“Hello?” Oliver wasn’t sure he wanted to wake the sleeping woman, but he kept on seeking an answer. “Are you okay?”


The ride to the hospital seemed to last forever, but they finally reached Mt. Sinai’s emergency room. They wheeled her to room 12 where
Dr. Sandis would begin to ask her questions, a nurse would check her vitals, and the mystery of this woman began to unravel. The officer and Jessica were all too
pleased to release her into someone else's care. They answered a few more questions and tried not to look desparate as they left her behind.

Dr. Sandis immediately recognized trauma and began processing her admittance to the psych ward. There they could begin to
unravel the knots and twists she kept hidden behind her wails. He could only imagine how big the ball of yarn was that she had been collecting.
The pain in her eyes drew tears from all the staff.


The very utterance of our moans and groans is understood by only one. That is God! Having gone through some experiences that can only leave
me feeling inadequate and self-destructive, I can only hope that the continuing sage of this poor woman will be healed by the divine presence of
Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and the Father giving command of his angels over her.

The weak you have not strengthened, the sick you have not healed, the injured you have not bound up, the strayed
you have not brought back, the lost you have not sought, and with force and harshness you have ruled them. Ezekiel 34:4

Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you.
I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10

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This article has been read 262 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Curtis02/11/11
This is a very powerful piece of writing. The opening was great, had me wanting to faster to find out what was happening. At the end, I was disappointed it had to finish, as I wanted to read more of her story. Great job.
Nancy Bucca02/12/11
The end is a one-two punch. Strong rebuke followed by words of comfort. Makes me want to know more about the reason for the woman's trouble.
Bonnie Bowden 02/12/11
We will never walk the life some people have lived, so it is important never to be judgmental.

Powerful writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/14/11
This is an interesting story. I like how you said God can understand_ all groans and screams.