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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

TITLE: Cornered
By Mary Toll



“Sorry, Clay,” Mr. McVee replies in a southern drawl, “looks like you’ll be declarin’ bankruptcy to pay me rent.” Norman, the Banker, sits amused and hums.

I gasp at the outrageous fee noted on McVee’s Title Deed. My dutiful wife, Selsie, observes sadly as my insufficient funds were tallied by Norman. I was overcharged in my heart with regret.

“Hurry, Clay.” An anxious McVee grips his cell phone reviewing news and cattle prices. “Norman, collect the goods from this pitiful pauper please so I can move forward.”

Feverishly, I hand my home title over to Norman. “I pity you, Mc-G-r-e-e-d-y.” McVee snaps his overalls in a huff.

“You did figure the shabby home you purchased depreciates each year?” Norman informs unkindly.

“Congratulations!” I clap heartily. “I couldn’t have picked more merciless friends to play Monopoly. It’s my turn.”

From a beveled crystal pitcher, Selsie pours lemon ice tea into barrel-shaped mugs and serves spicy buffalo chicken from the crock.

“Did you hear the Georges’ sold their home back east?” Norman recalls, “They couldn’t afford the extreme taxes.”

McVee’s gaze turns chilly. “Their city gets a cut when houses sell.” We are becoming a socialist…” A ships distress-horn blasts from McVee’s phone.

“Pay attention to the game, McVee.” Norman implores, “And put your joy killer on mute. That’s why your health stinks!”

What appears to be a winking eyeball beyond the French doors is the HD TV in the corner of the den. As our college son, Jess, scrutinizes the channels, mocking scenes of God’s word continue to fill the screen.

“Hollywood has got a stranglehold on this here generation, six…seven…eight!”

“Please stop railing McVee.” Selsie pleads. “Your stroke from daily stress hurt everyone. Now repeat after me, “God will keep McVee, in perfect peace, whose mind is set on ME

“Your thoughts are wormlike,” surmises Norman, “like that gyrating head in the “The Excorcist.”

As McVee presses Norman about our economy, I humorously trespass on their properties unawares, gaining wealthy momentum in the game. The situations displayed on the board are plenteous in both blessings and hardships like our world. A total submission of mind, body, and spirit under the leadership of Christ, is required to victorious living in these turbulent times.

Norman snatches McVee’s game piece off the board.

“Hey! My cannon!”

“You make me nervous stomping my Kentucky neighborhood with that cannon.” Norman muses, “please take the harmless thimble?”

Off of the “Community Chest” stack, the card I choose illustrates McVee’s mental plight. The bald bow-legged cowboy dressed in a black suit and tie has a bewildered expression on his face. Holding a fussy newborn in each arm, an unrelenting nurse reads a lengthy list of hospital charges. With her hand extended, expects payment on the spot.

“That there card looks familiar to me, Clay,” McVee observes closely. “Do you realize what our President desires to do with our tax dollars? And his so-called scare plan?”

“f-f-ft,” Selsie pulls a blue tissue from a nearby box. “They call evil good and good evil! Those defenseless scarlet angels,” {that’s what she calls aborted infants. Each grievous tear wiped is like blotting out mankind’s sins with the compassion of Christ.}

“Sorry I made you cry.” McVee pats Selsie’s hand gingerly. “I’d like to say the devil or Norman made me do it but I know I am accountable.”

“We are to pray for our nation and forgive our enemies,” I said solemnly.

“Forgiving others gives me heartburn,” McVee groans before biting into a meaty thigh.

I peer down at the play board feeling empathy for McVee. Suddenly, I recognize our hope was right under our nose. This is comical!”


“It is written.” I declare. “They are enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame. On purpose, they error in God’s word, but declare victory?”

“Humor please?” McVee insists.

“How about, Clay took advantage of our absentmindedness and is in the lead of this game? Look at that loot!”

‘No, Norman.” I chuckle. “Look, our Bible says, …God sits in the heavens and laughs at His enemies. Well, laugh at this!”

I exposed the cast-down figure clinging to the bars of the jail cell at the corner of the board. “Behold the enemy they serve. He’s a fraud! Everyone, repeat after me, ha-ha-ha, Devil! You lose! You no longer will play our Mr. McVee!”


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This article has been read 403 times
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Allison Egley 08/25/11
Oh, you had me at the beginning.... Didn't realize it was just a game until you revealed it! Nice twist.

I had a bit of trouble following this, but it may just be me. I think for me, at least, it was the present tense. I think this would have worked better in past tense.

I loved your line about the cannon and the thimble pieces. :) Good job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/25/11
I was really hooked in the beginning then I found myself having to reread quite a bit to understand.

You seemed to jump from the game to the TV to Bible verses. I think the word count limieted your bridges so the reader can follow easier. Also try usingf less tags like replied, said etc. and use descriptions instead. Paint me a picture with your words.Instead of Norman informs unkindly show me what that would look like for example a sneer spreads slowly over Norman's lips.

You did a great job with the dialog and I can tell you are working on the show vs. tell dilemma. Keep up the good work. You have some great stories and messages inside you bubbling to get out!
C D Swanson 08/26/11
This was a clever story,I truly didn't know what was going on for quite some time. Masterful job in tricking the readers. Nice job...God Bless~
Janice Fitzpatrick08/31/11
Well done! I liked the use of your Monopoly game to show comparisons to truths and characters of humans and how Satan comes to fool us and destroy us. Good messages here-a little confusing but maybe that was just me. Nice job. Comical yet honest piece.