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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Hacker or Virus (computer) (12/15/11)

TITLE: "Pop-up" from Heaven
By Michele Fleming


“Pop-up” from Heaven

Amy had been sitting at her computer for the last hour, trying to come up with a topic for her final essay. She diligently went over idea after idea, but none of them seemed right. This essay had to be perfect…her grade depended on it. So, Amy decided to do a little web surfing hoping that something she could write about would jump out at her. Sadly, after another hour, she still had nothing.

“This is pathetic!” Amy complained to herself. “I have to think of something soon, this paper’s due in two days!”

As she sat pondering, a pop-up window appeared on her screen.

“That’s odd—my pop-up blocker should’ve caught this.” Amy silently fussed at the inept program.

She hated pop-ups. They could potentially be loaded with a horrible virus or they could be the gateway for some hacker to get a hold of all your personal information. Normally she would just click the “X” and go one about her business, but something in the little window captured her attention.

Careful not to click on anything, she read the advertisement.

Harbor View Mission
Open House
Friday, June 14th, 2011
6:00 pm

Amy’s excitement began to build as she made plans to attend the function that night at Harbor View, for she knew she would be able to find a story there.

She arrived a little before six that evening in hopes of talking to the director and getting some ideas about whom she should talk to for her essay. Thankfully, he was very helpful and led her to a room filled with young women. The women appeared to range in age from mid- to late teens to early twenties. The gentleman pointed Amy in the direction of the group counselor. Amy made her way over to her and introduced herself.

“Amy, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I am Grace Nelson. What brings you to Harbor View?” Grace asked.

“I have an essay to write for college and I want it to be really special. I was hoping to get some inspiration here.”

“Inspiration, you will most definitely receive here.” Grace smiled as she motioned to the young women in the room. “We are about to start group session if you would like to sit in.”

“That would be wonderful…thank you.”

“Okay, ladies—we need to be getting started.” Grace announced and everyone began to take a seat. Once everyone was in place, Grace continued. “Ladies, this is Amy and she is a college student. She is trying to get ideas for an essay that she has coming up and wanted to sit in on our meeting…any objections?” Everyone in the group shook their head. “Good let’s get started. Leigh, why don’t you go first this week?”

Leigh, a young African American nodded her head and began to speak. “I was only sixteen when my baby was born. Isaiah, he five now and jus’ started school. He doin’ real good, too! Teacha’ say he real smart. I so thankful fo’ Harba’ View fo’ helpin’ me git back on my feet. They helped me find a job and a place fo’ me and my boy to lay our heads at night. They even gonna’ help me finish my education. Five whole months dat’ we been off them God-fo’saken streets. I praise the Lord for ‘em.”

“I am so glad things are going well for you and little Isaiah. Keep up the good work, Leigh and keep leaning on the Lord and He will take care of you. And what about you, Darla…would you mind sharing your story with us?”

Amy listened as young mother after young mother shared their story…each more amazing than the last. Amy could not control the tears as she heard the heartaches that they all had to endure to get to where they are now. Each had managed to survive the streets and were holding down jobs and raising their babies all on their own. Many of them had even gone back to school.

Amy left there not only with story to write, but also with a great since of admiration for the young women who were in the exact position she had been in only three short years ago. Amy was positive that it was neither a hacker nor a virus that sent that pop-up to her computer. She believed that pop-up was straight from God.

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This article has been read 399 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mona Purvis12/29/11
You write in a simple, smooth style that's easy to follow. This is on subject. You tell a story well. What might make it more enjoyable is to add more emotion, more punch. Rather than letting the story just unfold, add some intensity and conflict. Overall, well done.

Kristine Baker12/29/11
On topic and very interesting. I love your writing style.
C D Swanson 12/29/11
Oh I really liked this. Great powerful ending...Nicely done.
God Bless~
Allison Egley 12/30/11
This is creative.

I felt it was a bit weak on topic.... You only mention it once or twice, and then it's about how it's not actually a virus.

Good job with this overall.
Jenna Dawn12/30/11
This is a sweet story. I agree that it is a little weak on the topic. Just to clarify, you technically only had to write about virus OR hacker. I wonder if you felt you had to include both, which I wondered as well and asked in the forums.

This story could have taken place without the mention of a hacker or virus, which makes it a little weak in that regard.

I would suggest to do more "showing". Instead of telling us Amy is excited, show us by her actions. Consider showing more bits of action to draw the reader in. Something as simple as "Amy sank into the overstuffed sofa". The suggestion to "show versus tell" was the first constructive criticism I got from a faithwriters member and it really helped my writing. Do a google search on it and you'll learn a lot.

Good job. I enjoyed your story. :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/31/11
I enjoyed this. As a young teen mom myself I could relate to the story.

My only suggestion would be todo more showing then telling. This isn't easy todo but instead of the part where you describe the frustration about not coming up with an idea have your MC show it by slamming her fist on the table or wad up apiece of paper.

You did a nice job with this and though pop ups may not be a virus I saw it as the ultimate hacker was God using the computer to get her where he wanted her to be.

This made me smile because God has beendoing things like this to me lately.
C D Swanson 01/05/12
Congratulations - God Bless~