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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Appointment (02/09/12)

TITLE: Compelled
By Donna Wilcher


“Oh! My goodness!” She threw her hands up in an attempt to keep the debris from hitting her. “What in the world…?” asking no one in particular. Every instinct told her to run, but instead she stepped around those standing in front of her, so she could get a better look.

Pam had left home only moments ago, walking fast, not only because it was cold, but because she was late. She had a bad habit of waiting until the last minute to go meet Jimmy at school. Walking a little faster, a couple more blocks and she would be there; right on time. Praying the flash cards she’d spent hours driving him crazy with, had helped him pass his spelling test today.

The explosion had stopped in her tracts. It sounded like the whole world was coming apart at the seams. The building across the street exploded; with so much force it nearly knocked her off her feet. Glass and bricks were flying. As the dust settled, she could see injured people stumbling out trying to find a safe place, as far away as they could get.

Instead of running back up the street, or standing in a daze like the others, Pam was compelled to help; she moved forward. Ready to do what she knew was coming…

She was a nurse. However, when she found out she was pregnant; she and her husband Mark had decided that she should stay home with their baby. Being Jimmy’s full-time mommy was so much more important than the extra money she had been earning. It sure wasn’t easy, but they had tightened their belts, and were doing pretty good. She knew she would eventually go back to her nursing career as soon as Jimmy entered middle school; by then he wouldn’t need her so much.

Now, in the aftermath of the explosion, all her years of training came flooding back. She knew exactly what she had to do. She started out slowly, but then broke into a run when she saw a woman stumble and start to fall. Pam was able to get there just in time to keep her from hitting the ground, easing her down slowly.

“It’s gonna be ok” she whispered calmly, as she took her coat off and placed it over the woman to keep her warm.

The woman’s clothes were a mess. Her head and hair were soaked in blood. Pam began to carefully move the hair away from what looked like a pretty nasty cut on her head. It was bleeding pretty badly. She quickly applied steady pressure to the wound. The ambulances were on the way, she could hear the sirens in the distance.

Pam looked into the woman’s face, making eye contact “What’s your name?’. “Laura”, the woman answered weakly, trying to sit up and turn around, attempting to look in the direction of the building. “What happened?”. “Let’s not worry about that right now Laura” Pam said quickly, preventing her from moving, trying to keep her calm. The pressure she had been applying to the wound had worked; the bleeding had stopped; thank God.

The ambulances finally arrived; paramedics jumped out, and were on their way over. It had taken them longer than it should have; heavy traffic had prevented them from getting there sooner. As they approached, she told them she was a nurse, and what she had done for Laura. Relieved, she could now turn the patient over to them.

Alert now, Laura touched Pam’s hand, smiled, and thanked her. “You saved my life”, tears glistening in her eyes. “I’m glad I was here to help” Pam said, as she stood up and backed away; giving the guys room to work. Laura would have a pretty bad headache and endure a few stitches, but Pam knew she would be just fine.

Then it hit her, “Oh! I’ve got to go get Jimmy” and bolted off toward the school.

Jimmy was standing on the school steps waiting impatiently. He ran to meet her, and jumped up into her arms. “Mommy, where have you been? You were late”

Not knowing how to answer his question without giving him the details, but finally said. “I’m sorry I was late honey; Jesus sent me on an errand today, and it kept me pretty busy for a while”.

“Hey! How’d you do on your spelling test today?” she asked, changing the subject. “I got an A!” Jimmy said proudly, “Guess those flash cards helped, huh?”

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This article has been read 458 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Loren T. Lowery02/16/12
Your story had me hooked from the beginning - Pam seemingly very real. as well as her situation. I was "compelled" to read to the end to see how you would end the story and wasn't disappointed. Your title is what first caught my attention. The story full of well-timed suspense and action.
C D Swanson 02/16/12
Excellent job here! I was pulled in and wanting more...Nicely done. Thanks.
God Bless~
Jean C Prentice02/16/12
Your story made me feel as though I was in that place watching you. You have a wonderful way of expressing your emotions.
Good job.
Michele Fleming 02/17/12
Your story was very well thought out and held my attention all the way through. Keep writing and God bless!
Theresa Santy 02/18/12
Lot's of high-impact conflict streaming throughout the piece. Nicely done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/18/12
Oohh I really liked this. You did a great job building the suspense. Once a nurse always a nurse.

You had a few minor errors- tracts instead of tracks. Also make sure you start a new paragraph each time someone different speaks.

I liked how you built the characters. I also think you did a nice job using both types of appointment.
Marlin Prentice02/19/12
Very good story. It kept my interest throughout. I liked the emphasis on a mother's importance in the home although I believe it is needed even through highschool. The writing was good. I there was a spot or two wording might be changed a little to clarify, but overall it was a well written piece.
Cynthia Carter02/19/12
There was lots of action and description in this one. I enjoyed the read. Thanks.
annie keys02/19/12
Well done, VERY well done! I like the way you used ";", rarely used by newbie writers. Good job.

The only flaw I found was near the end when you made an 'oopsie' and left the punctuation off the end of "Mommy, where have you been? You were late". (you'll roll your eyeballs when you go back and see it because now that I said that, it will grab your eyes first thing---LOL)

Also, at the end, it would have been perfect if, instead of saying, "Jesus sent me on an errand--" you'd have said, "Jesus had an appointment for me today."

GREAT story--the suspense was awesome, kept me reading to the very end! Well done, VERY well done! You won't stay on the "beginner" level long! Write on~
Allison Egley 02/19/12
This is good.

As a couple of others have pointed out, there are a few minor errors, but nothing major. While I agree with one commenter who noted your use of the semicolon, I think you may have over used it just a bit. I'd stick to one per sentence, and only a couple of times for articles of this length. But then that's just my opinion. :)

GREAT job for a first entry!
Kathleen Langridge02/19/12
Good start with a 'compelling' story. At the point of the explosion I hoped it wasn't 'Jimmy.' You had me hooked and I loved the mommy's response to Jimmy at the end.
Danielle King 02/20/12
Plenty of suspense here. I was so into it that I wanted to jump into the scene and do CPR! A good story that keeps you reading. Well done.
Jann Mills02/22/12
You had me at "Oh my goodness!" What a wonderful story ... full of suspense and fast paced. I felt like I really got to know the characters ... great job! Can't wait to read more!