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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Predicament (03/01/12)

TITLE: A Freak Tornado
By Ken Ebright


Dark clouds covered the sun as the wind started to pick up. Streetlights flickered even though it was 3:30 in the afternoon. Floyd pulled his car into the garage before the storm moved in. About ten minutes later, the house shook, my ears popped, and there was a sound of a freight train, he ran into his basement. After five minutes it was peaceful, so he ventured upstairs to discover his house was just a pile of rubble. The roof of his car was gone. He clasped his hands, a shiver went down his spine. His house was the only one in the neighborhood that was destroyed.

After knocking on a few doors to see if he could use the phone, Floyd hurried to the gas station to call the police.

He walked down street after street, about a half mile he spotted a gas station.

Floyd noticed a patrolman was gassing his car up so he rushed to meet him. "He... he...Hey officer... I don't know what to do... please help me."

“Calm down, what’s the problem?" the officer closed the fuel door and walked over to him.

Floyd paused a minute to catch his breath." My house was hit by a tornado."

"Your clothes look tattered. You look like you just came from a homeless shelter. Are you sure you have a home?" The officer scanned him from head to toe and raised his eyebrows.

Floyd pounded his fists in his hands. "My house was hit by a tornado!"

The officer leaned over and sniffed his breath. "There was a storm, but no tornado warning. Your house couldn't have been hit by a tornado."

Floyd's face turned red. "Officer, I'm not drunk. My house was hit by a tornado!"

The officer pulled out his pen and a note pad. "Where do you live?"

"On Pearl Street."

"Do you have a driver’s license?"

Floyd whipped it out and gave it to the officer.

"Okay, hop in, I'll take you to your house, but if there is nothing wrong, I'm going to have to write you a citation for filing a false police report."

A vein in his head throbbed. "I'm not lying!"

They drove back to Floyd's house and found it to be damaged. "Floyd, I'm sorry that I didn't believe you. Because of the way you were dressed and that there was no official tornado warning, I assumed you lived on the streets."

They both stepped out of the car and the officer spent a few minutes looking over the damage. "Sir, I'll fill out a report and we’ll have someone here to watch your house until your get all of your belongings out. In the meantime, you might want to contact the Red Cross." The officer asked pertinent questions, then sat in his car and wrote the report.

Just then Marcy, his neighbor hurried over. "Floyd, what happened to your house?"

"It got hit by a tornado. Can I use your cell to call the Red Cross?"

"Oh no, you're kidding." Marcy let out a heavy breath. "Floyd, sure you can use my phone."

Floyd meandered off by himself and came back a few minutes later. "Marcy, the Red Cross doesn't believe me. They think I’m making it up about the tornado. I don't know what to do. I don’t have a place to live."

Marcy smiled, "Floyd, we have an extra room. My husband and I would love to accommodate you. My church can come over and assist you to clean up the damage."

Floyd let out a deep breath, "Marcy, you're a real blessing. Praise you, thank you, Jesus."

"Floyd, the Lord will see you through this event. He will provide for your needs."

Marcy hugged Floyd.

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This article has been read 255 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laura Manley03/10/12
This was an amazing story; I wondered if perhaps it was true. The only thing I would suggest in writing is that in your sentences, you use less commas and try to work in a few semi-colons. This story read very smoothly and I enjoyed it very much.
C D Swanson 03/10/12
Wow - this was intensely riveting. I was pulled in immediately. Nice job with this story.

These "spot" tornadoes do happen and you have done a wonderful job of internalizing the MC's frustrations and concerns.

Thank God for his neighbor.

Nice job. God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/10/12
This is a timely story, as I understand tornado weather came early this year.

In the beginning you switch from saying he or his or Floyd to my ears popped. Make sure you stay consistent with the voice.

As for using less commas and more semi-colons that is definitely a personal preference. I know some writers who don't like semi-colons at all. If you do use them, make sure they are two complete phrases.

Nice, imaginative story.
Donna Wilcher03/11/12
Great story....and loved the ending!
Geoffrey johnstone03/15/12
I enjoyed this story. It held my attention to the end.

I hope you keep writing. You have a talent for it. Eventually things like gramma and tenses will sort themselves out.