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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Rich (04/26/12)

TITLE: Worth Fighting For


The fire devoured everything in its path as he desperately crawled toward the doorway. He was not sure what he would find when he crossed the threshold into his children’s room. Gasping for breath, he reached cautiously toward the door and pushed it open. His strength was waning, but he knew he could not lose a minute of time. Through thick clouds of smoke he searched for signs of life—any promise that all was not lost. Above the roar of the fire, he heard two voices crying frantically for help—when suddenly his world faded to black.

Through a dreamlike fog, his mind traveled to the place where it all began. He had met his wife at a small café on the edge of town. She was sipping coffee and reading her favorite book, and he was captivated by her beauty. Though he knew nothing about the book she was reading, he approached her casually and mentioned that it was his favorite, too. The rest was history.

After two years, they married. After two more years, they had a baby. Their family grew to five. At first, they lived simply and thrived on love. They were content with their small home and even smaller budget. They were scraping by, but they were happy.

He couldn’t remember the exact point when things began to change, but their priorities shifted. He took on a second job, and she began working extra hours. They wanted a bigger house. They wanted the things they’d gone without for so long. And somewhere in the midst of the pursuit, they lost touch with each other.

The kids had practices, recitals or little league games almost every day—and he hardly saw his wife in the midst of their busy schedules. When they did see each other, they were arguing: about bills, about the kids, about work, about life. But they never stopped. They just kept pursuing and acquiring—believing that as long as their family had all they needed and everything they desired, they were successful. He’d fought so long and so hard to be rich, but in this moment he was fighting for something far greater.

The sound of sirens lured him to consciousness. He was sitting against the base of the oak tree in front of his house—an oxygen mask covering his mouth. Though he didn’t remember how he’d gotten outside, he did remember the voices he’d heard before his world faded to black. He frantically tried to run to battle against the fiery monster that was consuming all he truly loved, but he had no strength and his legs gave out beneath him.

Unfamiliar arms pulled him back to his feet and led him again to the foot of the tree. Tears blurred his vision as he watched what remained of his house collapse to the ground, consuming the remnants of his life. It was then that he heard their voices. He lifted his eyes to see the vision of his wife carrying their youngest, with the older two walking beside her. They were dark from the soot and weak from the fight—but they were a beautiful sight.

With all the strength that remained, he embraced them—not daring to let go. Their tears melted together as the sun began to break through the dark of night. When they finally broke their embrace, all he could do was look to each of their faces and thank God for giving them a second chance.

They’d lost everything they owned. But as he looked toward the ashes of all they’d lost, he realized he had what was truly worth fighting for. In that moment, he finally knew what it meant to be a rich man.

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This article has been read 376 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 05/03/12
Oh my! This made me cry with happiness and relief at the conclusion. It was so beautiful and such a powerful entry...thank you.

GOd Bless~
Laura Manley05/04/12
The beauty of how this man and his family was turned around by the miracle of God was very uplifting. Sometimes we have to be reminded just what is important in life; this man nearly lost everything before he got the message. I was very moved by this story. Good writing1
Marina Rojas05/04/12
Exquisitely written, well told tale of real riches.

Excellent writing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/05/12
This story really gets to the heart of the matter. So often we don't realize what we have until it is gone.

I realize you used pronouns so that anyone could relate and put themselves into the story and learn the lesson without the heartbreak. For me personally, I would have a deeper relationship with the characters if they had names and if you did more showing than telling. There were definitely some sentences that did an excellent job of showing. Ex -- this sentence paints a vivid picture in my mind, Gasping for breath, he reached cautiously toward the door and pushed it open.
However when he is remembering it goes into a more telling type of style.

Overall it was a suspenseful story. The first sentence will grab any reader's attention right of the bat. The ending was quite touching too. You covered the topic while still delivering a powerful message. Nicely done.
Vicki J. Cypcar05/08/12
I really enjoyed your story. Great job.
C D Swanson 05/10/12
Congratulations and God Bless~
Ellen Carr 05/11/12
Well done! A good story, well written.