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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Flat (01/03/13)

TITLE: Life Is Life
By Barbara Miller


That squealing sound is vaguely familiar; but where is it coming from? Ah, there it is. Move over Martin I can't see it. Martin, Allie, Mom? Me? Wow, this is like in those medical shows where tubes, wires, and bleeping sounds all come to a dramatic stop with everyone staring at the flat line on the heart monitor screen. I don't remember this from last time though. I can see you all down there, but where is my baby boy? Where is Tyler? I missed you too much. I didn't want to live anymore without you. I'm here son, where are you?
Mom, I'm here.
Tyler? Tyler, I can't see you. Where are you?
Mom, do you know what love is?
Oh Tyler, I do. I love you. Where are you?
Have you always loved me?
Yes honey! So much you will never know. Where are you sweetie?
I can see you Mom. You are beautiful. Your eyes shine as if light is illuminating directly from your soul. I know that light mom; I've seen Him.
Tyler, are you alright? Where are you?
Mom, do you remember the car accident?
I can't forget the car accident. I lost you. I couldn't go on without you.
Mom, going on is what life is about. I am meant to be here now, and here I am more alive than I have ever known. But it's not your time to understand this yet mom, you need to go back.
No, I need to see you; I need to be with you. Tyler, where are you?
The room was immediately filled with nurses madly calling out orders. As one injected something into the I.V. tube, another began CPR while waiting for the crash cart to arrive.
"Charlotte, don't do this!" Dad screamed as we were all escorted out by Irene; the night nurse. She brought us to the private room where only the families awaiting tragic news were sent. It's as if the fear and grief of death are too real to expose to those still hoping for the best. But this wasn't the first time we had gathered in this room and now any hope that we may have had was rapidly fading.
Mom had given up on life long ago regardless of all of our efforts to convince her otherwise. Remembering the past four years Allie thought to herself "Yes, I lost my brother, but I never really got back my mother again either. Why Mom? Why?"
Dad started to pray "Lord, we know she's yours, we know you hold the future, but give your healing power to Charlotte's body right now; please Lord." Grandma sat in the chair beside him and shook her head in her hands sobbing; breathing only with intermittent gasps for air.
"Mom, I'm right here." Tyler's image began to emerge from the stillness.
Tyler, Tyler! I've missed you so much!"
Look at me Mom. Do you see anything different?
Charlotte could do nothing else but look at Tyler before she spoke words that she didn't understand. "You're my boy, but I'm sensing that my love is more my need for you than yours for me. My life without you was so vacant. But you're happy; perfectly happy. Why not me? I don't ever want to leave you again."
You will Mom, and that's okay; really. Look again Mom, look at me.
You're not mine anymore are you? I can see hands on your shoulders. I can see love from the light behind you. How does one see love Tyler?
Love is; He just is. You can't hold me now just as He can't hold you now either. He loves you so much; He always has. For now you need to be there for Dad and Allie, and Grandma. That's just the way He's planned it. When you pray for the pain to go away, let it go away. Only then will your wounds heal and life can return. I never left you Mom; I just left life as you know it. Don't worry, a glorious reunion is coming, and it will be without any need for comfort or assurance. I was your son for a while, but you are His daughter. He waits for you while watching you grow too. You'll know His voice when He calls you.
Charlotte? Can you hear me?
Martin, forgive me.
Oh, Honey. We love you.
Thanks for waiting for me. I love you all. I'm back.

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This article has been read 246 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/10/13
Wow! This is a powerful piece! You did a stunning job of pulling me into the topic right away. You have laid the foundations for an outstanding story.

It is nearly impossible to think up, write and perfect a story in one week. Almost every one needs a bit of polishing. I have a few little things for you to consider as you prepare (hopefully) to write your next story. You started out in the beginning telling the story from the POV (point of view) of the first tense. Then in the middle you switched and it seemed like the MC was no longer Mom but someone else waiting with family in the waiting room. Just make sure you don't have POV shifts. You can only show the reader what the MC sees, knows, thinks or feels so went you switched from I to We you shifted from a different POV. In all fairness you did put some stars between that section to show that it was a new MC but it did take me a bit to realize it.

You may also want to use quotation marks in the beginning to help the reader keep straight who is speaking. You can also use narrative lines to signify the speaker. This is an example: "Where is Tyler?" I could feel my heart being twisted as the pain shot out of my neurons. I tried to turn around, desperately searching for my baby.

"I'm here Mom."

My ears pricked at the sound off his voice as my eyes searched for a glimpse of him.

Now I know I took some liberties but I wanted to show you what I meant. You will hear the advice show don't tell a lot. Readers like to be able to paint a picture in their heads as they read and something like what I did above can help. (Noticed how I double spaced between paragraphs to give the reader that important white space, as well as starting a new paragraph each time there is a different speaker.)

Now with that bit of red ink said, I want to stress what a wonderful story this is. You did a great job of developing the conflict immediately. I was eager to keep reading nd find out what happened next. You also pulled all kinds of emotions of out of me. I felt the fear and panic of the MC and the way you described love was divine. It made me heart pound. At the close, you ended with a sense of hope and gave me that warm fuzzy feeling.

You also did a great job of writing on topic all while delivering a wonderful message. Keep writing because you have a knack for storytelling. I thoroughly enjoyed this piece and look forward to reading more of your work. Once again I'd like to say WOW! (That is one of my highest compliments)
C D Swanson 01/14/13
WOW! This was amazing! I was in tears and so involved that I didn't want it to end...this was a powerful intensely moving story. I loved the simplicity coupled with the intensity. I loved the meaning the message and the overall sobering truth. Beautifully told. This was an excellent way of presenting the topic.

God bless~