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

TITLE: MY BROTHER'S KEEPER
By Roxanne Howard
01/09/13


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Brandon and Alan are best friends. Wherever you see one the other is not far behind. They are so close if you did not know them you would think they were brothers.
They have been friends for nearly 18 years and they have always had each otherís back.
About 10 years ago, Alanís parent died in car accident. The driver of the other car was drunk and hit Alanís parentís car head on. They died instantly.
Alanís grandparents took him in. they were a little up in age but they took the challenge head on. Alan was a hand full too. He was always getting in trouble at school.
Brandon would try to talk him out of the trouble before it happened but Alan had just turned so bitter.
Alan had started drinking at the age of 15. He did not want to listen to anyone regarding his problem and now at 25 he had pushed everyone away except for his grandparents and Brandon.
Alanís grandmother prayed everyday that the LORD would watch over her grandson..
Then things start to spin out of control. Alanís grandfather passed away and that was the last straw. Alan just couldnít take it anymore. His grandmother tried to comfort him but he just didnít want to listen.
He stormed out of the house and went to his favorite place to drink. His grandmother had called Brandon to see if he could bring Alan home. Brandon feared that Alan may be at his breaking point and when he comes crashing down he may not be able to bounce back. Alan has been drinking more and more to drown out his emotions. He did not what to think about his parents, his grandfather or anything.
Brandon had driven to Alanís favorite spot. As Brandon finds a parking space, he sees Alan come stumbling out of the bar. Brandon hurries over there and confronts Alan.
For a moment, Alan seems not to recognize him. ďBrandon is that you?Ē, as he walks up to him and pats Brandon on his shoulder.
Can I give you a ride home Brandon asks Alan? Why would I need a ride, I have my car.
If you think Iím going to let you drive, think again. Do you know how drunk you are? The way you came stumbling out that bar, you donít need to be behind the wheel.
Where are your keys Alan? Theyíre right here in my pocket. Alanís speech was slurred and as he was stumbling back and forward, he finally pulled the keys out of his pocket.
Well give them here Brandon told Alan. And as Brandon reached for the keys, Alan smacked his hand away.
Donít make me hurt you Brandon, I am not a child. Well you sure as hell are acting like one. Now give me the keys, Iím not going to ask you again.
Man I just donít get you. Your parents died from a dude who made a bad decision to drink and drive and now you turn around a mocked their death.
Alan looked at Brandon very surprised. You take that back, you take that back NOW!
NO Alan, Iím through babying you.
You take that back now or so help me Iíll. You will what Alan, take another drink.
Alan went to swing at Brandon, lost his footing and fell flat on his face in a puddle of what he hoped was water.
Instead of Alan trying to get up and swing at Brandon again, he just sat there, held his head down and cried. Brandon felt his friendís pain.
After a few minutes, Alan looked up at Brandon and said, ďI messed up buddy. I really do need help, donít I ?Ē
Yes Alan and I will be there for you all the way. Now letís get you home.
Thanks man.


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This article has been read 142 times
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/11/13
This is a start of a great story. It captures the reader's heart and makes me want to reach out and comfort the boys.

I did notice quite a few little errors like parent's car instead of parents', there were also some sentences that didn't begin with a capital letter. Then at the end during the dialog, you forgot to add quotation marks and make a new paragraph each time a different person speaks. (Double spacing between paragraphs gives the reader that all important white space)

You covered a subject that so many people can relate to. Grief and a sense of loss can be so overwhelming that it leads down a dark path. I did enjoy the actual dialog between the brothers. It felt real and genuine. Keep writing those stories that God puts on your heart, You may never know how many people your words will touch.
Meghan Andersch 01/13/13
I enjoyed reading this piece and the friendship and compassion you portrayed between the two young men.

I did notice some switching back and forth between past and present tenses. One strategy that helps me is reading what I've written out loud to check for flow and continuity.

Your compassionate spirit shines through your writing. Keep up the great work! :)
CD Swanson 01/14/13
I felt your heart in this compelling piece and it touched mine. Keep writing from your heart. God bless~
Bonnie Bowden01/16/13
Very good character development. I really enjoyed the essence of the story although spacing between paragraphs and quotation marks would have been helpful.

Keep writing!