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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Key (02/14/13)

TITLE: Three Doors
By Lisa Hudson


Three Doors

As Jacob approached the first door, he tried to turn the knob, but the door was locked. Oddly enough, there was no key hole, let alone a lock for a key. The wooden slats of the door were so close together that he couldn’t see through the cracks in between. The wood felt rough and fearing he would get a splinter, he backed away from the door. He turned and looked behind him at his surroundings.

The forest was lush with tall and full, leafy trees. The sun was straining to pierce through the massive covered branches of the trees that must have been at least 100 feet high. It was beautiful as little rays of light found their way through the small gaps in the leaves and shone down on the forest floor like heavenly spotlights all over the ground. The light seemed to awaken the plant life all around, and insects were buzzing in and out of the beams as if they were playing a wonderful game.

Jacob was certain he was alone, except for the red birds singing their song up in a distant nest. Jacob loved cardinals. To him, blue jays and cardinals are definitive proof of a loving God. What beauty and variety He has given us to delight in His creation. The beams of light swayed with the wind, and the song of the birds moved to the light in perfect harmony. It was as if God Himself was providing the music and a dance, just for Jacob. He couldn’t help but smile to himself.

Jacob turned back to the two remaining doors, not sure of what he was supposed to do, or where he was supposed to go. He stepped forward, toward the second door, which was almost identical to the first. This door appeared to be just like the other door, but there was no doorknob or handle! “What kind of door has no knob or handle?” Jacob thought to himself. He looked around the top of the door and down the sides to see if there was another way in, but there was nothing. He pushed on the door, but it wouldn’t budge.

A rustling in the bushes startled Jacob, making him stumble backward, causing him to fall flat on his rear. He was growing frustrated and even fearful, because he didn’t know where he was. The dampness on the ground started seeping into his jeans, so he hopped up and brushed himself off. He looked up toward the treetops again, and he could tell it would be dark soon.

Not knowing what else to do, Jacob walked toward the third door. Although made exactly the same as the other two, this door had a doorknob, and a lock with a keyhole! He felt a flitter of excitement for a moment, but quickly frowned, because he had no key. He felt around the door to see if a key might be hiding, but there wasn’t. He looked around on the ground, shuffling leaves and twigs to see if a key might have fallen in the dirt. Nothing.

Weary now, Jacob sat down and leaned back against one of the trees. He looked up toward the treetops once more. The sun that had given him warmth and comfort earlier was all but gone. The forest seemed dark and even a little scary now, and he felt completely helpless and alone. He closed his eyes, trying to think about how he would get out of this place.

BEEP! BEEP! BEEP! “Enough!” Jacob shouted as he turned off his alarm clock, his eyes still shut. He sat up in bed and rubbed his eyes when he realized where he was. “That was a strange dream,” he thought to himself. He got out of bed and showered. He dressed slowly, dreading the stressful day that lay ahead. Jacob walked toward the front door to the table where he always left his keys, and to his surprise, he noticed they were sitting on his bible that was lying open. He picked up his keys and noticed the familiar verse on the page:

“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”

Matthew 7:7, NKJV)

Just as he read this verse, a cardinal landed on Jacob’s windowsill and then just as quickly, flew away. Jacob smiled as he closed the door behind him, and said out loud, “I forgot to knock”.

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Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/22/13
Interesting and well written entry. I enjoyed it from start to finish! Thank you.
God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/22/13
I think you did a brilliant job with this story. You grabbed my attention right away in the first paragraph with a conundrum of the missing keyhole.

I did suspect that this was going to be a dream sequence and sometimes that can be seen as a literary cop-out, however, I think you did a good job of using the dream effectively. I do believe God uses dreams to wake us up.

I did notice that you had a few passive sentences with words like was, has, be, is in them. You may want to try to switch them up with active verbs. This is an example: Jacob looked over his shoulder as a sense of solitude washed over him. Instead of Jacob was certain he was alone.Hopefully you can see how the first one paints a picture for the reader and helps set the scene.

Overall, I think that you did a fabulous job on the topic. I loved the way you inserted the scripture verse. The symbolism that his keys were testing on that verse showed a bit a genius. Matthew 7:7 is one of my favorite verses and you did a great job of showing the meaning of that verse.
Phee Paradise 02/25/13
I found the story intriguing and love settings that are not quite expected. I loved the doors in the middle of the woods, but could have pictured it better with some more description. Were the doors in a wall or structure of some sort? Could Jacob have walked around to the other side? I also wondered why he wanted to go through a door, although as it got later, it was clear he was in an unfamiliar place.

I guess some of the ambiguity was due to the dream. I love fantasy and am always a little disappointed when it turns out to be a dream, but I did like the way you tied it into real life with an enigmatic ending.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/28/13
Congratulations on ranking for ranking 10 in level one! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards for the top 8 to 15 in each level and the top 35 overall.)