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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Tie (02/28/13)

TITLE: The Tie That Binds
By Pauline Brakebill
03/03/13


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The Tie That Binds
Blessed be the tie that binds…….The words of that song drifted through the night air as I sat on the bank of the Chrystal clear stream. The little church up the road, was having a revival and they were singing that song before the preaching started.
My mind went back to where I was stationed 4 years ago. I was in Columbia working in a drug cartel. The members were all seasoned killers and my life was worth nothing to them. One mistake and I would be fodder for any one of their machine guns.
I had always been a thrill seeker, so this assignment was going to be a piece of cake. I would spend one month there and gain all the information needed to send Arturo, the leader, to the Pen for life. That is if I didn’t blow my cover, and the rest of the Cartel didn’t wipe out the reigning government of Las Dios.
Everything was going pretty smoothly; I had almost all the information I needed to take back with me to Austin. Then into the room walked Margarita. I never saw a more classic beauty in my entire life. Her hair was raven black and draped down to her waist. Her skin was olive color and clear as a bell. As she walked into the room, it was as if she were floating on air.
Of course, all eyes were fastened on her as she glided in, but her black round eyes saw no one but me. They pierced the air like daggers as her gaze met my eager stare. At the same time, her big brother sat in the corner of the room taking in all of my thoughts. He casually mentioned, he would have no hesitation about killing anyone who touched Margarita. That statement certainly shattered my dream of a relationship with her.
The next day, I was doing my daily routine, when out of the private garden strolled Margarita. She spoke to me in a low voice, “Will you come tonight to the little church down the road, they are having a revival. I know all the boys at the ranch are Catholic, but you are different. I saw that last night. Going to this little church is the only way I can get out of my brother’s sight. Naturally, I agreed to meet her there. My heart pounding, I weaved my way back to my apartment, anticipating the coming event.
When I arrived at the church, the congregation was singing Blessed be the Tie That binds. It brought back many pleasant memories of my youth. Margarita was waiting their for me. We sat through the service and then went for a walk down by the town stream. What a beautiful evening! We talked of many things, then we agreed to meet there again the next night.
These meetings continued for about 2 weeks, and admittedly I fell madly in love with her, I made plans to get her out of there on Saturday. I would borrow one of the jeeps and drive up in the hills to the border. I knew a little used road, which I had taken many times to turn over my reports to the agency in Texas.
These arrangements made, I packed up all my belongings, and stuffed them into a black jeep. It was a very dark night which was great, we couldn’t be seen as easily. I drove over to Margarita’s bungalow, and helped her get her bags in the jeep.
Everything was going so smoothly, that I had the feeling something was wrong. Well, my feeling was right.. We turned onto the Prickly River road and were greeted a group of Arturo’s thugs. “Get down,” she said, “I will stall them off. You head for the border “. “No, I won’t leave with out you ,” I retorted. Then the bullets started flying. She screamed “GO” and jumped out of the jeep. I started up the jeep and took off . I turned around long enough to see Margarita fall to the ground as one of the bullets hit her.
The tears were now falling on my shirt in a fast tirade. Feeling very guilt y, I continued to the border, knowing that I had killed Margarita.
That ’s why the song Blessed be the tie that binds …has such meaning for me. I will be tied to her for life.





(742 words)


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This article has been read 374 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jody Day 03/07/13
Both exciting and sad story. Try separating your paragraphs to make it a little easier on the eye.

Great job, keep writing:)
Phee Paradise 03/09/13
You told a fascinating story. There's so much there, I think it would be good as a longer story, or even a good novel. Your beginning intrigued me because of the juxtaposition of the country church and the world of the drug cartel. But it became a distraction because I kept looking for how they were tied together. I think your story would have been complete without that beginning.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/12/13
Wow you packed a lot of story into under 750 words. I think you did a great job. The beginning drew me right in and I was eager to keep reading.

I noticed little things like their instead of there and you should write out numbers under a hundred. This line: Then into the room walked Margarita
is passive and is more telling than showing, but if you switch it around bit, you can paint a picture for the reader like this: My heart pounded and the saliva in my mouth dried up the minute Margarita walked into the room.
I hope that shows you what I mean.

I think you have a lot of talent and I did enjoy the story. you have a wonderful way of building the suspense. I suspect if you were to expand on this story without a word count limiting you that you could make it spectacular. I truly enjoyed every bit of it.
Judith Gayle Smith03/13/13
Wow. This is captivating. Rivetting. Too soon ended. Great job!
Linda Berg03/13/13
This story drew me immediately in.

The contrast with the church and the cartel setting is most contemporary in many parts of the world. They are often side by side but functioning as opposites in purpose.

Songs do take us back to times and events in our life. Good way to bind it all together.



stephanie santos-silva04/21/13
very sad but thought provoking. great short story