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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Ding-Dong (05/16/13)

TITLE: The Bells
By Michaelle Bragassa-Holman


It had been raining non-stop for hours, the little girl noticed that the darkness was beginning to drown the light in the room. It seemed like an eternity had passed since the incident, and she began to wonder how much longer she would have to wait. She pulled her legs up tighter in the fetal position. She had been a bad little girl, and now she would have to endure the consequences. Oh, why didnt I listen? she cried in a low whisper. The sounds of bells in the distance, broke the silence, ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong, ding-dong. How many times was that, five I think she murmured to herself. Oh, Im so hungry, and so cold, tears began to trickle on the floor. Im so sorry, I was bad Jesus, please forgive me! she pleaded. She began to realize that the silence and darkness that prevailed was her friend, and that as long as it remained, she was safe.

Hours passed, she knew this by the ding-dong of the bells in the distance. One day, when she was free, she would travel to the place of the bells. They were such a comfort to her now. She often wondered what they would look like. Would they be as majestic as she envisioned? Tall and invincible to the world. She could only imagine how good it would feel to taste freedom, to make joyous sounds that comforted others, and to stand tall and proud. Oh Jesus, why am I such a bad girl? I must have really disappointed dad this time Jesus, hes been gone a long time! What will I do if he doesnt come back? Oh Jesus, Im so scared, please, please dont leave me! Ill be good forever and ever, I promise. Her cries slowly becoming a prayer. The bells began to ding-dong again, darkness had fell again.

How many days had it been? Three maybe four, she had lost count. Panic had started to seep into her soul. Where was Dad, he should have come and completed her punishment? Dad always made her strip, then constrained her with rope. Using a large leather strap, he was determined to rid her soul of the devil. The lashes would start at the top of her back, and end at the bottom of her legs. She would wail, struggle, scream and cry to no avail. Often, during these punishments she would go almost to sleep. This is how she had made friends with Jesus. He had come to her on one of these occasions, and had never left her since. He is the one who told her to listen to the bells, and to find comfort in the sounds of their buoyant voice. Oh, how she dreaded the end of her punishments, but not today. Today, she yearned to hear her fathers angry voice yell Im going to beat the hell out of you! Youre a mistake, you should have never been born! The bells began their call of ding-dong, ding-dong and darkness fell yet again.

Oh Jesus, where are you? Im so hungry and thirsty. The little girl gasped. If only she could stand up, maybe she could see outside. Dad had never left her tied up for so long, if only she could remove the ropes that bound her feet. Slowly she tried to maneuver her legs so that she could stand up, but she soon realized that with her hands bound it was impossible. The tears began to fall again, her stomach hurt so badly, actually her whole body was slowly becoming a big ache. Jesus, where are you, Im so afraid, please find my dad, Im so, so, sorry please help me. She wailed. She laid listening for the sounds of her beloved bells, and for the darkness to overtake the room again.

The ding-dong of the bells was so loud, she was mesmerized. Slowly, she tried to figure out how she had gotten here. The last thing she remembered was the darkness, then a soft light illuminating the room. At this point, she realized that she was being cuddled in strong arms, safe and secure. She looked up into the eyes of her friend Jesus, as he said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. I will take you to our Father in heaven, where you will be safe and secure forever more.

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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/24/13
Wow this story is so intense. You do a wonderful job of building the suspense and making me want to keep reading. The conflict is evident immediately and I found myself wanting to reach out and hold the girl.

You have a few errors that a good proofreader would help you catch like some missing punctuation and remember the punctuation goes inside of the quotation marks.

This is a difficult story to read because I know somewhere a child has those thoughts running through her head right now. You did an incredible job of voicing the girl's thoughts. I can tell that this subject is something you are passionate about bringing to the attention of others. This story will touch many and maybe even save a child somewhere. Nice job.
Joanne Sher 05/27/13
Oh wow. You brought tears to my eyes. So moving and sad - but with that hope at the end. Thanks so much for sharing.
C D Swanson 05/27/13
Oh my heart hurt so much reading this powerful and overwhelming story. I wanted to rescue this young child, but knew that Jesus would be the ultimate "Savior"-

The reality of this story is so prolific in its content that it is at once sobering and jarring...knowing this is happening somewhere in the world, every second of the day.

Excellent writing!

God bless~