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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Thump (05/30/13)

TITLE: Cruel Consequences
By Sarah Dirk


Rush. Rush. Rush.

Hurry! Early mornings. Send the children to school. Dress up. Get in the car. I'm going to be late for work! Glance down. Groan. An empty tank. Quick swerve to the station. Sigh. Outrages prices for gas. Can't be helped. Pump. Pump. Pump. Slide back into the car. Floor the gas pedal. I need to get to work on time!

A whisper. Slow down.


Rush at work. A little sloppy? Can't be helped. Life is life. I can't change it. Hurry home. Throw on supper. It's macaroni again. Maybe my husband won't notice. Kids clatter through the door. “Hey Mom! Guess what happened at school today?”

To much to do. Listening absently, and he gets the point. He silently slips away.

Slap plastic plates around the table. Serve up the meal hurriedly. Phone calls must be made tonight. I can't put off decisions any longer. Should I take the new job? Argh! I hate making decisions. More hours at work? My husband touches my arm. Please slow down.


Phone call. “I'll take the job.” Details will sort out.

Collapse into bed. Worn leather Bible begs for attention.


Saturday morning. Cleaning day. Scrub the floors, wash the walls. Haul garbage to the dump. I must fit everything in. If I can't, it won't get done.

“Mommy, can we go to the park?”

“Not now, son.”

Mow the lawn. Water the flowers. Will the list every get shorter? I'm overwhelmed. Sort the laundry. Start another meal. Fold the laundry. Grocery run.

Tired. Exhausted. Bed. Sleep.

Sunday morning. “Are we going to church?” “I can't, dear. There is too much to do.”

A whisper. Slow down.

He gathers up the children and they slip off to church. Clean the bedroom. Vacuum the floors. Make baby shower card. Look through children's report cards.

Car engine. They are home already?

“Hey Mom! Guess what the Sunday School teacher told us!”

“What dear?” Absently.

Silence. He understands. Slips away silently.

A whisper. Slow down.



What was that noise?

No time to investigate. Work to be done. Feed the dog. Dust the furniture. Pack lunches.


I frown. Again?

Step into the hall. The living room? No. The bathroom? No.

The closet? Inch open. He sits in the corner. Hunched. Little boy pain. Wilted flower in hand.

“She loves me. She loves me not.” Petals drift down. “She loves me. She loves me not.” His head droops and hits the closet wall.


The flower joins a stack.


A whisper haunts. Slow down.

Closes the closet door. Silently walks back to the kitchen.


Wince in pain. This can't be happening.

Reach for recipe book. Chocolate chip cookies. His favorite. Maybe?


Stop! Please stop!



Quick steps.

Throw open closet door.

“Son, do you want to make cookies? Then we can go to the park.”

Hope wipes away tears. Yes!

Leaves wilted flowers. Crash day with laughter. Cookies. Park. Family dinner. Bedtime story. Moonlight lulls him to sleep.

I sneak back to the closet. Gather up the wilted flowers. Tears flow. Press them close. Slip them in a small box and tuck away. Forever reminders.

A whisper. Slow down.

Yes. I understand.

I reach for the phone. The job was forfeited.

The consequences were to great to ignore.

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This article has been read 232 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Olawale Ogunsola06/09/13
This is a great poem; action filled.
I like it. You did a good job. A missing letter o in the last line made me to read the line many times. It happens! Thanks for sharing.
Sara Harricharan 06/09/13
Ooohhhh. This was precious. I love the way you wrote this. There's plenty of action and emotion yet, the POV you use is absolutely perfect.

I really could feel her conflicts as she rushed around trying to be superwoman and somehow forgetting the important part of it all. I'm glad she figured it out in the end and I loved that the detail of the flower petals falling.

This was very nicely done. I like it. It's one of my favorites this week. Thanks for sharing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/10/13
Oh I really like this. It's quite creative and the fast pace really demonstrates the frenetic attitude of the MC.

Tiny red ink outrages should be outrageous. Also remember when someone new starts speaking, you need to start a new paragraph even if it is just one word.

Overall, I think you did an incredible job with this piece. You showed the conflict and my heart hurt for the poor little guy in the closet. I remember doing that as a kid, praying that someone would come and prove that I was loved. This is a great message for parents everywhere. Little things like the dishes or laundry can wait, but the our babies just grow too fast to be put on the back burner. Great bit of writing.
C D Swanson 06/11/13
Wow - this was an excellent piece. I really enjoyed this very much. Clever and well done.

God bless~
lynn gipson 06/13/13
Congratulations on you well deserved 2nd place win. An excellent writing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/13/13
Congratulations on ranking 2 in your level and 18 overall. (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)