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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: At Wit’s End (02/13/14)

TITLE: Welcome to Whit's End
By Keith Henry III
02/19/14


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“BOOM”, the loud, sudden explosion of air from the tire violently pulled the minivan to the right. The young mother struggled to maintain control and pull off to the side of the road. Slowly the vehicle hobbled safely off the road; instinctively Jessica glanced in her rear view mirror to check on her two children as the minivan rolled to a stop. She threw the van into park and turned off the car as she peered up the road in front of her. “There was not a car in sight”, she thought as she remembered to turn on her hazard lights.

“What else could go wrong”, screamed Jessica as she placed her head into her shaky hands and began to sob uncontrollably. Images of what was undoubtedly her worse day ever raced through her mind as the tears ran down her cheeks. The loud, hurtful argument between herself and her husband had begun the morning; after five years of marriage he had abruptly decided that it was over. Not wanting to stay in the house and seeking comfort Jessica had quickly packed up what she could and set off on the six hour trip to her mother’s house.

“Mommy Julia pooed” informed Janine, the five year old. Jessica wiped the tears from her face and temporarily pushed aside her troubling thoughts to tend to the needs of her two children. They did not know what was going on just that they were going to see their grandmother and yet they chose today of all days to act out. The entire three and a half hours of the trip so far had been filled with one touching the other, or looking at the other; it was too hot, it was too cold, they were hungry, or the sky was blue; anything and everything caused incessant, nonstop crying which pulled at Jessica’s already shot nerves. One more inopportune diaper change was merely par for the course on this day.

The events of the day somehow seemed inconsequential at the moment. The shredded tire taunted Jessica, “You can’t fix me nahnah nahnah nahhhnaaah!” It was right, there was not much she could do about the tire; the spare was buried under a third of her house. Dusk had begun to take over the day and Jessica was unprepared to deal with the darkness. She frantically groped for her cell phone in the cup holder as a glimmer of hope rushed through her body. “No bars” she began to bawl this time as she slid her back down the side of the car, “No phone, no tire, no light, two tired, screaming children, no husband, and nobody coming or going down this road. What am I supposed to do?”

Suddenly from up the road ahead of her she heard what sounded like a light flickering on. The light illuminated a large road sign about five hundred yards in front of her. It was too far away for her swollen, tear filled eyes to read so she quickly gathered the girls and walked towards the sign. The sign was large and white with old, faded, black lettering; she was unable to make out the exact words, but was able to deduce that there was a town about a half a mile down the road where there was at least gas, lodging, and if the tagline was correct the town offered “peace of mind”. Jessica immediately set off toward the mystery town.

Discouragement began to fill Jessica’s heart again as she entered the town. The streets were dark, all of the stores, gas station, and homes appeared to be empty; she had walked all this way just to be frustrated again. A gentle breeze brushed across her face and carried the faint sound of singing into her ear. Jessica turned towards the sound; a faint light broke through the trees. With a deep sigh Jessica picked up the girls and walked quickly towards the singing and the light; there in the clearing stood a beautiful, country church. The light through the windows was brilliant; the singing was like from a choir of angels. A large sign stood along the path to the church and it read:

YOU HAVE REACHED WHIT’S END COMMUNITY CHURCH
ALL ARE WELCOME; COME AND KNOW HIS PEACE, EXPERIENCE PEACE OF MIND.
“TAKE MY YOKE UPON YOU AND LEARN FROM ME,
FOR I AM GENTLE AND HUMBLE IN HEART,
AND YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS”
MATTHEW 11:29


*Matthew 11:29 NIV
*Fiction
*I welcome constructive Red Ink critiques


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This article has been read 277 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Wendy B McLain 02/20/14
This was a delightful story to read.

"...after five years of marriage he had abruptly decided that it was over."

I used to always put the word 'that' in my writing like you did in the above sentence until I learned it doesn't need to be there.

I'm learning to become a better writer here at FW's and if you stick around and keep writing you will do.

I thought this line, "The shredded tire taunted Jessica, “You can’t fix me nahnah nahnah nahhhnaaah!”" was great.

I just recently read something that discussed using personification of objects in story writing. I can't remember exactly what I read about it but I like it in your story.

God bless~
Camille (C D) Swanson 02/21/14
What a beautiful story! Hope, inspiration and a fantastic message...Amen.

God Bless~
Toni Babcock 02/22/14
Hey - great story. I like the title "Welcome to Whit's End". I assume the name of the town and community church was Whit's End? Clever!
Phyllis Inniss 02/23/14
What a relief after a very bad day and at your wits' end not knowing how to go any further to hear 'singing was like from a choir of angels'. It planted hope that gives us the will to live. Then to come to a Church with a sign: "COME AND KNOW HIS PEACE" and ends with "YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS." God gives to His beloved rest and peace. Wonderful story.
Toni Hammer 02/23/14
what a heartwarming story. I hope you take this the right way, but it kind of reminded me of one of those Hallmark holiday movies where something almost magical happens at the end that makes everyone feel warm and fuzzy.

Red ink comments:
*Punctuation goes inside question marks: "I'm new" she said.
*I'm not sure she would have used the past tense when talking to herself in this line: "'There was not a car in sight' she thought..."
*I think you may wanto put a -- between "going on" and "just that" in this sentence: "They did not know what was going on just that they were going to see their grandmother and yet they chose today of all days to act out."

For a first entry, I think you did great. Keep writing!

Rachel Malcolm 02/23/14
This is a great story, and I love that the name of the church is Whit's End!

Keep writing! I look forward to reading more of your work.
Richard Hicks02/24/14
This is a great story that kept me glued to the computer screen!

Keep Writing!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/27/14
Congratulations on ranking 8 in your level! The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.