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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Pros and Cons (08/14/14)

TITLE: The Long Road Home
By Joanna Blomberg


Kate knew that it was time to go home and so a very weary and worn young lady boarded the long grey bus. The wait at the transit station had been a bit stressful but nothing in comparison to the past couple of months that she had spent in the city. She was tired, oh so tired. The only thing that kept her at peace was a long-forgotten tune that kept coming back to her mind. It was a sweet song and it had a compelling tune. The words were emerging, even though, for years, they had been suppressed: "Come home, come home. Ye who are weary come home." Those words confirmed her present situation.

Weary- that's how Kate had been feeling for a long time. Home-that's where she was headed. Her parents didn't even know that Kate was on her way back home. She no longer had a cell phone. She had lost hers and had no funds to pay for another one nor to keep up a monthly fee. At this point in Kate's life that would have been a luxury which she could not afford. But she had scrounged up enough change to buy a bus ticket home and to her parent's home she would go.

Kate boarded the bus and was able to take the last window seat. As the long trip home began, she stared out at the passing scenery and began to ponder a few things: Why had she left home in the first place? What was she thinking when she left those many months ago? At the time, Kate had weighed out the pros and cons about going on the "better" things. Her "pro" list contained these items: out from under parents' watchful eye, on my own, new and exciting friends, a place of my own, city life. Under her "con" heading there were really no comments. Kate had come to the conclusion that her home was not a "happening" place and that her parents were depriving her of those wonderful opportunities in the city.

She left home without consulting with any others because she was fully convinced that life in the city would be a blast. She would show her parents how wrong they were to suggest that she wait a year or so to mature a little more. No sir, the time had come and no one was going to stop her.

Truthfully, the new life was not all that she had imagined it would be. Her ideal apartment never materialized. She would have to have found a better job to support the rent. Kate had to settle for some pretty menial tasks which did not pay very well. Her last job had been feeding and tending livestock, pigs more specifically. She not only fed them but had to clean up after them. How had she sunk so low? How had all of her lofty dreams for a glittery life been so fatally extinguished? Her friends had fallen away, as well. They were fickle and shallow and were not willing to engage in any meaningful relationships.

That's why Kate was heading home. She had come to a point where she realized that home was where she belonged. Her parents weren't so bad, after all. She needed to feel the love of her mom and dad. She needed to return to God. She was weary. She was broken. She was happy to be on her way home.

Before she knew it, the bus came to a squeaking stop. Kate was almost frozen to her seat but in her heart she knew that she needed to take the first step towards home. She was ready to accept that she had made some horrible choices and mistakes. Lifting her suitcase from the luggage rack she heard a feeble grey-haired man humming that same tune that had been running through her head on the bus trip. He fixed his eyes on Kate, and at the same time sweetly singing these words out loud: "Though we have sinned He has mercy and pardon, pardon for you and for me… come home…." Mercy and pardon- how she needed that. It was then that she realized that those things that she had written on her pros and cons list had definitely switched places.

At first her steps were slow but then she ran. Kate ran to the porch, flung the front door open and was met with a tearful and loving welcome. She was home!

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This article has been read 136 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/21/14
Oh, this was so good! I loved this entry, great job.

God bless~
Toni Babcock 08/21/14
I think if you started this good story with "Kate boarded the long grey bus and took the last window seat," you would have a great hook to grab the reader in the beginning. Immediately the reader would be wondering, 'why is this woman boarding a bus and where is she off to?' You engage the reader in this way without leaking out too much information at the start. Play around with this story some more and see what happens...
Rachel Barrett 08/26/14
When I got to the pigs, I realized you must be retelling the story of the prodigal son, and I went "COOL!"

I could see this as something longer. :)

Something made me think the elderly man might have been an angel, watching over her to see her safely home... :)
Larry Whittington08/27/14
I liked the down-to-earth putting a girl in the well know Bible parable.

Well done.

Use this in a young person's magazine to help young people (girls) make better choices by fully realizing all the Pros and Cons of leaving home.

Again, nicely done and easily read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/28/14
Congratulations on ranking 8th in your level. The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.