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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: End (02/13/06)

TITLE: Burning Flesh
By Kirralie Smith


“Die Kayla.”

The voice was so tormenting. She could already smell her flesh burning and it wasn’t pleasant. Kayla had run from this moment time and time again. But it always seemed to chase her down.

She had slipped his grasp skillfully many times. He promised to hold her, he promised to help her die. But she didn’t want to die, she wanted to live. She wanted to be free!

She had hidden in the drugs and alcohol at first. Attending wild parties, hooking up with guys, lashing out at anyone who seemed against her. But he had found her there, and promised to help her die. Kayla ran though, she didn’t want to die.

Taking a job in an exclusive restaurant had seemed like a good idea at the time. He will never find me here, she thought to herself at the time. The increased income, the status, the workers around her who had become her family all but guaranteed her safety. Kayla successfully remained hidden for 4 years before he found her and spoke those terrifying words to her again, “Die Kayla. Die.”

Tobin had entered her world at exactly the right moment. Strong and reassuring, he had swept her off her feet. He understood her fears and encouraged her to rise above them. His ability to conceive a business and grow it and then sell it for a profit was staggering. His ability to enable Kayla to soar was even more outstanding. Now when she looked at her reflection in the mirror she saw a beautiful, strong woman. A successful and proud woman, a woman in control.

“Die Kayla. Die.”

A tear leaked from her perfectly made up eyes.

“I don’t want to die,” she replied, this time far less convincingly.

“You are empty Kayla, you are nothing. Where is all of this success leading you? What gain is there for you?”

“I don’t want to die,” she repeated weakly, crying hard now.

“Die Kayla and I will give you life. I will give you the freedom you have longed for. What good is it Kayla for you to gain the whole world but forfeit your soul?”

The Spirit within her stirred. She did want this, but she was afraid. She was afraid to end her life as she knew it. She was afraid of letting go and relinquishing control.

“Die Kayla and you will live.”

His words began to taste like honey on her lips. Of course he was right. This was the only way. She began to sob and felt her heart shatter into a million pieces, somewhat like a ticket tape parade. She fell into his arms, completely surrendered.

He delicately held the pieces of her shattered heart in his hands. His words caressed her fragile spirit as he spoke.

“I will place a new heart within you Kayla. A heart of flesh instead of a heart of stone. You will be mine and I will be yours. Forever…”

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Lynda Schultz 02/20/06
You had me scared there for a bit—thinking devil instead of God. I think it was your second sentence that threw me off track: "The voice was so tormenting. She could already smell her flesh burning and it wasn’t pleasant." I was going in a completely different direction until halfway through. I think you could safely leave the out and not do any damage to a well-written article.
Garnet Miller 02/21/06
I too had the feeling of something menacing that was chasing Kayla. I'm glad that the story turned out the way it did. Even when we run from God, He is still there to pick up the pieces of our lives if we will just surrender to Him.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/23/06
Intriguing story, but I'm not too sure I like the thoughts of God being scary and menacing. In the end (no pun intended) you showed His loving side by taking her shattered heart into his hands. THAT part I liked. Thanks for sharing.
Karen Heslink02/23/06
This piece seemed very dark in the first half. I wasn't sure what was going on. I had such a sense of relief when I discovered your direction. Maybe that's the effect you wanted. If so, you certainly achieved it! An unusual and interesting approach to the topic.
Connie Husby02/24/06
Fear does not come from God, and this is what I felt through your story. I felt evil and satan, NOT God. The writing did not flow, instead was interrupted by thoughts of demons. This is just my personal opinion. Keep writing though, you have talent, it just needs direction and fine tuning. I was confused reading this article.
Christine Pellew02/26/06
I am wondering if you had adifferent ending in mind for this story. True 750 words does not give us much time to develope to complex a story. But you captured the readers interest, I feel that the fear of God will harm what you intended for your story to convey. Don't give up fine tuning this story. And I hope that this helps you. An honest review of what a person felt while reading any story will be a help to all of us who want to learn.