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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Purposefulness (Purpose in Life) (05/25/06)

TITLE: Jessica
By Jennifer Wortham


She is just lying on the stretcher watching the police drive away with her husband in the back seat in hand cuffs. She has no more tears to cry, and no more regrets. She is going to leave him this time for good. He has lost his temper before, and she will admit itís her fault for not leaving him. She always told herself that she loves him and canít live without him so she stays. This time she is leaving for her daughter Jessica and she is leaving him for herself.

Where will she go? She decided to swallow her pride and call her Mother to see if they can stay there. Enduring the I-told-you-so and, you-could-have-made-something-of-yourself attitudes that go along with the warm bed and safe place to sleep for her and Jessica, she knew it would be worth it. She knew all about the lectures that will be coming, as soon as, walked in the door she would start hearing it. She knew better than to stay with an abusive husband.

At first she thought her husband just lost his temper he isnít like that normally. He just lost control and he must be having a bad day. He always apologized profusely later and told her he loved her. She remembers that night after he apologized and the all night of loving and holding each other and she tended to hold on to those moments and forget the abuse.

Of course, she is no longer in denial after this trip to the hospital for her head injury, black eye, and broken arm. The doctor told her it was just a mild concussion, a fracture, and that she needs to take it easy for a while. She saw the look in the doctorís eye. He knew what had happened, and she felt humiliated.

She knew if it continues she would lose custody of Jessica. Social Services would take her away for good, if she continues to let him beat her. She thought about her Jessica and all her reddish brown curls spilling over her face and shoulders. That face round and pouty with those green eyes staring up at her mother. Those questions she always asked about why Daddy hit Mommy and what Mommy did wrong.

She almost lost all of her purposefulness as a mother then and there. She knew she should raise Jessica in the environment she was raised in. Warm, comfortable, and happy all the time sharing and caring together as a family. Her father was always gentle but yet stern when it was needed. She still remembered the way he held her mother and cared for her.

She had to stop beating herself up about what she should have done and look to the future. She had to get her confidence back and her life back. She packed a few bags and headed for the door with Jessica behind her. She put the bags in the trunk of the car and helped Jessica into her car seat.

She walked up to her Mom & Dadís home with Jessica and her bags. Her mother took one look out her front window and ran outside to hold her both her girls. Her motherís arms where warm and loving and all she could think about is how blessed she was growing up with her Mom and Dad and how much they did for her and continue to do for her. Humbled by the love she felt and the love that flowed between them. She vowed she would have that for Jessica one day. She would be the Mother she knew she could be.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg06/01/06
Sounds a bit like the Prodigal Son. Good writing. Dialogue would have been nice, but often the word count doesn't allow dialogue and getting the message across.
Dan Blankenship 06/01/06
Very good. I did see one spot that I think needed a comma:

"At first she thought her husband just lost his temper(,) he isnít like that normally."

Other than that little "itty-bitty" mistake, a very sound piece that kept me reading.

Keep on writing.
Dan Blankenship

Valerie Routhieaux06/01/06
Very good. I saw one point where a word was left out. Speaks right to the heart.
Amy Nicholson06/03/06
This was an excellent piece. Very well written. Being a beginner, I recently attended a writing class taught by a published author. I'd like to share a suggestion from the class, if I may: For greater impact, write in the first person. You may not be the main character, but try using "I" in place of "she," and see if it strengthens the story. Another thing I learned in the class, once you name a person, you make her real and the reader wants to know about her. That is what you did when you described Jessica and her red curls. Kudos on a job well done!
Amy Nicholson06/03/06
Oh, yeah, one more thing--good transitions from past to present and back again. It kind of reminded me of Nicholas Sparks' writing.