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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)

TITLE: If Only
By Cheryl Harrison


The knots of fear in his stomach somehow brought clarity to his situation. Never again would he fail to appreciate the freedom of wide-open spaces. He tried to shift the position of his body, but it didn’t produce the desired effect. The need to stretch the tickle of sleep from his legs was quickly replaced by the overwhelming need to breath. The damp stench of death, like creeping tendrils of poisonous gas, ascended from the cavern beneath his cell. Prison walls absorbed his repeated cries for help and desperation reached the point of no return—he lost all hope.

“Why bother?” he sighed into the murky darkness, “nobody will hear you anyway.” A sudden slithery movement near his head sent chills down his spine. He closed his eyes and waited for it to go away. His mind replayed the events of the last few days. There were so many ifs. If only he had made the right choice by obeying his father. If only he hadn’t run away. If only he hadn’t jeopardized the lives of innocent people. If only he had kept quiet about being a fugitive. If only . . . if only . . . if only . . .then maybe he wouldn’t be in this situation.

Despair ravaged his mind, but gradually his thoughts turned to God. From the depths of his heart he cried, “Oh God, please help me out of this trouble!” Then, for the first time since he had left home, a calm assurance washed over him. He began to see things differently.

The cavern began to quake and the sound of rushing water filled his ears. Extreme pressure forced his body away from the walls of the prison cell, catapulting him upward. “Is this what death feels like?” he thought to himself. Then, just as suddenly as the movement began, it ended. His body landed on soft wet sand. Seaweed and other unidentifiable objects were lodged and twisted in his hair. Wet, tattered clothing clung to his body along with the foul odor from the cavern. Nevertheless, he knew what he must do next … he must obey his father. He must see other people through his Father’s eyes.

Jonah squinted into the warm sunlight, then stood and walked obediently toward the gates of Nineveh.

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This article has been read 907 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Constance Gilbert08/11/06
If father had been Father, I'd have had a clue that it was Biblical. You captured my attention quickly & surprised with Jonah. Enjoyed this quick reminder about obedience.
Jan Ackerson 08/11/06
Oooh, good job! This one's awesome!
Marty Wellington 08/11/06
Great descriptions and thought provoking. Nicely done!
Steve Uppendahl08/12/06
Powerful story in a limited number of words. Your descriptions are excellent.

One small typo (breathe instead of breath).

Nice work with the twist at the end. Wonderfully done.
william price08/15/06
You got me on ths one. Couldn't figure out where it was going until it was almost over. Super job with Jonah. Only one sentence I had a lil trouble with, but the rest was awesome. Excellent job!! God bless.
Joanne Sher 08/16/06
This packs a powerful punch! I definitely did NOT catch on until you hit me with the "Jonah brick" at the end. Excellent lesson in obedience. I enjoyed this!
Summer Cordon08/16/06
As some of the teenagers I know would say, "Dude! You rock!"

Great piece of writing. Loved the detailed descriptions of his surroundings. Totally thought he was somewhere else.

T. F. Chezum08/16/06
Very good writing. Loved the detail. Great job.