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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Valley (08/10/06)

TITLE: Evidence of Things Unseen
By Jen Davis


Jason kissed his wife, Katelyn, goodbye. “We’ll be home tomorrow night in time for dinner.”

“Bye, Mom.” Danny’s voice had suddenly grown deeper since he’d turned fourteen. Ben, not quite seven, trailed behind his big brother.

When Ben had first heard his father and Danny talk about going to see the mysterious moving rocks at Racetrack Valley, he’d begged to come along. Katelyn had only reluctantly agreed.

“Why do they call them mysterious rocks, Daddy?” Ben asked.

“Well, even though no one has ever seen them move, the evidence is in the tracks they leave behind.”

“That’s what makes it a mystery, little bro.” Danny thumped Ben’s baseball cap.

Katelyn hugged and kissed them goodbye then called out as they piled into the SUV, “Have fun. Drive careful, and…”

Jason waved his cell phone at her. “I know. I’ll call you on our way home when my phone gets back in range.”

They arrived at the national park in good time and found the desolate dirt road that would take them to the rocks. After exploring the area and taking pictures, they climbed back into their vehicle and headed to the lodge for the night. Having spent the day in 110 degree temperature, they looked forward to splashing in the pool.

Suddenly, without warning, the car died. Jason looked under the hood but couldn’t find anything wrong. He knew they were still 15-20 miles from the main road, but felt certain that someone would eventually come their way. Jason and his boys took refuge from the sun inside the vehicle. After some time, both boys dozed off.

As the evening approached, Jason became increasingly concerned. With just a few snacks and enough water to last through the night, Jason knew he would have to come up with a plan and quickly. He reached out to possibly the only One who could help them.

As the sun set over the mountain, the night brought relief from the sun’s intense rays. Even still, the temperature hovered around 90 degrees.

Jason nudged his sons. “Wake up, Danny, Ben.”

They woke disoriented, taking a moment to regain their bearings.

“We’re going to have to walk to the road, Boys.”

Jason filled their backpacks with water and a few other supplies, grabbed the flashlight, and together they began walking. They walked as much as they could, resting only long enough to regain some strength before pushing on.

When the morning sun cast its first indication of light over the mountain, Jason walked with his youngest asleep on his back. He could feel his son’s drool against his neck. Knowing they still had miles to go, Jason worried that they wouldn’t be able to handle the sun’s rays for long. A part of him had prayed with every step they had taken that night.

Ben woke as the sun beat down on him. “Daddy, are we there yet?”

Jason wanted to cry, but instead he laughed at the familiar phrase. “We’re almost there, Buddy.”

Ben wiggled down from his father’s back. “I can walk now, Dad.”

Jason stretched and cracked his back then pointed ahead. “There’s a huge rock just a mile up the road. We can get out of the sun and rest for a while.”


Katelyn woke as the sun’s first light peered into her bedroom window. As she lay in bed, she prayed asking God to protect her husband and children and to bring them home safely.


John, the park’s deputy, radioed his partner. “I’m going to drive out to the Racetrack.”

“We’re not due to make that run for a couple more days.”

“Yeah, I know, but I won’t be long.” John turned at the next junction.

John had made a practice of beginning each day by getting still and allowing God to give him his first thoughts for the day. But this morning, he couldn’t focus. He kept thinking about the pictures he’d promised to take for his daughter’s school project. Finally, he’d given up on his quiet time, got ready for work, grabbed his camera, and headed out the door.

A couple of miles down the lonely stretch of road, John was startled to see a man with two children, clinging to the side of a rock’s dwindling morning shade. As he pulled over, his camera rolled in the seat. Instinctively he reached out to grab it, and that’s when he knew. As it turned out, he had heard from the Lord that morning after all.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/18/06
Fascinating locale, and a frightening story! I liked your deft touch with dialog, and your lighthandedness with the message here. Good job.
Marty Wellington 08/21/06
Wow! Very nicely done. Kept my attention throughout with wonderful dialogue and gripping story line.
Ruth Neilson08/21/06
God's timing is always perfect, as long as someone is listening. Thank you for sharing.
Joanne Sher 08/22/06
A great telling! And I love your multiple uses of the title theme (if you know what I'm saying!) - it permeates this piece! Love the ending too! Super writing!
terri tiffany08/22/06
Wow! This was terrific writing! Your dialogue and 'show not tell' was perfect all the way through!But the endind was what choked me up - just enough and it drew me back to the title. Good job! I hope you place!
Venice Kichura08/22/06
I agree--very well written!
Jen Davis08/23/06
Shari Armstrong 08/23/06
An awesome story - well done.