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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

TITLE: The Concrete Jungle
By John Huckstep


Tim sat in his cramped four man prison cell. He had one aluminum toilet, one sink and a tiny slit for a window that let in very little light. His cell mates were deplorable. Jack was in for murder, Richard was committed to home burglaries, and Stan said he was in for drugs but talk was going around that he was into child pornography.

There was no privacy in prison. Life was very strict with rigid rules. All movement was controlled and everyone moved like little ant colonies when their tier was called for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There was a fight almost every day and Tim quickly learned that no one is to be trusted. On his first night in prison he didn’t have any toothpaste so Jack gave him a small amount in a plastic cup.

The next day during dinner Jack came over and took Tim’s desert off his meager little dinner tray.

“What are you doing?” Tim said.

Jack growled, “You owe me your next three deserts for that toothpaste I loaned you last night!” “I thought you gave me that!” Tim exclaimed.

Jack laughed. “Gave!” “ Nothing’s free in prison kid!”

Besides you got more things to worry about than your desert.

“I heard some talk last night about some lifers who want to own you, I can protect you but it’s gonna cost you thirty dollars a month. Your only nineteen and these convicts really like young kids like you. Call your family and let them know you need some money.” No one else will be here for ya! You are either the hunter or the prey in prison kid, Unfortunately kids like you are prey in this concrete jungle. Your gonna need help or you’ll never make it in here!

Thousands of young adults live out this scenario each and every day in prisons across America. The tragedy is that they keep marching into the prison system like dazed sheep being led into a pack of wolves.

Tim had nothing but time to think about the road that led him to this dreadful place. I guess you could say he just drifted away from God little by little. He started going out with the wrong crowd on Saturday night and his life became one big party. He no longer found time for church or Bible study. He just wanted to do his own thing and he walked away from the Godly teachings of his parents.

He thought about his dear mom and her words now haunted his memory. “Darling, God wants you to make wise choices. Please obey God at all costs, Many tests await you in this world but always follow the truth of Gods word instead of the pleasures of this life.” A tear ran down his check as he thought about his life and all the wrong choices he made.

Tim and his girlfriend Jenny had been drinking and dancing. It was Saturday night and Tim had to get Jenny home by 12:30A.M. Tim felt the buzz of his beers but he thought he had everything under control. Just before they came to the junction road turnoff a deer dashed out in front of them. Tim swerved and lost control of his car. When they hit the pine tree Jenny was thrown out of the car. She had just taken her seat belt off to snuggle up to Tim and now she was dead.

Tim was arrested for DUI and charged with vehicular homicide due to Jenny’s death. Sin will always destroy everything that is most important to you. 1 John 2:15-16 states: “Do not love the world, nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.”

On March 16, 2006 Tim was found hanging in his cell. The note on his bed read: “Please forgive me Jesus. I love you mom.”

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This article has been read 534 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kristen Hester06/14/07
How sad and tragic. This story has a powerful message.

You might want to check out the rules on quotation marks. I'd be happy to share.

Nice job!
Joanne Sher 06/15/07
Very sad - this would certainly wake ME up as a teen! Great job showing the tragic results of bad choices.
Jacquelyn Horne06/19/07
Oh my! How sad. It should really touch the teens who read it. Maybe make a "turn around" in their lives.
Billie Jean Millen06/19/07
Very sad and thought-provoking. Heartbreaking.