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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Confused (08/16/07)

TITLE: Anna's Choice
By RuthAnn Cornelson


“Go ahead, say it,” he rasps into her ear.

The words circle in her brain, “I don’t know. I don’t know.” She rubs her forehead trying to stop them.

“That’s right. You don’t know. You don’t know what to do. You’re not sure. Very good.” he chortles, rubbing his wizened hands together. What beautiful words - I don’t know. These people, they are so easily swayed. All he has to do is make them uncertain, confuse them. They forget what they know. They are practically his. He growls deep in his throat.

He hunches over her: dark, twisted, gnarled, with small eyes so black they glow maroon. He stretches out a claw-like hand to touch her, running talons down her neck, over and over, just enough to irritate.

Anna reaches up to massage her neck, shivering slightly, though the day is warm. She sits on a wooden bench, looking at the sea, The Sea of Uncertainty. A wry smile touches her lips; now she’s being dramatic.

Still, it does feel as though she is standing on that shore, dark water lapping at her feet, touching her toes, now covering her feet, now over her ankles. She should leave, go back to what she knows, to firm ground; get off this sand being washed away beneath her feet with each wave. Sinking in the Sea of Uncertainty; a mirthless laugh escapes her lips.

“No, no, don’t think like that,” his whisper is a black fog drifting into her ear. “There’s nothing back there, only rules and regulations. It’s time for you to do what you want, not what they tell you. Say it again, SAY IT!”

Anna leans forward, elbows on knees, palms pressing against tired eyes, “I don’t know what to do. I’m so confused.” Tears fall, splashing on the worn Bible lying on her lap. She brought it hoping to find guidance, but she doesn’t need to open it, doesn’t want to open it; she knows what it says.

But she loves him, wants him. How did it get this far? They were friends; then more. Somehow an intimacy developed without being sought. Now they plan to meet, just to see where things go. They need to find out what’s real; decide what to do.

“Yesssss,” he hisses into her ear. “You should find out. How can that hurt?”

Anna rubs her neck. It’s so hard to think with this constant pain. She touches the cover of her Bible, too long unread.

“NO, NO! Don’t think about that. You don’t need some book telling you what to do.” He is irritated now. Her confusion should be leading her away. Give them a choice, a hard choice, appeal to their appetites. It usually works, has since that first time, with the fruit, in the garden. She was confused too. She gave in, chose the fruit, drawn away from what HE said by her own desires.

“NOOOoooo!,” even the thought of HIM, brings agony. “I must stop her from thinking about G..G..Go… Can’t say it!” He covers his face, cowering. He forgets to scratch.

“Ahhhh”, her neck doesn’t hurt anymore; she can think. Tracing the gold-stamped letters, “Holy Bible,” Anna thinks of all the pain she has escaped by following the wisdom in this book, God’s wisdom. “But I don’t know if I want to escape this pain. I can’t decide.”

“YESssss!! You should do what you want this time,” victory is close. He grimaces in glee.

“Lord, I’m so confused. I know what you want, but I don’t know if I want it. Help me,” she cries.

Anna opens the Bible, “In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.“1

“NO, STOP!” he reaches out to distract her, but he’s too far away. God is close to her now. She knows what she has to do. It will be hard, but she isn’t confused anymore.

The black figure is a dot in the distance, but his howl echoes back, “I’m not gone! I know your weakness.”

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”2

But: “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.”3

Anna hugs her Bible closer; she will open it more often now.

“For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace.”4

1 Psalm 71:1
2 Ephesians 6:12
3 1 John 4:4
4 Corinthians 14:33a
All references are in the King James Version

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This article has been read 678 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/24/07
Great story--I could almost hear the rasping in her ear.

Consider ending it with "she knows what she has to do" and credit your reading (and your excellent writing) with providing the ending. Much more effective that way.

I'd read more stories along this line. Nice job.
Laurie Walker08/24/07
I liked your switching between his POV and hers, how each affected the other.

I'd love to see this without the word limit. It could be so powerful flushed with detail, background, and what she decides.
Dee Yoder 08/25/07
You have a way with words and you drew me totally into your story. It's very tempting to think we don't need to read the familiar words of scripture over and over, but God has a way of bringing things to our attention in the word, just when we need to read them! This is a good story.
Debbie Roome 08/25/07
Wonderful reminder that our war isn't against flesh and blood. You painted a very clear picture with your words.
Betty Overstreet08/25/07
Very dramatic-I felt I was right there, feeling her torment. Brings back times when we all had to fight to do the right thing, live the right way-In His light!
Martha Ford08/25/07
Amazing! Your writing is so descriptive that even someone who didn't know the Bible would have to feel Anna's visceral battle between good and evil. You are a great writer. Congratulations!
Jacquelyn Horne08/27/07
A good story on how the devil confuses God's people. It was a little unclear to me about the relationship. How deep it was and, if it was close to adulterous or just not right in God's eyes. But that is easy to fix with a little more explanation or conversation. Good job.
Julie Ruspoli08/28/07
This is awsome. Such a unique idea that explains Satan trying to confuse us into sin. Very well written, I really enjoyed reading your article.
Joanne Sher 08/28/07
Wow! This is absolutely excellent. SO glad you hinted, or I might have missed this gem. Your language especially is so wonderfully descriptive.
George Parler 08/28/07
Well done. Sometimes we forget where those thoughts of distractions come from. Good job.
Joanne Sher 08/31/07
Congratulations, RuthAnn. Your entry has placed 7th in Level 2. The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall is available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards.