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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: In-Law(s) (05/08/08)

TITLE: Palaeolithic Fertility Petroglyph #0039
By James Dixon


“Aaaaaaaaaarggg!”. The white tail of a deer flashed then disappeared into the gloomy depths of the forest. Light was fading; Ugfug had no choice than to head for home after another meatless hunt.

The route crested a crag, atop of which stood Lover’s Rock. Ugfug pulled aside a tussock of grass that concealed an engraving of Mate and he, on the bottom right hand corner of the rock. He recalled days of feasting, dancing to the ecstatic beat of drums, late into the night and the… other… things they did together.

That was before baby arrived. Now there was the constant need for more food, skins and sleep. Added to which they hardly ever did the …other things… anymore. There wasn’t even time to hunt ‘properly’ – to sunbathe, whilst getting in tune with the environment.

He thought it could be worse. At least it wasn’t raining.

Ugfug ditched his sodden skins at the cave entrance. Mate scowled at the abandoned pile of clothes whilst baby whimpered in a recess, but he didn’t care.

“Marrrr, Parrrr” Mate pointed into the cave.

“Aaaaaaaaaarggg!” (Translation: I can’t cope with a visit from the in-laws just now).

“Ugg?” (Where’s the deer, dear?)

“N’ugg” (I’ve no deer, dear).

“Grugg?” (What’s for dinner then?)

“N’grrr” (I’ve no idea, dear.)

Mate pointed towards Trader’s hut. (Trade).

“Grrrrrrr!” (That’s too dear, dear).

Mate pointed at Ugfug’s spear.

“Aaaaaaaaaarggg!” (Not a chance! And I’m having the final word).

Stony silence.

“Ug”. (Yes dear).


Mate ordered Ugfug to clear the mammoth remains from the spare chamber while she cooked the expensive haunch of venison. Ugfug dragged the stinking mass outside the cave. It is all very well getting a jumbo-pack, but it goes putrid before it can be used up. He hoped the hide could make a new bedspread, someday.

The sickening stench of decayed mammoth, the loss of his spear and snacking on too many maggots made Ugfug loose his appetite. Father-of-Mates fishing tales bored him. Fish weren’t that big. He left dinner and sulked in a cold, hard bed alone.

Next day, Ugfug was up with the dawn chorus, squatting over a pile of flints. Smack, chip, chip, “Aaaaaaaaaarggg!” went he, reinventing shrapnel for the umpteenth time that day. A shard drew blood so he stumbled to the stream in order to wash it from his eyes.

Ugfug’s vision cleared to reveal that Father-of-Mate could fish ‘properly’. He basked on a sunny rock while some trout spit-roasted over a fire. Mate’s father offered Ugfug a share of the catch. The tantalising smell was irresistible.

Ugfug discovered a fish breakfast concentrates the mind; the flints began to obediently split and chip into lethal barbs. He finished two new spears by noon. He presented one to Father-of-Mate, resisting the mild temptation to deliver it point first. What a pity Father-of-Mate was a hopeless hunter, incapable of moving quietly enough to get into striking range, without spooking half the forest.

Inspiration had trouble stalking Ugfug too, but today, the hunter had an idea.


It was high afternoon; Ugfug crouched on a shady trail. He was ‘in tune’ with the forest. There came a crash, an “Aaaaaaaaaarggg!” followed by the pounding of hooves as Father-of-Mate launched and unsuccessful ambush. Ugfug stepped onto the trail into the path of a fleeing stag. He grounded his spear then braced for impact. The deer impaled its self on the shaft and collapsed, mortally wounded, on top of the caveman.


Father-of-Mate came running. He delivered the coup-de-grace and freed Ugfug. The new friends whooped a victory cry and thumped each other on the back.

They bore their prize home and found the Mates preparing the mammoth fleece. Baby was in the middle attempting to escape the folds of the blanket while the women combed out the matter hair. They were delighted to see two companions returning with a week’s supply of meet.

That night, after they were stuffed with venison, Mother-of-Mate thrust the young couple out of the cave and pointed to where the tribe danced round the fire to the ecstatic beat of drums. It was just like the good old days.

They returned, late, to find that the mammoth hide was laid out for their bed. They sank into the warm, erotic, comfort of a new bedspread.

Anthropologists now call Lover’s Rock “Palaeolithic Fertility Petroglyph #0039”. The experts don’t realise that the pair of figures holding a baby, on the bottom right hand corner, are, in fact, Ugfug’s in-laws.

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This article has been read 937 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lyn Churchyard05/15/08
Oh I just love Ugfug and Mate. I believe I met them once before. I just love the descriptions especially about Ugfug resisting the urge to present the spear point first to Mate's father. Very, very clever and funny entry on the topic. Well done!!
Joshua Janoski05/16/08
I love how you referenced the in-laws as "father-of-mate" and "mother-of-mate." For some reason, I find this entry to be very fresh in terms of idea. I haven't read too many caveman type stories here on FaithWriters.

This was a true pleasure to read. I hope this places high, because it's a really good story.
Carol Sprock05/16/08
I found the opening quite captivating and enjoyed seeing the character of Ug develop. I did find the changes in time and scene signified by the asterisks as too abrupt. Though I think going with the "translations" instead of the original "language" in the conversation between the two would serve the story better, I certainly appreciated your tongue-in-cheek humor.
Jan Ackerson 05/19/08
Priceless, and extremely original! I wouldn't change a thing.
Debbie Wistrom05/19/08
Thanks for the hint, or I may have missed this very fun read.

So many little things you snuck in here that are so clever and witty, like which end of the spear he wanted to give the inlaw father.

Keep writing and thanks for the link to the other Ugfug story.
Holly Westefeld05/20/08
Creative and fun. I like the transition in attitude from rivals to friends. Mate's parents may just have saved their marriage.
Mariane Holbrook 05/21/08
What a great job! You have some very original things in here and you handled them with great skill! I loved it!
Betty Castleberry05/21/08
What fun! In-laws have been around forever, huh? This was very well written, and a pleasure to read.
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/21/08
So creative--so fun!
Sara Harricharan 05/21/08
ROFL! I loved to see more of their story continuing, and I'm glad that the in-laws were able to be of some 'help' lol, in the end. It was a good ending-nice job! ^_^
Aaron Morrow05/21/08
Haunch of venison = one spear

Mammoth hide rockspread = Father-of-Mate visit

Adventures of Ugfug = Priceless

Absolutely hilarious though I was waiting for the reference to shopping at Neanderthal-mart. Great job, keep 'em coming!!
Joy Faire Stewart05/22/08
So creative! Congratulations on your well deserved win!
Joanne Sher 05/23/08
Congrats, James - second in your level AND 33rd overall. Great job!
Sheri Gordon05/23/08
Congratulations on your 2nd place. Loved the dialogue--too funny. Great job with the topic.
Lollie Hofer05/26/08
What a imaginative story - original and creative and funny and entertaining and good dialogue and...well done. Congratulations!