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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Family Pet (05/15/08)

TITLE: The Battle
By Carol Wiley


Staring out the window my soul rested in what it saw; ˝ acre with a rambling creek, a hill loaded with trees, trails meandering here and there, a rabbit hutch filled with Angora’s and 3 ponds that the girls and their Dad had dug. I felt blessed to have a children’s paradise which was the catalyst for adventures of all kinds.

My heart thrilled at the sight of a majestic Great Blue Heron gliding in for a landing by our biggest pond. My daughters’ voices held excitement as they came to look at this unusual event. My teacher mind kicked in, ready to jump on this opportunity to watch nature up close. We headed upstairs so we could get a closer look, being careful to keep our voices low, so we didn’t scare him away. We smiled at each other as we watched him walk around the edge and get a drink out of our pond.

“NO!” exploded from us all at the same time.

Anger and disbelieve filled us. As one we turned and thumped down the stairs, with our battle cry sounding. Grabbing a broom as we charged through the kitchen, I armed myself to protect. We shot out the back door yelling and screaming with our hearts thumping, sure that the four of us could get that stupid bird to fly away. It was, after all, our special Koi fish he was attacking and none of us felt lacking in courage to tackle the enemy.

Zigging and zagging on the hill we boldly tried to scare the bird off, but he was determined to thwart our every effort. He dodged the broom and ignored our flailing arms and loud shouts. The ruthless bird kept picking up the fish and then dropping them. Our hearts sank in the realization that he wasn’t going to be scared off easily. He managed to pick up our biggest and favorite Koi, Beaker, who was trained to do amazing tricks. Frantic, we tried to up our efforts to save Beaker. Our scared and angry shouts rang out.

“Hit him with the broom!”

“He’s over there, get him!”

“Stop him!”

“Get OUT of here!”

“Go away!”

Finally, the bird dropped Beaker half way down the hill and shot off. Beaker, stabbed and scraped up, had been left to die. Amidst cries of fear and relief we rushed to get him and put him in a pail of pond water. Quickly, medicine was added to the water to help heal his wounds.

Beaker had survived. We had won the battle. We felt victorious.

Little did we know that the Great Blue Heron had let out a battle cry of his own. The war was just beginning.

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This article has been read 569 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Carol Sprock05/22/08
Great developing contrast from serene beginning to chaotic end--really gripped me in the moment. I'm not sure why but the last paragraph doesn't quite provide closure for me. I'm left puzzled by what the battle cry of the heron was. It seemed to begin a new segment of the story instead of closing the one. I appreciated the strong action verbs which made the battle come alive for me.
Debbie Wistrom05/23/08
Great off base entry for this topic. Beaker the Koi, I like it.

I want to read the sequel.

Well done!
Amy Michelle Wiley 05/23/08
Good job showing the moment. Stupid bird! I agree that a different line could have privided more closure...maybe something like, "For the moment anyway, the battle was won."
Laury Hubrich 05/23/08
What a great story. I'm so glad the poor fish lived. Very good writing:)
Chely Roach05/26/08
Ohhh, I like the cliffhanger. I envision a darkened sky of large birds, returning to finish "it". LOL! Very creative...
Marilyn Schnepp 05/27/08
Neat job! Exciting story line and sequel anticipation. I don't know what a Koi fish is, but I assume it is a pet - but I do know what a Great Blue Heron, or whatever is...and if the battle has just begun - I'd have to go with the heron, (*.*)!...sorry. Kudos - nice job, and creative thinking.
Jan Ackerson 05/27/08
I love the ending! I'm a big fan of open endings, and this one had just the right tone.

A few minor issues in punctuation and capitalization, but nothing earth-shattering. This is a really good entry.
Joshua Janoski05/29/08
I like how this story starts off calm and then quickly builds up excitement and tension. I'm glad that the fish was alright. I would like to know more about this on going battle. Thank you for sharing this. :)
LaNaye Perkins05/29/08
You captured my interest from first sentence to the last word. I love the way you started out so calm and it quickly escalated. Great writing.
Janice Cartwright05/29/08
You effectively set the stage with a dreamy quality which quickly escalated to a nightmare. Good job at bait and switch - at first my sympathies were with the heron, but when you slipped in the "fish trained to do tricks" I easily changed my loyalties. The closing sentence merely whetted my appetite to know more about the ongoing battle.
Joshua Janoski05/29/08
Congratulations on taking 13th place in your level with this piece, Carol!