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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (04/08/10)

TITLE: Savannah
By Angela King
04/08/10


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Sweat trickled down the back of my neck as I swatted an unrelenting fly away from my face. I had to endure another balmy afternoon in Georgia. Although I loathed my surroundings, I trudged on, kicking up gravel under my feet as I continued on my quest for shade and a cool drink of water.

And then I met him, a kindly old man who carried a tattered copy of the Holy Bible in his right hand and a canteen of a similar condition in his left. He offered that “Gideon” was his name, as he nodded politely in my direction. He noticed the perspiration drenching my shirt and offered me his precious drink—and without hesitation, I graciously accepted the offer.

He was heading toward Savannah—as was I—and he asked if we could travel on together. “I’d be much obliged,” I answered, as we began our leisurely stroll toward town. He was a friendly grandfather-type of man and I longed for someone to talk with as I made my way to my destination.

Our conversation began immediately as he talked about his grandparents—former slaves on a rundown plantation not 2 miles away. “They was hard workers—God-fearin’ folk,” Gideon stated with pride as he gripped his bible firmly but gently. He later confided that his bible had been their prized possession, passed through the generations as each delicately scripted name testified.

As we continued our conversation, we drew closer to the outskirts of Savannah. I had almost wished we hadn’t reached our destination, as I could have listened to Gideon’s recollections for hours. But we had arrived. And as we strolled down the main street, we felt hundreds of eyes following our every move and saw mouths drop at the sight of us. We trudged on together—our destination the same.

The protest rally was set to begin at dusk and many people—mostly African-American—came in the name of peace. But in the distance, the smoke from a burning cross wafted in the sky and we knew that evil lingered in the background. If Gideon was affected by this revelation, it didn’t show on his weathered face. He introduced me—a young, white undergraduate—as his friend. And I knew he meant it.

Gideon spoke to the crowd, quoting scripture that called them to love their neighbor. He held up his most prized possession—in the midst of the social turmoil that encompassed them--and truly believed that good would one day triumph over evil. He rested in the truth of the words printed in that bible, much as his ancestors had in the years before him. Perhaps the pen was indeed mightier than the sword.


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This article has been read 378 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mildred Sheldon04/15/10
I loved your story. No other pen is mightier than Gods. Thank you for sharing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/15/10
This is a delightful story. One that should definitely be shared so people remember what it was like and how times have changed and hopefully how life will continue to progress towards the wonderful vision that Gideon believed in.
Karen Macor04/15/10
Thanks for letting me walk with you. I felt like there were three of us on the path and I enjoyed getting to know Gideon and hear his message. Nice writing.
Amanda Brogan04/15/10
Great story - I love the non-prejudiced friendship between the two seemingly different characters, especially within the setting that it takes place.

A great reminder that neither age nor color of skin can separate us or prevent us from showing love to all of God's people.
AnneRene' Capp 04/15/10
I loved this in EVERY respect. Great story!
Troy Manning04/17/10
Well done. Thanks for sharing!
Jan Ackerson 04/19/10
Good job at helping us with that "you are there" feeling.

There may have been more "tell" than "show" in parts of this.

I have a thread in the forums (link at the top of the page) called "Jan's Writing Basics", aimed toward beginning and intermediate writers. I'd love to see you there!

I love the way you interpreted the topic phrase--you really captured its meaning without over-literalness.
Author Unknown04/20/10
I enjoyed this. I think a little more show would have helped tweak it nicely (show being less narration more sensual (senses, not sexy)). One little quibble, Bible is the name of a book- needs capitalization- also helps readers know it's "the Bible" and not just a bible of poetry :)

I felt the heat, I saw the crowd, and I walked with you. It's hard to squeeze in details & give plot & keep it under 750 words, but the better you get at it the closer to the next round you hop. In my opinion. :)

Nice interpretation of topic & overall very well done.
Gerald Shuler 04/20/10
You built this story in a very realistic step by step fashion. My only regret was that I didn't have my hankie in hand to wipe the sweat off my own brow as I walked down that hot Georgia road with you. Good job on this story.
Rikki Akeo04/20/10
I really enjoyed the descriptive parts of your entry!
angelos2 wark04/20/10
I loved the simplicity of common decency and camaraderie between the two very differnt men.

They seemed to accept each other as ageless-colorless traveling companions and kindred spirits!

If only we could see one another in such a manner.

Thank You for a splendid story. God's blessings.
Patricia Herchenroether04/20/10
I really enjoyed this story. I could picture the burning cross and setting.
Beth LaBuff 04/20/10
...and like Gideon we still wait for that day... but IT IS COMING! ;) I enjoyed this story!
Sara Harricharan 04/21/10
SO much atmosphere in here! Great details and I could really feel the heat. I'm glad it had a good ending. nicely done!
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/21/10
I like the way you unfolded the story, little by little, letting us get acquainted with the characters, even before we realized what an unlikely friendship for that time theirs was. Well done.
Marita Thelander 04/21/10
I liked that you used the Bible as the "pen"...being that it's a sword as well.

Something I've learned on FW to save words and force me to think of how to phrase things in a more creative way. If you look through and remove the "as" and "had" words and try to restructure your sentences without them, you can form stronger visual phrases and save words too.

Good job on the topic.
harvestgal Ndaguba04/21/10
Wow, I loved this story. Thanks. Awesome Writing. I enjoyed getting to know Gideon. Keep Writing.
Amy Michelle Wiley 04/21/10
Very impressed that this is your first challenge story. Great job. I agree that I would love to see a little more "showing" like getting to hear the exact dialogue as Gideon and the MC (main character) talked. Love the story.
Mona Purvis04/21/10
I think what grabbed me the most was that they shared a canteen. To me, I thought about how they shared Living water as well. No matter if it is the heat of the day or that of the KKK, they had the water.

mona
Amanda Brogan04/22/10
Congrats on getting Highly Commended!!! :D I'll bet you'll be getting some big wins before long. ;)
Celeste Duckworth04/22/10
Angela,
Congratulations on your winning piece. The beginning swooped me into the picture....I felt the heat of day as you described well the walk into the city. Plus your characters' converstions were realistic.