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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Weary (05/03/12)

TITLE: There Is Hope
By Esther Portalatin


There Is Hope
“No, don’t do it…”, I could hear a familiar voice screaming. The uncontrollable tears that flowed from my eyes were able to fill an empty well. “I can’t take it anymore”, is all I could say. “My life is a living hell. The pain is too much to bear.” Samantha ran to me as quickly as she could and hit the pills out of my hands. “Do you realize what you’re doing Ashley? You’re only sixteen years old? You have your whole life ahead of you. What’s wrong?” I couldn’t get myself to open up. The pain was so bad I couldn’t talk. I just wanted it all to be over. I wanted the pain to go away. I finally got enough courage to say, “It hurts so bad inside Sam, I don’t want to be here anymore. Maybe in death I’ll be happy. Maybe in death I’ll find my peace.” Through my tears I managed to say, “ I was raped Sam, he hurt me. He took away my purity.” Samantha sat next to me in shock. She couldn’t believe what she had just heard. She hugged me and replied, “I’m so sorry Ashley. Who did this? Who hurt you that way?” My eyes couldn’t bear to look at her. How was I going to tell my step sister that her dad raped me? How was I going to tell her that her dad was a monster in disguise. I turned away and simply replied, “I can’t tell you.” Samantha didn’t give up. She was persistent. “Look at me Ash, just look at me and tell me right now who did this to you.” I looked up at her and I quietly said, “Your dad”. Samantha stood up on her feet, looked at me and said, “Who? I don’t think I heard you correctly sis. Please repeat what you said,” I put my head down and stated, “Your dad.” The look on Samantha’s face was one of horror. She couldn’t believe it. How could her dad do such a thing? He was such a Christian man. He was always reading his bible. He even preached on Sundays. How could that be possible? Samantha took the bottle of pills and picked up the ones that had fallen on the floor, looked at me and said, “He’s not worth you taking your precious life for. I will handle this sis, I promise you.” Samantha walked out of the room broken, but very angry.

For so many months I had grown weary. I didn’t know where to go or who to turn to. I didn’t want to tell my mom. She had married who she thought was a wonderful Christian man, and he probably was, but he let sin enter his life. He let the enemy play with his emotions. I just wanted out of this world.

Samantha approached her father, who at first denied it all happened, but once she threatened to call the police, he fell on the floor and wept like a baby. “I’m so sorry. What have I done?” Sam looked at her dad and replied, “You must tell Millie dad and you must seek help. You have to ask Ashley for forgiveness and you must leave this house. Do you know that Ashley almost took her own life today? Do you realize dad, that you would have to live with that for the rest of your life? How could you do such a thing? How can I ever trust you? You disgust me. Now I understand why mom walked out on you. Now I see. You walked into Millie’s life and portrayed a beautiful picture, but God has exposed you dad. I want you out of this house, but before you leave you will tell Millie the damage you’ve done to her only daughter and face the consequences of your sin. I’m going to take Ashley for counseling and to my church’s youth group. She’s going to need a lot of help and healing. Charles, promised he would get help and go to his pastor to confess what he had done. He knew the authorities would have to be notified and he would spend some time in prison.

A couple of months later, Ashley was part of a beautiful youth group, sang for the Lord and had learned to forgive as Christ forgave. Although it doesn’t always end nicely, this story does and now Ashley can say, “There’s always Hope in Christ."

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Laury Hubrich 05/12/12
You told a whole story here in 750 words and did it well. What you'll learn to do is take a part and expand it. The topic was weary. Maybe for practice, you can take the girl who got raped and write about her- her thoughts, feelings - her deep, profound weariness and maybe even her hope found. With 750 words, there just isn't enough time to tell us the whole story and keep it on topic enough.

Such a sad story, though, and unfortunately, too commonplace. Makes my heart hurt. Keep on writing. You have talent!
C D Swanson 05/12/12
A riveting and heartwrenching entry for sure. The story was well written and held an element of authenticity. Probably due to the plethora of similar stories that perpetuate the news stories daily.

I applaud the daughter for taking action and confronting her dad making him admit to his heinous and abominable act.

Excellent job. Well done, and powerful. Jesus Christ is our "healer" and He will set us free irrespective of our circumstances. Amen.

God Bless,

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/13/12
This is a gripping story and really touched my heart. I have been in the MC's shoes as far as the suicide. There are still times I have to fight the urge because I feel worthless. The pain is unimaginable and you did an outstanding job with that.

Just some tiny red ink. When you are using quotation marks, put the punctuation inside the marks. Also break your story into smaller paragraphs and double-space between them. Also remember to start a new paragraph each time someone different speaks, even if it's just one word. A critique group or a challenge buddy could help you with these little things. Check the message boards if you're interested.

With that said, those little errors didn't take away from your story at all. The beginning grabbed my attention immediately. You did a great job developing the characters. I could feel the pain and fury radiating off the screen. I think the word limit may have limited you a bit as the ending was a tad rushed. However, I was surprised that the stepsister didn't defend her dad and was delighted that she had the courage to stand up for her. I don't get surprised often so that was great.

I pray this isn't based on a true story but am afraid it is in some way or another. It took a lot of courage to write this and I have no doubt your message will touch so many hearts, more than you will ever know. Again you did an outstanding job on this. Some may say it wasn't strong on topic, but I can see how keeping a secret like that can be weary. I can also see how after the emotional roller coaster ride was over, the MC would be totally drained. Nicely done.