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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Thump (05/30/13)

TITLE: God Has Not Give Us A Spirit Of Fear
By Rhonda Ritenour


"Did you hear that?" cried Chrissy, grabbing her cousin’s sleeping bag.

"Hear what?" mumbled Kathy.

“I think there is something outside. ” Chrissy whimpered.

"It’s nothing. Please go back to sleep. You're just freaking out because of the scary stories Josie told earlier."

Chrissy tried to calm herself by listening to the slow deep breathing of her cousin’s as they slept, but it was impossible. She had heard something and it sounded like it was close to their cabin. Yet, Kathy could be right. She did have an active imagination and even the tamest of scary stories struck her with fear, often causing nightmares.

It was so unfair. Why was she the only one affected? The rest appeared to be so brave. She was such a coward. If only she could stop this trembling, maybe she could relax and sleep in peace like the rest of them.

A split second after closing her eyes, they snapped open. She’d heard the sound again. What am I going to do? It’s something dreadful! I know it. What if it’s a bear?  Or a madman who’s going to kidnap us?  Or worse . . . the ghost Josie spoke of?

Of course it isn’t. It’s probably just the farm dogs, keeping watch like they always do. Knowing they were out there gave Chrissy a renewed peace of mind. Nobody would mess with her cousins’ big dog, Max.

Breathing deeply, determined to fight her fear, Chrissy settled back onto her pillow. But, to her dismay, she heard the noise again. Oh, Lord! she finally cried, What am I to do?

Suddenly, Chrissy remembered. I’ll pray the way Grammy taught me to do when I feel afraid or have a nightmare. Rocking back and forth in her sleeping bag, she sang, God has not given us a spirit of fear. God has not given us a spirit of fear . . . but He has given unto us, a spirit of power, a spirit of love, and a sound mind. Whispering, she prayed fervently, “In Jesus name, go away!"

There! That ought to do it! she concluded proudly.

But the mysterious noise grew louder. It sounded closer to the cabin door. Where were the dogs? They were supposed to protect them!

As the noise approached the door, Chrissy determined, That’s it! I'm waking them up!

Shaking her three other cousins, Chrissy ignored their grumbling until they too heard the incessant “thud . . . thud . . . thud” beyond the cabin door.

Finally, there was a single, solid thump on the door. Was the knob moving?

All four girls gathered tightly in the far corner. Chrissy’s heart thumped wildly as the door slowly creaked open. A chorus of screams filled the tiny cabin.

As abruptly as the screams started, they stopped. "Pappy?!" they cried in unison, dashing toward him.

Smiling, he responded, “What in the world has gotten into you? You would think you’d seen a ghost."

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This article has been read 220 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Linda Berg 06/07/13
I enjoyed this story. You built the the MC well and helped us to feel the fear and insecurity. I especially liked that she thought of doing what her grandmother taught her in praying to help relieve her of her fear. Grandparents can be so influential especially in the faith life of a child.
lynn gipson 06/07/13
This is a wonderful story of how we should seek God in all things, especially in our moments of fear. Well written with an excellent message for all to remember. Well done.
Judith Gayle Smith06/07/13
Imagination running wild! Good scary tell by flashlight future story.
Allison Egley 06/07/13
So you want honest feedback? Honestly, I loved it! :)

Only one tiny bit of red ink. When Chrissy whimpers "I think there is something outside" I'd either use "there's" instead of "there is" (a bit more naturual) or if she's scared and kind of hesitent, then you could say something like: She spoke deliberately, pausing between each word. "I think there is something outside." Either works, I think.

Love this story. Nice job!
Matt Guddat06/12/13
I liked that you either purposely or accidentally divided the story up. The storyline is quite simple but you crafted it together in such a way it still captured the reader.
The descriptive parts were longer paragraphs, sucking the reader in, and the shorter paragraphs kept things fast moving and thus building suspense. I was impressed by the flow of this story, that is what makes it stand out from others (in my opinion). Even your sentences where a good length I reckon.
C D Swanson 06/13/13
This was an adorable read that held my attention and kept me smiling. Nice dialogue, and superb descriptions. Good job!

God bless~