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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Expand (07/18/13)

TITLE: Why Did You Do That?
By Margo McKenzie


She was alone with the sun setting and a deep thirst inside which she would seek to quench as she walked. She was approaching a Starbucks where a latte can sometimes hit the spot-- but not today. Maybe a frozen coffee from Dunkin’ Donuts will do the trick, but she took a look at her expanded waistline and kept right on walking.

Ah! 7-Eleven! With so many products, there must be something there that could quench her thirst and drown out the nagging voices. She did didn’t bother to enter, and she knew better than to walk into Pappy’s Bar and Grill.

She considered going home to call on her Facebook family, but what could they offer besides a quick one-liner. She needed so much more.

She kept hearing the question repeated when she walked down the street. “Why did you do that?”

She would look over her shoulder for the source of the irritation, but there would be no one in sight.

She finally realized that it was her own mind tormenting her about that one lapse in judgment. And what remained? That same persistent question, unkept promises, and a rift between the one source of her once stable and peaceful life. To whom could she turn now?

What a waste, and at 19 years old, she had so far to go.

She had covered a lot of territory in an attempt to obliterate the voices, but she could not.

Alas, she knew deep down inside that her relief would not come by way of her mouth.

A block away she saw the sign—a sign that she had avoided for over a year, but there was something about the enlarged and uplifted tee–shape that would draw her in its direction. She didn’t fight the feeling this time. In fact, she picked up her pace and glanced at her watch. Friday. 7 pm. They are probably closed, but she hurried on anyway. As she approached, she saw lights. Maybe somebody was there.

She climbed the center staircase and peered inside. A gentleman standing near the glass door beckoned her to enter. Everybody's eyes were glued to the man at the podium who was saying

“I just want you to turn in your Bibles to Hebrews 13:8. As I read the text aloud , would you read it silently? 'Jesus Christ the same yesterday, today, forever'.“

The words of the verse began to quench her spirit. The sermon would bring it all together and expand her understanding of God’s love.

He loved me then, and He still loves me. She had heard it before; she understood it now.

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This article has been read 342 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Rose Hudson07/25/13
I enjoyed your story, and I think your closing line was great! The only thing I would consider thinking about is how long it takes the reader to understand that the girl who is walking is pregnant. When she turned down all those opportunities to stop and get something to drink, and considered her expanding waistline, my first thought was that she walking to lose weight. Very nice!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/26/13
This is a nice story. I enjoyed the walk with the main character as she sought out the neon signs. I love how the Holy Spirit propelled her forward. I think many people can relate to that unquenchable thirst you so aptly described.

One thing I might suggest would be to vary your sentence structures a bit. Especially in the beginning you have a lot that start with the word She. You could mix it up some with something like this: Considering going home to check on her FB family, she paused, and then shook her head. Today, something deeper propelled her forward.
It might not be an exact fit, but I hope it gives you an idea of what I mean and puts more of a picture in the reader's mind. Near, the end, I did notice you varied them more. Someone three years ago, gave me similar advice, telling me that almost every paragraph began with a name or a pronoun. I thought he was exaggerating, but when I went back and looked I saw that almost every sentence began that way! It made a huge difference in my writing, and you're already farther ahead with that than I was so I have no doubt that if you keep writing, instead of good stories, you'll have outstanding ones.

I liked how you described the cross as a T. I did stop for a second and tried to think of a chain that started with a T! I loved that because it is original and makes your piece really stand out. The Scripture is a great tie in to your message. No matter what, God does love us, and we all need to be reminded of that. I thought your ending was quite powerful, and the only thing that might make it even stronger would be to add the word but: She had heard it before, but she understood it now. One wouldn't think a tiny word could make a difference, but in my opinion I think it would bea bit stronger. The ending is often one of the hardest parts to perfect because we have such a limited word count, but you did a great job, and it touched my heart. I wanted to reach through the screen and hug the girl. There are many lost teens and young adults out there, and I truly believe God will use your story to touch those hearts. Nicely done.
Brenda Rice 07/26/13
Your entry is very creative and original. Thanks for sharing.
C D Swanson 08/01/13
Congrats and God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/01/13
Congratulations for ranking 5th in your level and 24 overall!! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards)