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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Vote/Voted off the Island (05/29/14)

TITLE: Rejected And Cast Out
By JK Stenger


World had tried. He really had. In his own morbid way. But he hadn't become the friend he'd promised he would be. And it left me dazed.

We just didn't match. I never understood his empty joys and desires, his wild parties and inflated sense of importance. I felt hopelessly out of place in his company, and thus I kept searching for meaning elsewhere. But World doesnít take kindly to those who question his carnal ways.

"You donít want to conform? Then thereís no place for you."

"No place? But thenÖwhere is my place?"

"Donít know. Probably nowhere. But in any case it's not here. And it doesnít concern me!"

And so World turned his back on me, and left me alone.

Confusion was now my only companion. I detested him, but no one else seemed to be willing to walk with me.

Tears stung my eyes and I looked around in despair. I had to get away from this life with its disappointments and pain. Away from the darkness that tried to swallow me up in its gaping mouth of demoralizing anxiety. Away from the phony smiles and the insincere friendships. These artificial smiles had covered my face too, and I was no stranger to insincerity.

But no more. I was out. I could live with World no more. So what was there to do except leave? There was nothing to keep me here. So we left together, Confusion and I.

It didnít matter where we would go. We didnít belong anywhere. We would go with the wind and see where it would lead, although I had no hope of finding a better place.

The day we left, World cackled and sneered. A smirk was painted on his pompous face.

"Crazy fool. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Glad to see you go."

I still tried to hide my tears in a misplaced effort to keep up appearances, but when World was out of sight, and there was no one else around except Confusion, the tears flowed freely.

How deep is the darkness? How lonely can one man be?

Confusion chattered all the way. Kept blabbering at all the inappropriate moments. Canít a man be left in peace, even for just a moment?

God, just take him away from me. I sighed and whispered the word again.



"What about Him?" Confusion sneered. "There is no God. Weíre all alone, and you know it!"

So we stumbled on. Over roads unknown. Through forests and fields. We slept in haystacks and woke up in mud puddles and tightened our belts so we wouldnít have to feel the hunger. And at night, when Confusion seemed to be sleeping, I cried.

God, if only You would be real.


One morning, as we shivered under a tree in our damp clothes, something changed.

Confusion didnít seem to notice, but I felt it. It was clear. Undeniably clear. There was Somebody there. There was a Presence. I couldnít explain it, but I could feel it. I felt safe and warm. I had once felt that way as a little child, when my mother had been speaking of the heavenly things. But that was long ago.

"God, is that You?"

I fell on my knees and looked up.

Confusion jumped up in alarm.

"There is no God."

I scowled at him.

"Shut your mouth. You only confuse me."

I asked again, "God, is that You?"

Right then and there a deep peace settled over my troubled heart.

Confusion lookedÖ confused. He opened his mouth, but no words came. Then he turned and ran like the blazes and disappeared into the distance.

Gone was his gibberish and his drivel. My mind was clear.

The Savior was standing before me, bathed in the most glorious light.

He spoke gently while I gazed into His eyes, His love washing over me.

"You thought you were alone. But I was always at your side."

Once again tears stung my eyes. But this time, it was different.

The Savior put His hands on my head. I heard His words. Not outwardly, but deep down, inside the core of my being.

"I had to wait until you were ready. No friend of World can enter My kingdom, but I came to save those who have been thrown out by World."

Rejected and cast out. But I had come home.

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This article has been read 327 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 06/05/14
Wow! This was intensely powerful in execution with a prolific ending.

Well done.

God bless~
Larry Whittington06/06/14
C. S. Lewis would have you repenting and being baptized for the forgiveness of your sin and being given the gift of the holy spirit showing you were now a child of God.

I liked the way you showed the ways of the world can not satisfy those who God is calling to himself. We answer God's call by obeying Jesus.

Good work.
Diane M. Bowman 06/07/14
Good story. It made me think about Pilgrim's Progress and the naming of the characters to match their character.

The only red ink I have (not that I know that much about writing!) is this: It felt like the second section was broken up into a few too many paragraphs, making it a little harder to know who was speaking.

I liked the description of being a companion to confusion. If the devil is the author of confusion we should use the feeling of being confused to identify his work and resist it.

Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. James 4:7-8)
Joe Moreland06/07/14
This is very good. Your MC is a strongly defined character, and you did an excellent job of letting your story unfold for us.

I would very much like to see this done up as something longer, with room to explore each of the characters in more detail.

Excellent job!
lynn gipson 06/07/14
This is excellent. Your characterizations are spot on. A unique and original take on the topic and kept my rapt attention.

You should move up quite quickly.

Great job here!
Mar  06/07/14
Intense, it had me from the beginning! Gripping read. ,I would have liked to have seen the title though, "I had Come Home" instead of -rejected and cast out-...i know cast out from the world, into His presence but being the beautiful ending and all. Just me and titles. Well done!
Allison Egley 06/07/14
Oh, this is very good! When you said "How deep is this darkness?" I immediately thought of the opposite and the song "How Deep the Father's Love for Us." Nice job.
Graham Insley06/07/14
Right from your first Challenge entry you have been a writer to take notice of and have got even better.

Noting the comment about paragraphs above, but in the first section, paragraphs 18 and 19 should be one paragraph.

There is no change of subject or speaker, Confusion simply expands upon his first question; "God? What about Him?..."

A powerful ending and an excellent tale from beginning to end.

Noel Mitaxa 06/09/14
Very perceptive material, with a touch of Pilgrim's Progress. Well done.
Jenny Fulton 06/09/14
I love the personification and the description!

Great job!
Jody Day 06/10/14
Well done! I enjoyed this very much. My only suggestion is you might rearrange these sentences:

It didnít matter where we would go. We didnít belong anywhere. We would go with the wind and see where it would lead, although I had no hope of finding a better place.

The day we left, World cackled and sneered. A smirk was painted on his pompous face.

"Crazy fool. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Glad to see you go."

The character leaves and talks about how they didn't belong anywhere, then you go back to World's comments. Perhaps "The day we left" might go better after the two sentences about World. Just my opinion.

Again, very well done!
Joe Moreland06/12/14
Congratulations on your EC placement this week. I had hoped this one would do well, it was one of my favorites!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/12/14
Congratulations on ranking 2nd in your level and 16 overall. The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.
C D Swanson 06/13/14
Congratulations JK!
Once again, no surprise here.
WEll done.

God bless you~

P.S.I've decided to copy & paste when it comes to your entries! mMkes it easier for my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
C D Swanson 06/13/14

P.S.I've decided to copy & paste when it comes to your entries! makes it easier for my Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

God bless~
Tracy Nunes 06/15/14
What a genius idea to make the World a character in your story! By personifying it, you made it more real. Smart. Congratulations!
Phillip Cimei06/18/14
Congrats. So imaginative and enlightenng. You can read it over and over and still gain more each time.