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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Home (01/09/06)

TITLE: A Warrior of the Word
By Denise Stanford


I just want to get home. It’s been a nice little adventure, but I’m tired and I need a cup of tea. The sky is clouding over; I bet it’s going to rain any minute, a tropical down pour that will bring out the leeches to feed.

Home is a temporary shack somewhere on the edge of this forest; I’m just not sure which way. The undergrowth is very thick and I can’t see too far ahead. I come to a small clearing where the trail divides, I must choose which way to go; I wish I’d brought a map.

Turning right, I look for signs or landmarks to help; I notice some of the plants beside me. I have been told which to avoid since some are poisonous, there’s one with an abundance of thorns that seems to lean out across the track and I decide to avoid that one. Just as the path becomes narrow I hear water. There is sunlight ahead so I speed up though it bothers me a little; I don’t recall seeing a creek near the cabin.

Before long I find a small cascade that ends in a pool. The water looks inviting and I toy with the idea of a swim. Trees and bushes are busy with insects and the birds feeding on them. Brilliant red hibiscus flowers tempt honey eaters. I can be excused for thinking I have found paradise, all thoughts of home evaporate and I remove my shoes. It feels cool and inviting as I dip my toes.

Suddenly out of the corner of my eye a movement bothers me; a stirring beneath the surface. What is that? As I lean forward to get a clearer view a small bird skims the surface of the pool and disappears; I’m sure it was pulled into the water.

Giving up the idea of a swim I struggle to put on my shoes as the rain begins to fall. The bank seems steeper now, I slip a couple of times sliding back towards the pool, panic rises within. When I gain higher ground I search in vain for the path but it has disappeared, I make a new one.

I need to get home; I have the feeling I’m being followed. I don’t like this one bit. Suddenly I stumble over moss covered boulders hidden in the undergrowth. Running my fingers over their edges I find they have a regular shape; there’s an inscription. They must belong to a building or wall; it appears to be the ruins of a monastery.

Ahead I see an archway with a well worn path leading beneath it. My urge is to run, to get home by the quickest way possible. But in a moment’s hesitation I notice a much smaller gate to the side. It’s almost hidden beneath a heavy growth of vine but I manage to fight my way through.

The road on the other side looks familiar; I believe I can find my way. I hear footsteps and turn to see a man disappearing into a trap beneath the wide archway.

Finally I see the cabin, I am home at last; I breath a sigh of relief. Suddenly I hear a voice,
“How did you do that?”

I have been sprung; my indignant 9 year old, glares at me from the doorway.
“How did I do what?”
“You’ve finished level two, you found a gate?”
“I found an inscription on one of the stones. Matthew 7v13-14” I get a blank stare.
“Look,” I reach for my Bible open at the reference, ‘Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life and only a few find it.”
“Okay… where did you get that sword?”
On the screen my character is still holding the weapon.
“You know at the start, where you can choose four things from the trunk, I took the book. It was a Bible which, when opened, becomes a sharp two-edged sword.”

As I move away he takes my place at his computer and restarts the game. I am dismissed with silence. I give myself a pat on the back for buying ‘Warriors of the Word’, and make a mental note to find out what they are teaching at Sunday school these days.

Matthew 7 vv13-14 NIV Zondervan

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This article has been read 691 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Alexandra Wilkin01/21/06
This is written in a very strong voice - I really liked how you caught me off gaurd at the end: there was me thinking you were really living in that forest. Nice wry humour. God bless.
Bonny Miller01/21/06
I was immediately drawn into the world you've created. You kept kept me moving through it with you, and I became part of the action along with the characters. Well done. May God continue to inspire your creativity and your gift of writing. Thank you for sharing it.
Suzanne R01/22/06
Clever, clever, clever! You had me totally taken in by that game ... I thought it was real.

You're not only a warrior of the Word, you're exceptionally good with words too!

Well done!
Julianne Jones01/22/06
Very, very creative. I was totally drawn in. And now that I know the ending can understand some of the symbolism throughout the piece (like the pool that looks good but draws you into its depths). This was so well done. Blessings, Jules.
Pat Guy 01/22/06
Sooo coool! And sooooo creative! I enjoyed this soooo much! I really did! Loved the part about getting caught by the 9yr old! How typical! And is there really a game such as this! I would like to know! This is good!
Val Clark01/22/06
You sucked me right in with your description and connectedness to your character. Your character's engagement with the game was also well written. Great story, too, how often we forget the power of 'the book'.