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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Enter (02/27/06)

TITLE: Breaking and Entering
By Shari Armstrong


He could hear sirens as he walked down the street. The neighborhood was getting worse everyday. He waited at the corner for the signal to change. Lightning flashed and the thunder echoed between the buildings. He looked both ways. The road was clear and he went ahead and crossed against the light. All he wanted to do was beat the storm home.

Tires screeched around the corner. Headlights blinded him and he froze. The impact of the car threw him against the bus stop. The streetlight above him faded from sight.

* * * * * * * *


The voice cut through the haze. “What happened?” He opened his eyes, forcing them to focus the white, fuzzy image in front of him.

The nurse looked at his chart. “From what they could tell, you were thrown from the car when it crashed going around the corner. The other man was killed on impact.”

”Other man? What other man?” His vision wasn’t the only thing that was blurry.

She moved beside his bed, checking his IV. “The driver.”

He tried to remember what happened, but he just couldn’t figure out how he ended up at the hospital.

“The doctor will be in to check on you in a few moments to see when you’ll be ready to talk to the police.”

”Police?” he echoed, as she left the room.

* * * * * * * *

A kind looking doctor came in, “How are we feeling, Mr. Manning?”

“A little confused and a lot sore.”

“That’s understandable. Can you tell me…”

The doctor was interrupted by a knock at the door. A uniformed officer walked into the room. “Mr. Manning?”

He nodded, “What’s going on?”

“We’re investigating a breaking and entering.”

“Breaking and entering?” He echoed once again.

“An electronics store was broken into earlier, and we found many of the stolen items in the car. Your partner was killed.”

”My partner?”

* * * * * * * *

“How do you plead?” the judge asked.

Mr. Manning’s lawyer replied, “We enter a plea of guilty, your honor.”

Mr. Manning’s jaw dropped. He was innocent, and his lawyer was about to just turn him over without a fight.

* * * * * * * *

“You’ve been found guilty of one count breaking and entering and grand theft.”

Mr. Manning stood in silence, unsure how he got there. Even though he couldn’t prove it, he knew he didn’t commit the crime he was being charged with by the court. He didn’t even know the other man that he supposedly was with that night.

“Bailiff, escort the prisoner to his cell.” The gavel pounded, sealing his fate.

* * * * * * * *

He somehow fell asleep on the cot in his cell, despite the fact that a pile of rocks probably would have been more comfortable. His sleep was short-lived though, being disturbed by the cell door clanking open. He sat up as his lawyer entered. “So now what?”

His lawyer smiled. “I have some good news.”

”I’ve just been sentenced to jail, what possible good news could you have?”

”Well, a generous benefactor has taken interest in your case.”

”I’m listening.”

The lawyer handed him a piece of paper. “Read this.”

He took the paper and read it. ”Mr. Manning is hereby released into the custody of his attorney, Mr. Lamb. Reparations have been made for the total amount of the damages that lead to Mr. Manning’s arrest and conviction.” He looked at his lawyer, “Why?”

”I was able to pay the price of the stolen items and the store agreed to drop the charges.” His lawyer sat beside him on the cot. “You are a free man.”

“But, now what? How do I repay you?”

His lawyer shrugged. “You can’t. Just stop by and join my family for dinner sometime.” Mr. Lamb stood and walked to the door. He stopped and faced his client, “Oh, next time, wait for the light to change. Jaywalking’s against the law.” He smiled and walked away.

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This article has been read 1711 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Stephanie Nosacek03/07/06
The article, I think, misses the whole concept of the pardon that Jesus won for us.

In your story, the guy is innocent and proven guilty. And Mr.Lamb, supposedly the attorney (a type of Christ???)is getting him out of jail.

Jesus pardoned the guilty, not the innocent.

Linda Watson Owen03/07/06
It seems to me that we're a lot like Mr. Manning in that we're surprised that our minor misdoings ('jaywalking')are sinful (illegal) enough to sentence us to an eternity locked away (jail) from God's presence. whether big or small, sin is sin. I thought the story was really interesting and skillfully written. You kept me glued to the story! I liked it!!
Jan Ackerson 03/10/06
Well-written, with a nightmarish quality for most of the piece, circumstances out of control. Great ending, subtle. I like it.
Lynda Schultz 03/10/06
Took me a bit to figure out who was who, but this was a very clever way to depict what Christ does for us in the great courtroom of heaven. Well done.
Val Clark03/10/06
Clever concept. Well written and interesting to read. I felt frustrated that he was being put into prison for something that he hadn't done but he wasn't innocent was he? :-) Like I said, clever because it works on more than one level and forces the reader to think.
Amy Michelle Wiley 03/10/06
Great imagination. I love the concept! I agree with what the others said though, I had to read it twice to figure out who was who, and while I like the twist of "Mr. Lamb" freeing him, it does seem a little odd since he was innocent... But good job!
T. F. Chezum03/12/06
I like the story and the twist at the end. Good job.
Crista Darr03/13/06
Woo Hoo! Congratulations, Shari. Great, creative story.
Jessica Schmit03/13/06

Congrats!!!!! Awesome job on this story. I don't know why everyone was saying that they couldn't understand why an innocent man was in jail...he wasn't innocent. Anyways, great GREAT story and I'm so proud of you!!!
Andre Kingston03/14/06
Shari, This win does not surprise me. I loved how your story worked on so many levels. I was right there, outraged at the 'innocent' not even fought for. Then came your ending. I laughed and said, yep, she's right. Good job.

The names are cute too. "Mr. Lamb" and "Mr. Manning" - nice!
Julianne Jones03/15/06
Have just seen this Shari. Huge congratulations are in order! I must agree with the last reader (or was it the one before?) who commented - I too had no trouble understanding the story and thought it was incedibly well done. Way to go, girl!
Julie Arduini03/29/07
Looking at the above I'll chime in after the fact--I got this---and it was good. Well crafted and what a great way to present grace. Very well done!
Tabiatha Tallent03/30/07
Great story. I liked the way it progressed, kind of kept me glued in place wondering what would happen next.