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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: River (08/31/06)

TITLE: No One Cares
By Angela Linton


Two days ago when my father whooped me with his brown leather belt, he whooped me good, but this time though there was a difference. This time as the belt moved across my back, my arms and my legs it was like a fish out of water. The belt went all over my body, unsure of itself. It moved swiftly, only knowing that it had a job to carry out and accomplishing it was its only goal.
Fear consumed me and I didn't know what to do. I battled within my mind.
Run…, no stay…, run…, no stay, endure it because it might be worst later.

You see, there has always been order to my father's discipline with his belt. If my behaviour in a matter was questionable he usually gives me a chance to explain myself. So sometimes I leave his presence in tears due to a sour bottom and at other times with my heart trembling and thankful. Thankful that he did not take up the belt that he usually places over the chair whenever I was in trouble.

Two days ago when I was a few feet away from him I saw that the belt was already in his hand and I thought,
Run Alex, run.
My father, somehow sensing my thoughts, bellowed,
"Come here."
So I advanced.
This time around though there was no questions only accusations and before the last word fell from his mouth he was beating me. He was like a man who had reached the end of his ropes. A man that did not care any more and that was what scared me the most. So I cried out aloud and jumped around, never giving in to my desire to run.

When he was finally finished and I was free to run, I ran. I ran to the back of our house and continued to cry as I rubbed my skin. My arms were wet and my legs were wet, wet, from my blood. As for my back, even though my dress helped to protect it, it did not stop the blood from peeping through my skin.

Today, as I slowly walk to school, thoughts of my beating consumed me and as I approached the river that separates me from my school tears flooded my eyes. I was late for school so I was not surprised to find only a few people waiting there for a boat to take them across. As I reached the jetty a boat was drawing near and shortly afterward it was boarded with its passengers.

Mom left and dad no longer cares, so what's the point in going on? I thought.

It's time, it's my turn now, my mother did it so I can do it too. I said to myself.
So looking down at the slightly disturbed blue water in the middle of the river, I stood up and allowed myself to fall into the river. Instantly the water covered me and I sank deeper and deeper. Aided by my backpack that was holding a few large stones. I closed my eyes, trying to stop my body from involuntary swinging to the top.
I am dying. I thought, as salty water entered my noise and mouth.

I continued to sink when suddenly something grabbed my arm and started to pull me to the light above my head.
Please, just leave me alone, just let me go. No one cares any more. I cried within myself trying to free my arm when everything went blank.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 09/09/06
I'm still pondering over this story. First paragraph should be "worse", not worst. Alex wore a dress, thus I had to change my thoughts mid-story...to girl not boy. Then the ending? What happened? The reader is left dangling. What was she punished for? So many unanswered questions, and yet the story intrigued me enough to continue. Still pondering as to my thoughts, however; thank you for a very "interesting" (?) read.
Deborah Bauers09/10/06
Your subject matter of your story is, sadly, too realistic. I was distracted by your change of tenses, back and forth from present to past tense. The ending left me unsettled. While I don't believe that writing has to have a happy ending, because real life often does not, there should be a message. I'm not sure that I understand what the message of this piece is. You've tackled a difficult subject, though, and kudos for being willing to write about it.
Donna Haug09/10/06
Though I don't particularly like reading heavy things like this, it was very descriptive. I felt for her pain.