Hire
Writers
Editors
Home Tour About Read What's New Help Forums Join
My Account Login
Shop
Save
Support
E
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  

Win A Publishing Package HERE            

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge

BACK TO
CHALLENGE
MAIN

INSTRUCTIONS

how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level

ENTRIES

submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners



Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.





TRUST JESUS TODAY

TRY THE TEST



Share
how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)

TITLE: Because God Gave Me You
By Ann FitzHenry
10/09/06


 LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
 SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
 ADD TO MY FAVORITES

“Naked again with nothing to show for it,” shivered Anita as she adjusted her paper dressing gown. “For what they charge, they could at least turn up the heat.”

Perched on the end of the exam table, Anita studied the wall clock in the corner. Her thoughts drifted through space as she watched the second hand revolve like a planet around the sun. With only a shabby, harvest gold armchair for company, the minutes dragged while she waited. As late morning turned into early afternoon, Anita felt a kinship with Saint Jude, the Patron Saint of Lost Causes.

Suddenly the hinges creaked and Dr. Mattigan appeared in the doorway. “Knock. Knock,” he chimed as he closed the door with a flourish. Waving his right hand, he motioned for her to sit in the armchair. Suspicious of his airy demeanor, she made a mental note to nominate him for an Oscar. Dressed in a crisp white lab coat he played his part well.

“I hope you’re practicing your acceptance speech,” she teased.

With a puzzled expression, Dr. Mattigan turned. Taking a deep breath, he paused and delivered his news. “You have breast cancer.”

Oh the fear and dread from one little word! Present in her family for three generations, cancer was the gift that wouldn’t stop giving. With her eyes welling with tears, Anita instinctively felt the knot in the swell of her breast. As her fingers stroked the skin, the dressing gown crinkled. With her heart thundering in her ears, she only heard snippets of the doctor’s words.

“Malignant…treatment plan…Tuesday. Do you have any questions?”

Questions? Where would she ever begin? With a shake of her head, Dr. Mattigan left the room. Rising to dress, she glared at the clock. “At least your world didn’t stop spinning,” she spat.

Hurrying through the lobby, she ran when she reached the parking lot. Alone in the crisp autumn chill, her boiling emotions rose to the surface. Within seconds, blurry images of crimson and gold were awash in her tears. Like watercolor on a canvas, the vibrant hues gave way to a colorful haze. With the smell of burning leaves blowing in the wind, Anita’s anger flamed in her heart. As the fire continued to burn, it threatened the very core of her faith. Cinders and ashes swirled in her soul.

Detecting movement in her right hip pocket, Anita scowled. Annoyed by the intrusion, she grabbed her buzzing Blackberry and examined the display. “Oh no!” she cried. “How could I’ve forgotten?” Gripping the steering wheel for strength, Anita hurried across town. As she drove, she found comfort in the solid rubber beneath her fingers. Weaving in and out of traffic, she thought about her special little firefighter. Every day for the past three weeks, Scott had asked about the Fall Festival. Regardless what costume he saw, he wanted to be a firefighter. “I won’t let you down, ” she whispered. Cancer would rob Scott of many things, but it wouldn’t steal his childhood.

The leaves crunched in protest as Anita trotted up the sidewalk. Pausing at the door to paste on a smile, she found a spot near the bleachers. In the middle of the melee, she glimpsed a shiny black helmet. With her heart bursting with pride, she watched as Scott’s tiny fingers gripped the ladder of his beloved “fire twuck.” As the older children pushed and shoved, the stripes on his overcoat shown like yellow beacons in the midst of a storm. With his eyes wide with fear, Scott scanned the crowd. Once he spied Anita, his face erupted in a lopsided grin.

“Mommy!”

Breaking from the group, Scott tumbled into Anita’s waiting arms. As she stroked his rumpled hair, the touch of his warm embrace doused the angry flames in her heart. Looking into her face, Scott noticed the tears spilling from her lashes.

“Mommy, why are you crying?”

With the weight of an uncertain future crushing her chest, she carelessly wiped her nose with the back of her hand. Clutching Scott like a life preserver, she kneeled and plopped his helmet on top of her head. As the crowd began to clap, she gazed into his eyes and quipped, “Because God gave me you!”

*Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord. (Psalm 31:24 NIV)

www.cancer.org


The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.


This article has been read 891 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Trina Courtenay10/12/06
This is beautifully heart touching! Thank-you for sharing. Your words perfectly placed brought tears to my eyes.

Trina<><
terri tiffany10/12/06
What I like - you brought out real emotions and I enjoyed the touch of humor towards the beginning. The descriptions were vivid and good strong ending. Very realistic.
What I might change - I think you could drop the 'spat' as her words said it already. One small thing I noticed was almost all of your sentences were structured alike - a starting phrase and then a short part afterwards. You might want to mix up your sentence lengths some as it gets to be sing song sort of.:) You are a good writer that gets to the heart of a situtation!! I love these emotional pieces!
Edy T Johnson 10/12/06
My favorite line:
"As she stroked his rumpled hair, the touch of his warm embrace doused the angry flames in her heart." What a perfect job for this mother's little fire-fighter! Scary subject matter, but you still pulled this reader in to your characters' world.
Marilyn Schnepp 10/13/06
A very well written story; but if someone were to ask me what it was about - I'd say "cancer", or "shocking news", or "Mother's concerns & love for her child"...not about "Fire Fighter"; thus it missed it's mark on topic. But, as I said, Well written Story, and a very Good one!
david grant10/13/06
You have dug deep for this story. Nice job. My fav line "Anita’s anger flamed in her heart. As the fire continued to burn, it threatened the very core of her faith. Cinders and ashes swirled in her soul." One of Dave's Favs this week.
Valora Otis10/13/06
Okay, I have to say this. Your first paragraph is certainly a grabber! Wow! “Naked again with nothing to show for it,” shivered Anita as she adjusted her paper dressing gown. “For what they charge, they could at least turn up the heat.” How many women have felt these words. I have and I'm pleased that you were brave enough to say so! With every piece you write the emotion is stronger and the description more believable.
Joanne Sher 10/13/06
Loved, especially, the ending of this. Your descriptions were so very realistic throughout - and what a great last line (and title!).
Donna Haug10/16/06
"Within seconds, blurry images of crimson and gold were awash in her tears. Like watercolor on a canvas, the vibrant hues gave way to a colorful haze." You have several very descriptive phrases like this throughout. Loved it.
Jan Ackerson 10/16/06
Beautifully written, and I really like your creative approach to the topic. By the way, I like the "spat." This one is quite special.
Donna Emery10/16/06
Oh, this was so sweet. It made me cry and touched my heart. Nicely done!
Cassie Memmer10/16/06
Though very light on topic, this is a beautiful story, well written. Though life sometimes is difficult, God's precious gifts and His Presence give us joy, and make us strong. God bless you.
Donna Haug10/18/06
loved your first paragraph too! I hate those gowns! Powerful story.
Sara Harricharan 10/18/06
A very touching story. I didn't guess at the significance of the title until the last line. What a great job! :)
Jen Davis10/18/06
A very touching story. I especaily like the character's honest emotions at the beginning of the piece. A favorite line (or two): "Anita instinctively felt the knot in the swell of her breast. As her fingers stroked the skin, the dressing gown crinkled."

One suggestion in the first paragraph, consider: "Naked again...for it." Anita shivered as she adjusted...
I also agree with Tiffany's comment to eliminate a descriptive dialogue tag when the dialogue speaks for itself.

A lovely ending, embraced in hope. Good job!
Laurie Glass10/19/06
Beautifully written. Great descriptions. I love pieces that are full of emotions and this one was. Brought tears to my eyes.