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

TITLE: Echoes of Neglected Vows
By Pat Guy


She was struck with such force it spun her around and knocked her off balance. Her legs twisted as another blow through the heart buckled her knees sending her limp body tumbling where she once stood.

Pain flashed to the core of her soul as fire had spread through brittle timbers of long neglected vows.

Lies whispered their flames from the deepest pit of night.

Despair drained her of any desire to reach out.

Hope was dying … slowly … alone.

She laid helpless, her breath shallow and quick – arrows still burning in her chest; burning their poison coursing through her veins. Echoes of laughter in the fading distance chilled her flesh.

Silence. Oblivion.


A gasp of Holy Wind stirred the remnants of life beating beneath glowing embers. Ancient Tears, borne long ago, rained their soothing salve upon opened wounds. Eager palms lifted and received the stroke of each drop.

A deep sigh filled her lungs as she turned to lay on her side. She needed time to rest and recover in the cool of this healing Rain.

Echoes of more lies reached her ears sending pulses of terror to her brain. It seemed endless, and he never missed.

Through a blur of panic she focused on an object lying close by. Its length matched that of her own. Had it always been there? Without hesitation, she groped her way under the Shield leaving nothing exposed.

A barrage of flaming arrows pounded and hissed with accurate aim by the Evil One.

Mounting fear threatened to escape her throat as she clasped her hands over her mouth – she was not alone. Squeezing her eyes tight, she tried to inch away from the unknown entity brushing coarse against her shoulder. But the fragrance of Love was unmistakable. It filled the close space. She opened her eyes and saw a Book she recognized with a pang of memory. It was The Book of Truth.

More arrows struck their force and hissed more lies. Each one extinguished, dying an eternal death – stone cold.

With the Book of Truth in one hand and the Shield in the other, she pulled unsteady legs to a stand. Arrows fell at her feet as dust – disappearing in one felt sway of Majestic Wings standing in the Midst. Ohhhhhhh! ... The whisper of Holy Wind! The comfort of Holy Peace!

She surged with strength! She was overcome by Awe!

Once again she fell to her knees, clinging to The Truth as tears soaked into the shield lying now beneath her prostate form.

Wings of Light bent down to her side and covered her shame as she wept. He lifted her face to look into her eyes, ‘What do you see before you dear one? What do you feel? What do you hear?’

He took her hands in His and placed them upon the shield.

Curious fingers were guided over embossed imprints of Red and Gold, damp now with her sorrow. She noticed the scars from nails that had torn all the way through His hands, reaching to pierce her heart.

Together their fingers followed a pattern – letters, one by one; five in all.

Holy Words spoke from The Book of Truth now opened upon the shield.

‘In addition to all this, take up the Shield of FAITH, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.’*

She made a vow, one more time …

*Ephesians 6:16 NIV


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This article has been read 1390 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie OConnor10/12/06
This is powerful. A unique take on the topic--well done! I am impressed with the tension, and description of emotion. I felt like I was in a vice and suddenly released. Great work.
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/14/06
Powerful peice! There were a coupld of spots I stumbled on just a tad, but this was awesome.
terri tiffany10/15/06
What I like - wow- it was hard to get a breath as your vidid descriptions carried - no pushed me along! great job with that! I loved your grabbing opening paragraph. I loved the ending as at that moment I needed to breathe and you did it expertly - buiding and then giving a satisfactory conclusion.
What I might change - teensy thing - I might change the sentence in the beg. when you said 'fire had spread' I might change the tense to just past tense - the fire spread. just a preference.
Very deep and vivid. Wel ldone!
Donna Haug10/16/06
I liked the way you showed time passing with these words:

"Silence. Oblivion.


Powerful descriptions of the actions throughout. Good work.

Jan Ackerson 10/16/06
Wow, Pat! This is powerful stuff! I read it three times in a row, each time getting something new out of it. Great word choices.
Joanne Sher 10/16/06
What amazingly vivid and memorable imagery!! This captured my imagination and interest in a very real way. This one begs to be read over and over.
Jen Davis10/16/06
Deep and powerful. Excellent writing from beginning to end. "Arrows fell at her feet as dust - disappearing in one felt sway of Majestic Wings..." I wondered about the phrase: "A deep sigh filled her lungs..." I think of a sigh as the exhale. "A deep sign emptied her lungs." The last line was great. Well done!
Cassie Memmer10/16/06
Wow! This is awesome. I think I've been there too, as we probably all have. Very poetic almost! Beautiful and it ends with sweet relief and hope. Great writing!
Lynda Lee Schab 10/17/06
Powerful stuff! And totally out-of-the box thinking! Way to stretch yourself to new levels. Loved the piece. Great imagery. Wonderful message. Simply superb!
Bonnie Derksen10/17/06
What more can be said? I would like to add my "ditto" to all of the above.

Definitely, a vivid description of the battle we fight in the spiritual realms.

I love your word choices, the phrasing and the feel of this writing.

Very well done.
Venice Kichura10/17/06
WOW! This is powerful stuff, Pat, full of action verbs!

You do a great job in this kind of writing, too, as well as your poetry!
Linda Watson Owen10/17/06
Oh, Pat! This is a Wow indeed! You've so effectively blended the temporal and the spiritual dimensions of such a crisis in a person's life! Memorable and powerful images throughout! ( Only one head scratcher for me...'felt sway'...sent me to the search engines LOL! Do you mean 'fell swoop'? I may be wrong though.) This entry was great! :)
Suzanne R10/18/06
I was planning on saying that the beginning grabbed me ... but then the grab kept going and going ... you maintained that level of woomph all along. Wow. This is like an incredibly complex painting where the more you look at it, the more you see. You've blown me away! Brilliant - just brilliant.
Sara Harricharan 10/18/06
WOW! That pretty much says it for this piece. The title is catchy, the message is powerful. God bless,
Shari Armstrong 10/18/06
Chills -loved it!
Donna Powers 10/18/06
A very vivid picture of a spiritual battle. Well done! Thank you for sharing this.
Betty Castleberry10/18/06
Oh...you *are* a master wordsmith! Wonderful!
Tabiatha Tallent10/18/06
This is a favorite for me. This was so powerful, so poetic, it grabbed me and didn't let go. I absolutely loved it!
Aylin Smith 10/18/06
Excellent description. Beautifully done.
Laurie Glass 10/19/06
Pat, what an awesome piece. No surprise to see it in the winner's circle. Congratulations!
terri tiffany10/19/06
Congrats to you Pat!!! told you it was great!
Bonnie Derksen10/20/06
Hey girlfriend!
Congratulations on your very well-deserved EC win. I am sooo excited for you. I'm printing this off and tucking it into my bible to read often.
Well done and press on for more annointed writing. I for one will be waiting.
Luv. Bonnie