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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Police (10/12/06)

TITLE: Jailhouse Rock
By Ruth Neilson


Police Investigation #162339

“Please state your name and occupation for the committee before we proceed with the hearings.”

“Um...my name is Tiberius Col. Curtius and I was on duty at the prison the night in question.”

“Please inform the committee of what occurred, in your own words.”

I shuffled for a moment before taking a deep breath and began to speak. Telling stories had always been in my blood—with my father being a renowned author, and this time, I could only pray that the committee would believe me.
The night began as any other night. Two new prisoners were thrown in, badly beaten—and placed in shackles. I didn’t pay any heed to them because I knew that they probably weren’t going to survive the night—they were that bad off. It wasn’t my place to offer them bandages, or even to tend to their wounds without the permission of the warden and I hadn’t received any for those two prisoners.

Slowly, they revived and instead of begging for mercy from me to be let loose from their restraints, they began to sing and pray unto this new deity that I had never heard of. According to the paper work that had accompanied them, they were two radical Jews who had taken to the teachings of an extremist teacher from Israel, who had been killed and later whose body had been stolen.

I continued to pay them no heed and continued walking my beat. Those two Jews were odd fellows, yes they were. They continued to sing ancient hymns from their religion and pray—but their voices never seemed to become strained. The other odd thing that happened was the distinctive lack of harassment from the other prisoners. It was as if the hymns had some sort of a calming effect on everyone. Perhaps, the oddest part was the lack of hymns about being rescued. It was as if they only knew one type of song!

“Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good...”

It was a quiet evening, despite the singing and I thought that it was safe to rest for a little bit. Most of the prisoners had settled down and gone to sleep—except for the singers. I settled down in my chair that was in the corner of the block (the perfect angle to see everything that was occurring) and dozed off. There ain’t no crime in doing that—cause all of my prisoners were secured.

The next thing that I knew, the air was filled with the screams of panicked men and the walls were shaking all around me! I leapt to my feet the moment that the ground seemed to stabilize and began to run down the block. Only to realize that all of my prisoners were missing! My life was now forfeit in the eyes of the government. I drew out my state-issued weapon and prepared to kill myself when one of the singers spoke up.

“Don’t kill yourself! We’re all here.” He said and I couldn’t believe it as I slowly stumbled through the debris. Some how, all of the prisoners ended up in the singers’ cell and were huddled around the two men.

I fell at their feet, dropping my flashlight, and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

The leader, Paul replied, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved—you and your household.”

I brought them to my house, after securing the other prisoners in undamaged cells and tended to their wounds. In the morning, the warden stated that they were to be released—so I sent them on their way—or at least I tried to. Paul refused to leave. He didn’t want to see this case pushed underneath the carpet because he was a citizen—and hadn’t been treated as such.

With a government issued apology in hand, he was finally appeased and left the prison.
“Would you say that the two Jews in question were directly responsible for the damage that occurred to our prison?” The head of the committee asked the moment that I finished my tale.

I considered the question for a long moment before responding, “No, I don’t think it was. I think that you are better off filing this insurance claim under the ‘Act of God’ clause and pray that you get your money.”

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This article has been read 831 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 10/19/06
Good title for the story about the earthquake; I liked the last line the best, although it definitely is fiction as I doubt insurance was around in those days. The guard was a bit long-winded in his describing of the events, but the retelling of this bible story is creative.
Donna Haug10/19/06
This was so creative. And I LOVED the Act of God clause! Cool!
Angela Linton10/19/06
Very creative indeed and I especially like the name of the story.
Karen Chatham10/20/06
I love how you truly put yourself in the guard's shoes. Stories like this are so inspiring.
Marty Wellington 10/21/06
An interesting take on this Biblical account. I did a double take when I read "flashlight" and the "insurance" bit--did you mean to put this in modern times? If so, bravo. Kept my attention and moved along at a great pace--very enjoyable read.
Lynda Schultz 10/22/06
I might have been tempted to chose either modern times or ancient, rather than a combination of both. But this was really good, and I loved the last line.
Ann Grover10/24/06
Well-chosen title... creative... enjoyed this very much.
Jan Ackerson 10/24/06
Clever--I'd like to see this even more "modernized", so as to eliminate any uncertainty as to whether it was intentional. Great POV, creative story.