Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

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



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


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.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Writing (01/11/07)

TITLE: Dueling Solutions
By william price


The small flat is silent and dimly lit. The cursor blinks on the empty word processing page like a heartbeat. Hunter Gates lights a cigarette as he considers the right words to type. A swirling cloud of exhaled smoke fogs the small room heís sitting in. A sweating glass of iced tea sits next to his computer on top of a black leather bound Bible. He slowly takes a drink and sets the tumbler back down.

At least it makes a good coaster.

On the other side of the laptop lays a 9mm revolver. His quivering right hand caresses the coolness of its blue steel. The irony of the props in front of him causes Hunter to cast a wry grin.

Only God could have scripted this scene. A Bible sits silent, never opened to my left. A gun lays harmlessly still to my right. A blank computer screen, symbolic of the answers I donít have to impossible questions, is sandwiched between the two solutions, neither of which I have much experience using.

Hunterís hands hover over the keyboard waiting for direction. He starts to type.

Dear Family,

As I write this I am faced with a great dilemma. As you know, I am in trouble. I appreciate all of your support and prayers, but I do not think I can spend the next 20 years in prison. I seriously doubt the jury will have mercy on me when my trial is over. Iíve spent every penny I had on my defense and on bond money to keep me out of jail to this point. I have nothing left but the scalding reality of my actions.

The only thing Iíve ever had in my life was writing. It was always so easy creating fictional characters. But now, as I write about myself, I struggle for the right words. I donít know how the story will end. I have no control over the plot. I canít delete words already written. They are facts now eternally printed. I got drunk, drove when I shouldnít have and killed a mother. I know I deserve punishment. Iím not even sure at this point if I deserve to live. Itís not the prison time I fear; itís the guilt of living. Iíll never forget the expressions on the womanís family in court. I know they hate me. But, if truth be known, their hate for me is nothing compared to the hate I have for myself.

Even as I type this I do not know what I am going to do. I have a Bible to my left and a newly purchased pistol to my right. If you end up reading this youíll know I chose the right

Hunter quits typing and gazes at the Bible under his iced tea.

God, if I give the gun here one chance, I know itíll work. So Iím going to open this Bible and see what it says. Iím not afraid to die. Iím not afraid to be punished. But, I am afraid and I donít know why.

Hunter removes the iced tea from the Bible and picks it up. He leafs through the pages and points his finger at a scripture. After he reads it he snaps the book closed, sets it down and picks up the pistol. His finger trembles on the trigger. He closes his eyes. Then he opens one eye. He sees the cursor still blinking on the computer screen waiting for more words. He lays the gun back down.

Okay, God, Iím a writer myself and I know you canít judge a book by one sentence. So, Iím going to give it another chance. By the way, I already knew the punishment for sin was death. But, there must be more to the story. I havenít even met your main character yet.

Hunter shuts off his computer, picks up the Bible and goes to bed where he reads until he falls asleep.

Four weeks later Hunter is writing another letter, but this one is with a pencil on paper.

Dear Family,
Just want you all to know that I have chosen life. Iíll explain what that means later. But, I want to say I know Jesus loves me, though I still donít know why. I am going to continue writing in prison. Iím working on a novel called
Dueling Solutions. Iím not sure how itís going to end yet, but I know God will help me find it.

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 1395 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Delores Baber01/18/07
Very poignant. It's so descriptively realistic that I feel that you really were typing this with a gun on one side and a Bible on the other. You brought me emotionally into your duel.
Pat Guy 01/18/07
Very creative take on the topic! Loved it!
Mo 01/18/07
Very realistic sounding. Hopefully others in this situation really will choose to write (or something), and The Light.
Crista Darr01/19/07
Intense, gripping, powerful piece of writing. Great working of suspense. Wow.
Joanne Sher 01/20/07
So very intense and engaging. I was right there with your protagonist. Excellent.
Sandra Petersen 01/21/07
Terrific title for this atmospheric piece. I could reach out and touch the glass of iced tea and inhale the smoke. Great dilemma, too. Good job pointing out the answer that saved your MC.
darlene hight01/21/07
I love the picture that you paint with this story. It is like seeing a drama of choice played out. Even though I wouldn't necessarily classify it as allegorical....it kind of is. Very creative use of words.
Jan Ackerson 01/21/07
I loved the climax of this story: By the way, I already knew the punishment for sin was death. But, there must be more to the story. I havenít even met your main character yet. This is a really good piece of writing!
Libby East01/21/07
I want to read the novel he wrote in prison! Good job!
Betty Castleberry01/21/07
Excellent job bringing your very believable main character to life. I enjoyed this very much.
Donna Powers 01/21/07
I loved how you went back and forth between his thoughts and the scene; just like he was going back and forth between his choices. Great ending with a humorous twist. Thanks so much for sharing this.
janet rubin01/21/07
well done. suspenseful. emotional. I liked it.
T. F. Chezum01/21/07
I like this take on the topic. Well done.
Chuck Livermore01/22/07
Great job on this. I look forward to seeing where it places.
Edy T Johnson 01/22/07
Once again, dear writer, you have me watching your drama unfold on a tv screen. You have such a gritty, real-life experience feel to your stories that they put me in mind of old black and white detective mysteries (a genre I could watch all night long!). And, to fit the message in so appropriately makes it even better.

Thank you for the "happy ending." Prison might not be so bad, afterall :)
terri tiffany01/23/07
Wow - this was one of the best I have read so far! I loved the way you shared his emotions through the letter and his choices...excellent writing and very creative!
Tabiatha Tallent01/23/07
Loved this! Very intense, kept me on the edge of my seat.
Helen Paynter01/23/07
It's a credit to your storytelling that I really wasn't sure he'd take the Bible. A gripping, suspenseful and hope-ful story. Well done.
Marilee Alvey01/24/07
This was a good read. Very suspenseful, and, like was already mentioned, I didn't know how it would turn out. One of my favorite lines was, "A blank computer screen, symbolic of the answers I donít have to impossible questions, is sandwiched between the two solutions, neither of which I have much experience using." Very insightful. I'm glad you show him giving God a "second chance." God can make something more of us if we'll just stay on the Potter's wheel long enough! This is a winner!
Joanney Uthe01/24/07
Wow. Can I sit on the rest of my chair now? Very suspenseful and masterfully written.

I like how you included a reason that this character would choose to give the Bible another chance after reading only one verse. That made it all the more realistic.
Trina Courtenay01/24/07
Wow! Suspense or what? I'm so glad I stopped by to read your entry. This is awesome from begining to end. Oh and I added it to my favorites.
Laurie Glass 01/24/07
Wow, I love the intensity of this piece. I don't know if I even blinked through the whole thing. Gripping yet realistic and so well written. Bravo!
Sara Harricharan 01/24/07
This is powerful reading! I really liked the setting, the descriptions and the sense of urgency and frustration at having two choices and needing to choose. I liked the ongoing dialouge in the letters, best. A most excellent job!
Thanks for commenting on "Searching for Serena"
Leigh MacKelvey01/24/07
I've been seeing your name around and been wsnting to experience your writing. I'm so glad I did! I'll be back for more .. and ..more .. and...
Loren T. Lowery01/24/07
Appropriate title, appropriate choice. Three cheers for his victory and your sharing of it through your gift.
It is nice to read artilces that show that people can overcome.
cindy yarger01/25/07
Well written. Believable. Your character development is very good. Good job!
Joanne Sher 01/25/07
I TOLD you it was good! ;)

Congrats, dear friend.
Edy T Johnson 01/25/07
I KNEW this had to be a winner, SirWilliam. Congratulations!

Thank you for commenting on my writing, too. I appreciate you, Friend!