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: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

By Catrina Bradley


Lindsay was sprawled next to Nick under the big oak tree, fanning herself with her “Life is Good” baseball cap. Nick angrily swatted at a pesky fly on a never-ending insect-kamikaze mission.

The posse was all there: Nick and Lindsay had been a hot item since Junior year; Melody couldn’t decide which of the twins, Josh or Jason, she liked best, so she hung out with both. Graduation was a week in the past; the last summer of freedom was trickling away.

“Man, it’s so hot my sweat’s boiling. Y’all wanna shoot the ‘Hooch?”

Lindsay sat up so fast her head swam. “Yah!” The thought of lounging in an inner tube, floating in the cool Chattahoochee, was heaven. She rubbed sweaty blond bangs off her forehead and cheered.

Echoes of agreement bounced against thick, humid air. “Shoot-The-‘Hooch! Shoot-The-Hooch!”

Melody broke it up by demanding, “Ok – let’s go if we’re going!”

Lindsay rescued her hat from the wind whipping through the convertible as Nick sped north on I-285.

“Lindz, take it off or you're gonna lose it.”

“Nope, I’d rather hang on to it than burn my nose.” She tightened the strap and jammed the cap firmly over her wind-mussed curls.

“Turn up the tunes, dude,” called Josh from the back seat.

When Nickelback faded to a news-teaser, Nick moved to change the station. Lindsay clutched his arm. “What’d she say?”

“Dunno, what?”

“I coulda sworn she said “Gator in the ‘Hooch. Leave it – I want to see.”

“Guys, you hear that? Lindz thinks there’s a gator in the ’Hooch!”

Hoots erupted from the backseat and Nick snickered. Lindsay smacked his arm. “I didn’t say that, I said she said it. I think. Shhhh – commercial’s over!”

"…Department of Natural Resources was helping capture the alligator. Officials hoped the animal would provide clues as to where it came from.

The alligator was sighted around Powers Island, a popular launch area within the Chattahoochee River National..."

“Told ya.” Lindsay folded her arms and smirked.

“Hey, Lindsay, hate to burst your bubble …,” Josh shouted.

Nick lowered the volume, “What, dude?”

“She said ‘Powers Island.’ You know, like, where we’re going?”

“Man, what are the chances? It’s probably a hoax, anyway.”

Melody shrieked when her toe touched the river water. “Its COLD!”

“C’mon, quit being a baby.” Josh grabbed one of her arms and raised his eyes at Jason, who promptly took the other. Her screams of protest were drowned when the twins plunged into the river, carrying Melody with them.

She came up sputtering and giggling. “When you least expect it…”

“Yah, whatever, not scared,” Josh retorted

Nick grabbed the rented tubes one by one and chucked them toward his friends, then he and Lindsay waded in. The posse climbed onto their inner-tubes for the float through Atlanta.

“Ahhh, mucho better.” Lindsay dribbled water over her steaming skin. “Don’t forget, we’re on gator watch.”

“Not the gator again,” Nick groaned.

“Hey, the outpost dude even said to watch out.”

“Lindz!” Jason called. “Gator at 12:00!”

Lindsay whipped around, almost spilling out of her tube, and heard gales of laughter. “Dude, that’s cold.” She laughed nervously, peering around.

She had just relaxed when Jason cried, “Lindsay, what’s that beside you!” She popped up, glancing wildly to both sides. This had them all, even Nick, rolling.

“Fine, mock me. Just don’t ask me for help when the gator gets you.” She slid down in a huff, adjusting her bikini straps to match her tan lines, and pulling her cap over her nose.

All grew peaceful, and she enjoyed the cool water, the heat of the sun, and the orchestra of nature and city.

Nick interrupted her solitude. “Lindz,” He hissed


“LINDZ! Gator!”

“Right. Not falling for it.”


“Mmm-hmmm.” She didn’t budge, even when Melody screamed. Man, they’re trying hard. Not gonna work.

She was wrenched from reverie by Nick’s strong hands hauling her off her tube. “Quit!” Her protest was muffled by Nick’s smothering embrace. She struggled loose and saw his horrified stare. When she looked back, she swooned.

The pointy teeth of a gator were shredding the tube as his muscular neck jerked his head back and forth. Then, taking his prize, the proud animal dove to the bottom.

Lindsay sat wrapped in a group hug. Comforting murmurs soothed her. Her shaking had reduced to a tremble.

Jason spoke up. “I get it now. ’The Boy Who Cried Wolf.’ I can’t wait to tell mom.”

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 1327 times
Member Comments
Member Date
dub W06/14/07
Love it love it love it. Alan Jackson would too. Puppy number 2.
Joanne Sher 06/14/07
Excellent job with the language, the atmosphere, the action - and I LOVE the title. This is right on for the genre.
Leigh MacKelvey06/14/07
An adventure for teens to love ... and adults. This was great! The jargon, the descriptions ... it has it all! Loved the line about the never ending insect-kamikaze mission! Wonderful job. Hey, you're a puppy this week!
Kaylee Blake 06/15/07
This is gonna place. It has too. Cuz I said! And I should know! I'm a teen! Seriously, you held my intrest the whole way through. Excellent characterization and dialouge. What a wonderful job!
Benjamin Graber06/15/07
This one is great! I love the tone you used...
TJ Nickel06/15/07
Nice description of the pesky fly and introduction of the cap in the opening. The cap is carried throughout, but doesn't pick up the significance it could. It's your symbol you keep going back to and is tied to Lindsay, but it doesn't save her in the end. Can you see re-writing this putting the cap into that kind of role? I think it could improve the story.
Sentence structure on "The thought of lounging in an inner tube..." can be improved by replacing first comma with 'and' and eliminating the second comma entirely. The clause is the
heavenly part of the sentence and not the inner tube. It could tie it together better.
"I want to see" could be removed entirely. It isn't needed and contradicts the audio.
Having suggested all of that, you hit the nail on the head with this story for this genre. Good action and motion, enough information without too much, quick pace and dramatic buildup.
joe hodson06/15/07
I could picture the whole thing: it was like "Jaws" with an alligator! I liked the details you used: "Nickelback", "I-285", etc. You did a good job at painting a teen care-free ("Life is Good"), friends matter most, kind of picture. Also, great job with your transition from the convertible to Melody shrieking at the cold river water. Great job with making the boys macho, and I loved melody's indecision about the twins. Also, I liked the suspense. It was truly a Teen Adventure! Thank you.
Marilyn Schnepp 06/16/07
Neat story that teens would love (I think.) Nice writing.
Sharlyn Guthrie06/16/07
All the little details make this a great story...the "Life is Good" cap, for instance. It's fast-paced and realistic. You are a skilled writer.
Kristen Hester06/18/07
This is great. My parents live on the lake where there are frequent alligagor sightings. We ski there and do the same "Watch Out!" trick to my sister all the time. This was so believable and real. It's perfect for a teen. It has suspense, fun, everything. Iloved you're subject matter, also. It was new and fresh. Great!
Jan Ackerson 06/18/07
Lots of suspense and realistic teen dialog and action.

Bit of a fizzle toward the end, perhaps? With more words, perhaps you can do more with the suspense and resolution.

Teens, both guys and gals, will really like this one.
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/18/07
An exciting teen adventure with wonderful descriptions--sure to please!
Myrna Noyes06/18/07
Great story for teens with its suspense, hint of romance, summer fun, teasing back and forth, etc.! I really enjoyed reading it, and I'm waaaaaaaaaaaay beyond my teen years! Nice job! :)
Jacquelyn Horne06/20/07
Sounds like a bunch of teens. Good job.
Sara Harricharan 06/20/07
Okay, I definitely love this! You outdid yourself, Cat. I love the characters, you captured true teen spirit here. I could easily see this happening-your descriptions put me right there in the middle of everything. Awesome writing!
Rita Garcia06/20/07
This will be a big hit with the teens! SO much detail and suspense packed into a few words! Love it!
Loren T. Lowery06/20/07
Really enjoyed this very believable romp with these teens. It was fun being along on their adventure. Great job of writing and bringing key elements of suspense, anticipation, description all into play.
Pam Carlson-Hetland06/20/07
I don't know how to add to all the comments above. This is extremely good. I loved the realistic dialogue, all the wonderful details that set the "feel", and the suspense had me glued to the story to the very end. Wonderful writing. Great job!
Julie Arduini06/20/07
I too don't know what to add but I enjoyed it a lot. The title, references, dialogue, it was a joy!
Sharlyn Guthrie06/21/07
Woo-hoo! Didn't I tell ya?! Congratulations!!
Sara Harricharan 06/21/07
WooT! ***Congrats!***
Patty Wysong06/21/07
Soooooo good!! I loved it! You dialog (and language!) was excellent, you really put us there with the kids. (Are you SURE you're not a teen?!?) *grin* CONGRATS!
Betty Castleberry06/21/07
Congrats on your win. Well deserved. I like this piece a bunch. I could see the scene and the kids very clearly.
Myrna Noyes06/21/07
CONGRATULATIONS on your well-deserved 2nd place in Advanced and on your EC!!!! :) Whoopeeeeeeeee!!!!
Pauline TAIT06/25/07
Trevas Walker07/19/07
Very well written. Congrats on your 2nd place.