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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)

TITLE: Tonia's Unexpected Fear
By
08/27/07


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Tonia had her head buried in her hands, her long brown hair falling gently on her neck and on to the table, as she cried with lost abandonment.

Her friend, Sheila asked, “Tonia, I’ve never seen you like this. Why are you so afraid?”

Tonia couldn’t stop crying and kept her face cradled in her hands. She could tell no one her secret. Not even Shelia, her best friend.

“Tonia. Talk to me! What has happened?” She gently but firmly put her hands on top of her friends and pulled. Slowly Tonia released her grip and placed her hands on the kitchen table.

Her crying slowed but the expression on her face was so sorrowful that it took everything inside of Sheila to hold back tears for her friend.

Slowly, Tonia began to speak. “I can’t tell you anything! It is just too despicable to even discuss! You wouldn’t understand, Sheila. You just wouldn’t understand and there is nothing you can do to help me! Nothing!”

Now Sheila was really worried. She had never heard or seen her friend so depressed. Tonia was always so outgoing, achievement-oriented and ready to help anyone, anytime.

“Please tell me what is going on with you! I’m your friend and I’m not leaving this room until you tell me why you are so afraid!”

Tonia began sobbing again, got up from her chair and began pacing the kitchen floor.

“Alright! If you want to know the reason, I’ll tell you but you’ve got to understand that if you stay and hear what I have to say, you may not like what you hear and you, too, could be in danger!”

Friendship was everything to Sheila but she began wondering if maybe this friendship had reached its limits. She replied, “Tonia, talk to me! I’m prepared for the consequences. With God on our side and the police close by,we can handle it! Shoot!”

She began slowly but with earnest: “It all began two weeks ago when I took out the trash on Tuesday morning. I always take out the trash at six in the morning on Tuesday, so it’s ready when the trash men come for pick up.

But something odd happened that morning. Remember me telling you that I got new neighbors about a month ago? Well, I found out from talking with the new neighbor lady that she and her husband have been married for only two years.”

Sheila nodded her head in agreement.

“Well, I saw something in their bedroom window as I was walking back after dropping off the trash. I’ve seen them ‘horse’ around before—laughing and running around.. But, this time he had his hands around her neck and he was squeezing hard. Then I saw that he backed off laughing but then seconds later he was at it again and squeezing harder. When he was finished, I saw that she dropped to the floor and didn’t get up. Then he looked out the window and saw me! He smiled and gave me a ‘thumbs up.’ Scared me to death! Now, do you see why I’m so scared?”

Shelia just stood there for awhile without saying a word and then replied, “Tonia, you must go to the police and tell them exactly what you told me. I’ll come with you.”

“No! I can’t! If I do, I know he’ll come for me and if he finds out about you, you, too, could be in danger!”

“Tonia, I’m not leaving here until you agree that we both will go to the police. I will back up everything you’ve told me.”

“Alright. I know that’s probably what we need to do. And, going together will make it easier, not so scary.”

“Good. Now let’s get ready. It’s only two in the afternoon; it won’t take long to get there. And, I’ll drive.”

They both got ready to go but as they approached the door to leave, someone rang the doorbell. It was a tall man, wearing jeans and a plaid shirt and he was carrying a cake but not an ordinary cake. It was a cake that was laced with a sweet and deadly poison.

As many detective fans know, once one kills, murder becomes easier the second time around.


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This article has been read 548 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 08/30/07
Oooh, shades of Hitchcock's "Rear Window"!

The fear was very palpable here--until the rather abrupt switch in POV in the last two paragraphs, which really threw me off.

Creepy fun in the last line. Thanks for writing this murder mystery.
julie wood08/31/07
A beautifully written story with a chilling ending. Wonderfully realistic dialogue--I could hear the two girls talking and picture in my own mind what Tonia had seen.

"Alright" should be "All right."

The personal name in the title drew me in--I'm always curious about the owners of those names in titles.

Great job!
Marilyn Schnepp 09/02/07
...And? It's so unfinished! This reader needs an ending! Wants an ending, expects an ending, deserves an ending; but otherwise, the story is creative and suspenseful...but your reader is left empty of complete fulfillment. (Just MY opinion only, of course.)