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

TITLE: The Miracle of Grace Street
By Ann FitzHenry
08/28/07


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They were coming. It was as certain as her heart leaping against her ribs. They were coming. The mere thought sent goose bumps prickling down her forearms. Like the grips of a vise, fear threatened to crush her mind. There was nothing more she could do. They were coming. She had been warned.

Hannah stood under the street sign, peering around, listening for footfalls. The silent darkness refused to reveal its secrets. Hearing nothing, she continued along the cloistered alleyway. A violent shiver rocked her tiny shoulders. This was something she had to do alone. She had seen those awful boys before.

Hannah paused, pushing her sweaty palms into her pockets. She could barely discern the words “Grace Street” under the streetlight. No sign of them. The boys said they were going to do things to her, unspeakable things. Maybe they had forgotten.

Suddenly the silence cracked with the sound of breaking branches. A chorus of whoops and shouts pierced the air.

"Get her, boys!"

With her heart pounding like a frantic bird in a cage, Hannah bolted. A tangle of arms and legs enveloped her as she tumbled onto the street, the jagged stones ripping her flesh. Hannah kicked wildly as she sagged beneath their weight. Choking and gagging she fell prone on the pavement, the smell of blood and dirt filling her nostrils. The boys’ bodies shook like thunder as the last seconds of her childhood slipped away. Every pore in her body screamed in protest as they took what wasn’t theirs.

Then a voice, almost a whisper, “I am here.”

Sweet relief, she was not alone. Hannah squinted, but she could see no one save her attackers in the darkness.

“I am here,” boomed the voice in the night.

Moaning through a haze of pain, Hannah raised her head. Sensing danger, the boys tossed her aside like a broken plaything and fled. Thrust under a thorn bush, Hannah’s senses spun into the blackness. Surely her rescuer would come. Whimpering in the silence, she listened for the voice. She had almost given up hope when a man appeared.

“You are mine,” he proclaimed.

Falling into the arms of oblivion, Hannah’s eyes met the face of her Savior.

“Jesus,” she muttered.

As nothingness came, an overwhelming sense of calm touched her soul. All she had ever known or would come to know was etched in Jesus’s face. She wanted nothing, needed nothing as long as she was wrapped in His embrace. Gazing into His eyes, she longed for eternity.

Hannah coughed, the warm taste of blood filling her mouth. Her head throbbed with pain as sirens wailed in the night. Fighting for consciousness, her eyes clouded with tears. They were coming. Help was coming. Suddenly Hannah’s face brightened, her broken lips cracking a peaceful smile. In one beautiful and terrible night she had experienced enough of God’s grace to last a lifetime. Until her dying breath, she would tell the world that His love was real.

Hannah trembled as the sirens grew closer. She raised her hand like a shield against the pulsing lights. As the policeman kneeled beside her, she knew there wasn’t a moment to lose. Clutching his collar, she pressed her lips against his ear. Alone in the darkness her touch felt urgent, pleading.

With her eyes fixed intently on his face she whispered, “Jesus loves you.”

Wiping away tears with the back of his hand, the officer stroked Hannah’s matted hair. As his fingers touched her scalp, heat radiated throughout his body. Startled, he backed away. Tilting his head to one side, he considered Hannah’s ravaged frame. Something about her was strange, very strange.

He glanced up at the street sign. Barely believing his eyes, he shuddered as the heat filled him again. He resisted the urge to touch Hannah one last time. As the paramedics wheeled her away, the officer stood alone consumed by his thoughts. The events of the night whirled in his mind. Shaking his head, he walked back to his patrol car. No matter how long he lived he would remember that girl. The warmth of her touch moved him, freed him. As the fire of the Holy Spirit filled his soul, he would forever live the miracle of Grace Street.


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This article has been read 723 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Valora Otis08/30/07
You took on a subject that could have been extremely objectionable. But writing metaphorically, saved you and the stories content. You led this reader through so many emotions. I felt like I was her--lying there, and I wept. This is a deeply spiritual experience, SHOCKING but spiritual. Finally, to have the officer feel the same way I did was VERY good writing!
Sheri Gordon08/30/07
This is very good. You made me feel all of the emotions. Your descriptions were wonderfully written. Nice job.
julie wood08/31/07
A vivid, beautifully-written story! All the pain, fear, and then joy come alive in it through the powerful descriptions. Great job!
Jan Ackerson 08/31/07
Simply outstanding in every way!
Joanne Sher 09/01/07
Wow. You have NOTHING to be ashamed of, my friend. Your writing is evocative and beautifully descriptive. And such a powerful message. Excellent.
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/01/07
The last sentence was the perfect ending to this emotionally gripping story. In this powerful story, you managed a most difficult subject with finesse.
Pat Guy 09/02/07
Yes! This DOES have it all!

You put us there on the scene and we experience so many emotions - well done and very well written.

Wow ...
Marilyn Schnepp 09/02/07
Strictly "BLUE RIBBON!" What more can I say? It touched me to the depth of my being.
Dee Yoder 09/03/07
Touching, shocking, and, finally, hopeful. This is a powerful story with a message of hope for anyone who's gone through a terrible situation like this one. Great descriptive writing and characterization.
Peter Stone09/03/07
Well done. We often get so caught up in the details of a crime that we forget that Jesus uses them for good and can bring about miracles that seem foolish to the wise, eg, the horrible death of Jesus that is in fact the greatest miracle of all times.
Jacquelyn Horne09/03/07
So intense! I almost couldn't read it. So real. I would really like to know the MC's final plight. But a very good ending for the officer.
Laurie Glass09/03/07
Wow! You know how to pull your readers in and keep them there. Excellent.
Rhonda Clark 09/03/07
This is great. The miracle is wonderful. Fantastic.
George Parler 09/05/07
Wow, excellent writing of a hard emotional subject. Good job.
Pam Carlson-Hetland09/05/07
This is an unforgetable, stunning piece of writing. So descriptive. Marvelous writing.
LaNaye Perkins09/05/07
This piece took my breath away. You did such an awesome job writing this. WOW!
Edy T Johnson 09/05/07
My favorite part, the moment between Hannah and the policeman, when her words provoke his tears. You are a very visual writer. I could see it all.
Ann FitzHenry09/06/07
Top 40 ranking: 28th out of 200 entries

Level 3 entries: 12th
terri tiffany09/20/07
Wonderful description! I clung to every word - powerful verbs!! Excellent writing!