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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)

TITLE: Fellowship of Darkness, Fellowship of Light
By Sandra Petersen


Dry leaves scurried along the sidewalk, making a scratching sound as they went. Chilled gusts shook trees and spilled more leaves onto the ground. Lights glowed from curtained windows. Dark clouds dappled the full orange moon.

Diane Fredrick shivered and hurried to catch up to her boyfriend two paces ahead of her.

“So where’d you tell your mother you were going?” Troy slid his arm around Diane’s waist.

“To Jan’s house to watch some videos.”

He chuckled. “What she doesn’t know won’t hurt her. Right?”

The girl frowned and gnawed her lower lip. “I guess so.”

“It’s Halloween. What’d she expect you to do? Stay at home while she entertained those self-appointed witch-hunters from her church? Maybe make some cookies while they prayed?” Troy smirked and shook his head. “We’re gonna have a lot more fun than that.”

Diane nestled closer and allowed Troy to lead her down the street toward the lake.


Miriam Fredrick twisted the stove knob to the off position. The teakettle sputtered, the water bubbling and popping. On the kitchen table were a china plate with pumpkin bars and a bowl with tea and hot cocoa packets. At each of the five places was a coffee mug, a spoon, and a folded napkin. Everything was ready for the weekly prayer meeting.

Miriam sighed, the argument with her daughter echoing in her head. She had not wanted Diane to go out, not even to spend two or three hours with Jan.

Diane had glared at her. “What? I can’t even spend a little time with my friends?” Angry tears spilled onto her cheeks and she brushed them away with a fierce swipe of her hand.

“Tonight is not a good night to be out and about,” Miriam protested.

“Oh, yeah, Mom. I forgot. The little ghosties’ll carry me away. Gimme a break.” She snorted and rolled her eyes.

In the end, Miriam had relented. Uneasiness settled in her belly and grew as she watched Diane leave and slam the door behind her.

Lord, keep my daughter from danger and bring her home safely.

The doorbell sounded, announcing the arrival of the Lake Vista Fellowship Church prayer warriors. Miriam greeted them, tears glistening in her eyes.


Wood smoke wafted through the air and mingled with the aroma of leaf mold. Storm clouds clustered about the moon as if to quench its light. The couple felt their way along the lake path. The flames of a beach bonfire rose into the sky. Turbulent waves crashed onto the shore.

Troy stooped by a boulder at the end of the path. He groped around its base until he located a plastic grocery bag.

From it he removed a black hooded cape and a white linen cloth. He tossed the sheet in her direction. “Here. The others are waiting.”

Diane unfolded the cloth. “Am I supposed to wear this?”

“Yeah. Kind of like a toga.” Troy settled the cape over his shoulders and fastened the silver clasp. Diane hesitated. “Come on. We’ll miss the fun.”

The girl shrugged and tossed one end of the sheet over her shoulder, wrapping the expanse of white around her and tucking it into the waist of her jeans.

“Perfect.” Troy held out his hand to her and grinned.

Indistinct voices chanted in unison in the dark. An eerie shriek split the air and then all was silent. Within a minute, the voices began again, louder and with an urgency that clutched at Diane’s heart.

“What was that?” She willed herself to stop trembling but her body would not obey.

“Part of the fun,” Troy said. “You scared?”

She nodded.

“Nothing to be afraid of as long as you’re with me.” He gripped her hand but she pulled away.

“I’m going home, Troy. This feels wrong to me.”

Troy’s eyes reflected the bonfire’s flames and he scowled. “I’m staying. This is my fellowship; these are my people. You’re right. You don’t belong. Go home.”

Diane shuddered as he strode away. His cape snapped in the wind and he pulled the hood over his head. She stumbled up the path in tears, discarding the sheet as she went.

Another shriek rent the air and she glanced back. Shadows swayed around the bonfire, keeping time with the rise and fall of the chant. She thought she saw Troy hold a knife aloft, its blade flashing in the firelight.

Diane took a shaky breath and set out for home, sensing rather than seeing a host of angels guarding her way.

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This article has been read 1018 times
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Joanne Sher 10/18/07
What a contrast! You brought both (but especially the dark) to us so vividly. I was absolutely enraptured and fearful. Excellent.
Linda Germain 10/18/07
Well done! All who think H'ween is an innocent "holiday" need to read this.
Lynda Schultz 10/19/07
What really scares me is that prayer fellowship is getting to be a lost art. What happens when it becomes totally a thing of the past? Excellent story.
Shayne Catoe10/19/07
The evil deception awaiting everyone can be defeated under the guard of prayer. You made this into a striking story. I loved it.
Dixie Phillips10/19/07
Loved the last sentence... OH MY..... Thank God for praying mothers. Great story!
Betty Castleberry10/19/07
Ooh...very well told. You showed the contrast between light and darkness perfectly. I enjoyed reading this.
Laury Hubrich 10/20/07
This was a very good story. Thank you for the reminder to pray as Halloween approaches.
Amanda D'costa10/21/07
Beautiful write. One should never underestimate the power of prayer. What a powerful weapon we have in prayer, especially when we cannot be with our children the whole time, whatever their age may be. Nice piece. Praise God.
Verna Cole Mitchell 10/22/07
This is a wonderful story of contrasts which speaks to the value of a praying mother, as well as Christian fellowship.
william price10/23/07
Prayer and great writing are two of my favorite things. Very enjoyable and encouraging. God bless.
Dee Yoder 10/24/07
Oh wow! Very good story. I love your descriptions of the night in the first paragraph; it gave a great sense of foreboding to the story. I like the ending very much and the presence of the guardian angels that are sensed though not seen. Very good and suspenseful with two unique perspectives that are expertly contrasted.
Pam Carlson-Hetland10/24/07
Wow...scary. Great writing. You sure know how to describe a scene to put the reader right there. Perfect title, too. As someone mentioned, great contrast between the two types of fellowship. Good, good job!
Loren T. Lowery10/24/07
Yes, prayers are heard and you've shown how in a wonderful story. I, too, enjoyed your descriptive, mood setting writing.