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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: A Sterile Graveyard
By Debbie Roome


The room is cold, sterile, lifeless like my heart. Nothing lives in here. No germs no bacteria, no bugs, no hope. Indeed it is a place of death. A graveyard of dull silver and muted grey where two people enter and only one leaves. I will be leaving today. I am the fortunate one…or am I?

A masked figure appears briefly, contempt reflected in steely eyes. “We’ll be with you in a minute.”

I know what he’s thinking. Another stupid teenager. Another young girl with no morals or common sense.

A sob breaks from a salty reservoir, trickling onto stiff, surgical sheets as I gaze into the glare of halogen lamps.

“Where are you, God?” I beg for a response. “Are you up there? Do You exist? Do you care about me?”

Thoughts swarm like angry bees:

“Catch the bus home, Lisa. Don’t walk through the park.” Why hadn’t I listened to Mom? Why was I so arrogant as to think this couldn’t happen?

He had appeared from nowhere. A shadow with a grip of iron, dragging me through damp undergrowth, branches whipping my face, twigs scraping and bruising as he hurled me to the ground. The horror of that night remains. A raw wound, festering and suppurating with every breath I take. It feels like I haven’t slept for months and my family are concerned and troubled. I can only imagine their pain if I tell them the truth. If I tell them I’m carrying the child of a rapist.

My hands caress the gentle swell that I disguise with baggy clothes; the thickening that is becoming more prominent by the day. I wish I could be sure I’m doing the right thing. Will I really be happier without this uninvited stranger? Without this being who only offers nausea, fatigue and shame?

The door whooshes open and a snatch of song penetrates my grey tomb.
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.”

The pro-lifers are proclaiming hope and their words pierce my soul. They were clustered on the lawn as I entered the clinic. A motley collection of humanity with gentle eyes and a firm message. Their placards seem engraved on my heart.

Life is sacred
Don’t do this to yourself
Abortion destroys two lives not one
God cares about both of you
We can help

Two masked figures approach and my gut lurches with the finality of the moment. “Who is right, God? Do You care about me, about this unborn child?” Google pages run through my mind: Images of dismembered babies sucked and scraped from the womb. Pictures of burnt and battered bodies spread on surgical trays. Story after story of emotional pain and grief, even from those who were convinced that abortion was their answer. Do I want to inflict wound upon wound? Cause further damage to my body and soul by blotting out this life?

It’s as though a shaft of sunshine illuminates the room. A ray of God’s perfect love, opening my eyes, penetrating my blindness.

I throw the sheet from my legs and scramble off the table. “I’m not ready. I don’t want to do this.” They reach out gloved hands to grab me, to restrain me and pull me back but I’m already through the door.

The doctor barges in as I’m pulling my clothes on. I can see he’s annoyed, his eyes glinting like knife blades, his tone angry. “Don’t be silly, Leigh. Come back and let us do the procedure. It’s the easiest answer to your problem.”

“It’s Lisa, Doctor and it’s not the easiest answer. In the long run, it’s actually the most damaging. I’m sorry for wasting your time.”

I walk towards the pro-lifers, my hands cradling the life within. It’s not going to be easy but I will find the best way for both of us. A woman breaks away from the group and comes to meet me, her eyes welcoming, her hands extended. “I’ve changed my mind.” I whisper as she embraces me. “Will you help me?”

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This article has been read 1062 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 02/21/08
Though it has got to be among the hardest decisions in the world, considering the circumstances, this is one of those moments in time when we confirm again the sovereignty of God. Good writing and thanks for the important message.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/21/08
In this very emotional piece, I was cheering in my heart when the mc got up and left the room. I was so happy with her decision. You did a great job of pulling your readers in.
Patty Wysong02/22/08
I could feel the cold sterility creeping in to me. I'm so glad your MC chose life and that there was hope offered at the end. Great job.
Glynis Becker02/24/08
Beautifully-descriptive writing and a message that needs to be repeated again and again! Great job!
LauraLee Shaw02/24/08
Oh, my goodness, this is incredible. Even though every single word is deliberate and written with masterful skill, I have to admit, the ending is the final stroke of brilliance. I KNOW this will minister to many.
Lori Othouse 02/24/08
Wow, this is so beautiful. So well-written and the title is perfect. I love the line, "Do I want to inflict wound upon wound?" Excellent writing and a great ending, too!
Sally Hanan02/24/08
You found a way to give a message without preaching, which can be very hard to do. Great writing.
Jan Ackerson 02/25/08
Your descriptions of the clinic are AMAZING. This is a masterpiece of setting and tone.
LaNaye Perkins02/25/08
This is wonderful. Love the delivery, the message, shoot.. I loved it all! Well done!
Karen Wilber02/25/08
Heart-wrenching and powerful. This line was especially chilling--"A graveyard of dull silver and muted grey where two people enter and only one leaves." This is the sort of thought-provoking writing that is not out in the mainstream, but should be.
Catrina Bradley 02/27/08
I love your descriptive work, and the heart in your writing. Beautiful.
Joy Faire Stewart02/27/08
This is excellent, the descriptions so vivid. And the doctor calling her Leigh instead of Lisa, nice subtle touch.
Holly Westefeld02/27/08
What more can I say than has already been eloquently said? I felt like I was on the table with Lisa, feeling a rounded abdomen, and experiencing the inner emotional turmoil.
Sara Harricharan 02/27/08
so heartbreaking! You really captured this piece and brought tears to my eyes with this dear girl. I'm so glad that she 'spared' that life. The ending where she asks for help is so poignant, I enjoyed the read and your opening descriptions were so good! ^_^
Beth LaBuff 02/27/08
Your title is so descriptive and perfect for this is a heart-rending story. Your writing, as always, is flawless. I hope the message of this can be used in other places.
Debbie Wistrom02/27/08
If only.......I was so happy that Lisa asked for help from a stranger.
Joshua Janoski02/27/08
Wow. So many strong emotional pieces this week, and this one is among the best of them.

I was worried that the girl would go ahead with the abortion, and I was so glad when she ran out of the clinic. This story makes a strong case against abortion without getting preachy or hostile. I can't imagine what women who have been raped go through when they find out they are pregnant. It is my hope that they would make the same decision that this character made.

Thank you for blessing me with this story!
LauraLee Shaw02/28/08
Congratulations on your EC! As I commented earlier, I KNOW this will minister to many! ;)
Sara Harricharan 02/28/08
***Congratulations!*** Some really awesome writing! ^_^
Sheri Gordon02/28/08
Congratulations on your EC. This is a very powerful story. Well done.