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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)

TITLE: Barnstorming
By Emily Gibson


An unexpected southerly wind hit suddenly late last night, gusting up to 50 miles an hour and slamming the house with drenching rain as we prepared to go to bed. Chores in the barn had been done hours before, but as we had not been expecting a storm, the north/south center aisle doors were still open, and I could hear banging and rattling as they were buffeted in the wind. I quickly dressed to go latch the doors for the night, but the tempest had done its damage. Hay, empty buckets, horse blankets, tack and cat food had blown all over, while the horses stood wide-eyed and fretful in their stalls. A storm was blowing inside the barn as well as outside it.

It took some time to tidy up the mess after the doors were secured but all was soon made right. The wind continued to bash at the doors, but it no longer could touch anything inside them. The horses relaxed and got back to their evening meal though the noise coming from outside was deafening. I headed back up to the house and slept fitfully listening to the wind blow all night, wondering if the metal barn roof might pull off in a gust, exposing everything within.

Yet in the new daylight this morning, all is calm. The barn is still there, the roof still on, the horses are where they belong and all seems to be as it was before the barnstorming wind. Or so it appears.

This wind heralds another storm coming in a few weeks that hits with such force that I'm knocked off my feet, swept away, and left bruised and breathless. No latches, locks, or barricades are strong enough to protect me from what will come over those few days.

Sunday it rides in softly, humbly. On Monday, it overturns the tables in its fury. On Tuesday it echoes the destruction that is to happen. On Thursday, it pours water over dusty feet, presides over a simple meal, and then sweats blood in agonized prayer. By Friday, it culminates in a perfect storm, transforming everything in its path, with nothing untouched. The silence on Saturday is deafening. Then Sunday, the Son rises and returns, all is calm and I will never be the same again.

Barnstormed to the depths of my soul. Doors flung open wide, my roof pulled off, everything blown away and now replaced, renewed and reconciled.


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Beth LaBuff 02/29/08
Ah---nice play on words with your title. From growing up on a farm I can remember all the night time emergencies that required Mr. Farmer to head to the barn. You describe these situations very well. I really like your paragraph that starts off with “Sunday…it took me till Thursday to realize Who you were referring to in this, and I like it. I love the comfort and beauty of these lines, “By Friday, it culminates in a perfect storm, transforming everything in its path, with nothing untouched. The silence on Saturday is deafening. Then Sunday, the Son rises and returns, all is calm and I will never be the same again.” Nice work on this.
Debbie Wistrom03/05/08
I think I'm in a season of barnstorming myself, I want the calm after the storm, renewed and reconciled. I feel there is more here that needs to be told, get after it and let us have it.

Your brick made the topic apparent, thanks.
Sherry Castelluccio 03/06/08
Your ending was unexpected for me- but I'm blown away. (no pun intended) That was pretty amazing how you turned the storm into an allegory about Jesus. I think I'd like to see more writing like those last two paragraphs. Impressive stuff.
Lyn Churchyard03/06/08
A very different slant on the topic. Yes, I think the actions of Jesus on the cross spoke very loudly. Well done Emily. I loved this.
Sara Harricharan 03/06/08
This is certainly a different twist on the topic! I liked it. The descriptions were really good and the ending, I liked when it tied in with the title. I thought it had been a typo, but by the time I got to the end, it made sense. Great job and nice word...barnstorming. lol. ^_^