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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Easter (05/30/05)

TITLE: The Resurrection Report
By Anthony Tophoney


A great groan rose from Chicago when the urgent sound of a special bulletin blared from televisions across the city. A red screen with bold white letters that read “BREAKING NEWS” had replaced the season finale of “Infidelity Island”, to the dismay of many viewers.

“We interrupt this program to bring you a live report from CBN World News,” announced a deep voice over the intense soundtrack.

As quickly as the alarming red screen had appeared, it vanished to reveal a polished anchor man tactfully shuffling papers.

“Good evening. I’m Joel Cabbot with CBN World News. We have word tonight of breaking news out of the Middle East, where tensions rose to a fever pitch in Jerusalem two days ago, resulting in the execution of a controversial spiritual leader. CBN’s Kelly Watson is live in Judea with this update. Kelly…”

“Thanks Joel.” The scene shifted to a pretty young brunette standing before a large boulder. “I’m live at a tomb just outside the city which is said to contain the remains of the enigmatic figure known as Jesus of Nazareth, believed by his followers to be the “Christ” or Messiah, foretold of in Hebrew scripture. It is just before dawn here on the third day since his death by crucifixion; a day those on both sides of this controversy have anxiously awaited.”

“Kelly,” Joel interjected from the studio, “have we learned anything more about the significance of this particular morning?”

“The details are somewhat sketchy, Joel. There are unconfirmed reports that this former carpenter not only claimed to be the son of God but actually predicted his own death and went on to say he would rise again on the third day.” The camera panned to a group of armed men a few yards away as the woman continued. “Sources close to the governor of Judea, Pontius Pilate, tell CBN this armed guard has been placed to deter the removal of the Nazarene’s corpse by his supporters.” Sounds of commotion off-camera drew the shaky frame away from the uniformed officers.

“What’s happening right now, Kelly?”

Thuds and scrapes could be heard from Kelly’s microphone as she hurried to keep pace with the bouncing picture. “Up till now, no attempt to approach the tomb has been made.” She paused to catch her breath. “This morning however, two women were seen heading this way and it seems they are now arriving.” More sounds of shuffling followed as the lens captured two dark-robed figures moving cautiously toward the soldiers in the foreground.

“Excuse me!” Kelly shouted to the women, who now cowered in the glare of the spot-light, “Kelly Watson, CBN World News.” They retreated wide-eyed from the outstretched microphone. “Are you…” Her question was cut off when the picture suddenly jerked. Exclamations rose from bystanders as the camera swayed, causing dizzying images to dance across the screen.


The camera made one last lurch before coming to rest on what resembled a poorly lit patch of dirt. Nothing but a loud, electronic buzz could be heard from the site.

Joel’s voice came tentatively from off-screen. “You’re watching live video feed from Jerusalem where something is happening at the tomb of Jesus of Nazareth…”

“Are we rolling?” Kelly’s voice was distorted but audible.

“Yes, Kelly we…”

“Shoot the tomb, Benji! Shoot the tomb!”

“Ladies and Gentleman, bear with us as we try to re-establish contact with our regional correspondent, Kelly Watson, in Jerusalem.”

A bright glow engulfed the screen as the tomb came into focus. Kelly’s voice returned, shaking and high-pitched. “I don’t know if you’re seeing what I’m seeing but we’ve just experienced an earthquake here and the stone has rolled away from the entrance of Jesus’ tomb. The light you’re seeing is not coming from our rig …” Her voice trailed off as a radiant figure took shape at the tomb’s entrance. The illuminated being beckoned the two women who had just arrived, while the guards convulsed and fell all around them. The bright light seemed to interfere with the signal and Kelly could barely be heard saying “Dear God!” before the screen went white with static.

The next shot caught Joel gaping at his monitor. “Well,” He coughed nervously. “We will certainly keep you abreast of this story as it develops. Right now though, we return you to your regularly scheduled program.”

Chicago’s viewing audience sighed with relief, except for a select few who were still on their knees, giving thanks.

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This article has been read 1417 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kyle Chezum06/06/05
Wow, I liked this one! Good job!
Karri Compton06/07/05
Interesting view of what the resurrection may have been like today. Good job.
dub W06/08/05
Visions of "Cotton Patch Gospel" presented in a different genre. Nice work.
Sally Hanan06/08/05
Very clever.
Shari Armstrong 06/09/05
Very creative!
Lynda Lee Schab 06/13/05
Wow! I didn't get to this one last week but it's so deserving of its second place win! Wonderful & creative. Loved every word! Congrats!
Blessings, Lynda
darlene hight06/13/05
Infidelity island LOL Very creative read! Enjoyed it!
Benjamin Stephens06/13/05
Very well done, Anthony. Take an old story give it a new setting and it really does cause one to reconsider the importance of the story in the first place. - Ben
Lois Jennison Tribble06/13/05
Very dramatic, Anthony -- could easily be converted for use as an effective Easter skit, also. Congratulations on a job well-done -- great writing!
Debbie OConnor06/14/05
Wow! What a great modern retelling! I LOVE it. Great fun.
Linda Watson Owen06/15/05
You must be a newscaster yourself to write such a realistic dialogue! What a great read!
Val Clark06/16/05
Catchy start, grabbed my attention. Very credible newscast, dialogue and characters. Creative take on the theme and an enjoyable read.
Carol Shaffron06/16/05
Very impressive writing. The story held me breathless all the way through the reading, and I was hanging on every word. You are clearly gifted in story telling.
Duane Gallop07/09/05
I thought it was incredibly imaginative. Be encouraged and continue to write. I look forward to reading more of your work!
Deborah Porter 07/10/05
Anthony, this is the first chance I've had to leave feedback for the last couple of topics, and am only getting to do it now as I do the final editing for the "Celebrations" book.

Well ... what can I say? This gave me goosebumps. You caught the power and mood of the scene so well - and putting the events of Christ's death and resurrection into a contemporary setting was a brainwave. It brought it all home in quite a dramatic way. Well done - as your entries continue to be.

If you haven't already moved up to Level 3, then you need to head that way now. I hope you'll be jumping into this quarter's Challenges.

Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)