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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)

TITLE: Unquenched
By Catrina Bradley


I sure could use a drink of water. So thirsty. Mustn’t forget to ask. Water. Remember. I want a drink of water. I’ll ask him for one when he comes in. A nice cold drink of water. A tall drink of water. That’s what they used to call me. Back then…when George was … was so HANDsome. He was taller than all of the other boys, AND he was taller than I was. I loved looking up into his warm brown eyes. I was considered tall for a girl. A tall drink of water they called me. Mmm. Water. Sure am thirsty. I’ll ask for a glass of water. He’ll be back soon. I need to remember water. WATter! WATter. Oh, dear. That’s making me seasick. Like that time George and I took a day cruise to nowhere. That’s how it was billed. A Day Cruise to Nowhere. You sailed off into international waters, you dropped anchor there out for a couple of hours, then you were brought back to the dock. For those couple of hours, you could gamble. George let me play Blackjack. He gave me $50; I lasted six hands. I DID get a free drink, though. Probably what made me seasick. I sure could use a drink right now. Water would be great. When he comes, I need to remember to ask him for some. Ok, remember water. Water. Concentrate, Ruby. Don’t forget. Water. Icy cold, like it was just pumped from the well. Like from the pump at our kitchen sink. That was before water came out of a tap at the turn of a knob. What an advancement for mankind was running water! And indoor plumbing? A Godsend. I sure don’t miss those middle of the night trips to the necessary. Especially in winter. My feet and hands would be frozen when I came inside. And then I had to wash up in cold water from the pump at the sink. That cold water sure felt good in the summer, though. Oh, but that was good drinking water. I could use a drink of that water right now. I’m a mite thirsty. When he comes, I need to ask him for a drink. I’ll need to ask for ice cubes though if I want it as cold as the water from the pump in the kitchen. Of course that was a lot of years ago, back when George and I first married. My but George was handsome. So tall, too! The other girls were so jealous. Oh, look, here’s my sweetheart now.

“Miss Ruby, how you doin? You comfortable? “


“Miss Ruby, it’s Nathan, just comin round to check on you.”

“George, there was something I wanted to ask you. Something about the pump at the kitchen sink. I can’t quite seem to recall just what it was.”

“Your water pitcher’s dry, Miss Ruby. Lemme fill it up for you.”

“Thank you, sweetheart. You always know what I need, and take care of it before I even realize I need it myself. You’re the best husband, George.”

“Nah, Miss Ruby, I’m just the nurse’s aid. Nathan, remember?” Nathan scooped ice into the water pitcher from the cooler on his cart, then ran water in from the tap in the small bathroom.

“George, do you remember pumping water by hand? I don’t know why, but I just thought of that old pump in our kitchen. I haven’t thought about that in years. Oh, thank you George! How did you know I was thirsty?”

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This article has been read 1110 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 07/31/08
So poignant. Your stream-of-consciousness is masterfully done, and that last line is perfect. This choked me up.
Yvonne Blake 08/02/08
I liked the title... During the whole first paragraph, you had me guessing who was talking and why they were thirsty. I liked how they got distracted and then pulled them back to the thought of wanting to ask for water.
It might have been stronger if you put the last line even closer to the stream of thought.
Well done.
Chely Roach08/04/08
Ahhh, this was so touching and sad. And an AWESOME title. Great job!
Lynda Schultz 08/04/08
Great "mind-sight." Well done.
Karen Wilber08/04/08
Good job in the opening paragraphs capturing the frantic pace of trying to hang on to a thought. This was touching and sad and happy all rolled into one.
Joy Faire Stewart08/05/08
The first paragraph pulled me into the story. I didn't see were it was leading and was surprised. Excellent writing with great details.
Loren T. Lowery08/06/08
We recently had to put our mom in an assisted living facility; and from the stories Mom is telling, the memories, the mistaken identities, is so right on that it makes this a bittersweet piece for me. So well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/06/08
You captured the essence of concentration, when concentration is slipping away, eloquently.
Helen Dowd08/06/08
Very good! I could relate to this story, having worked in an extended care hospital a long time ago. It is pathetic, how the mind has to deteriorate in old age. I WAS relieved, though, when I read on in the story that it wasn't what I first thought the story was about. I thought it was a cry from the "beyond" from someone who had rejected Christ's gift of salvation, and was crying out for water, like the rich man who appealed to Lazareth, in a N.T. story...Good writing...Enjoyed it...Helen
Patricia Turner08/07/08
I can't help but think its a bit of a kindness that those who can no longer remember don't even seem to know they can't remember. I've been encountering a number of those sweet people lately in my mother's home; she being one of them. Thanks for the wonderful, though bittersweet take on this. A big Congratulations on your EC. Most definitely deserved!
Loren T. Lowery08/07/08
Yeah! So glad to see this place...it has such a universal message. Congratulations, Catrina. Loren
Beth LaBuff 08/07/08
Love your story Catrina. Congrats on your EC!
Jason Swiney08/08/08
Simply amazing how you worked in so many details about Miss Ruby's past from her thoughts, and very realistic dialogue between Nathan and Ruby at the conclusion. Nice writing, congrats on the EC.
Laury Hubrich 08/19/08
I really liked this entry. Very nice writing, Cat!