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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hide and Seek (08/07/08)

TITLE: Deliver Me From Darkness
By Joshua Janoski



The countdown begins. I franticly look around trying to decide which direction to run. No path in this dark forest feels inviting, but I must make a decision quickly, because he is coming…


I take off in a sprint, hoping that I can keep up my momentum long enough to elude him and spoil his dark game. Branches and twigs bristling with thorns poke holes in the soft soles of my shoes as I bob and weave through dense sections of decaying timbers.


My speed causes me to nearly collide head on with a few of the gnarled oaks, but I can’t stop. One second of delay, one wrong step, or one wrong turn, and I could end up another number on his casualty list.


My breathing gets heavy as I gasp for air. The rancid atmosphere does nothing to quench my craving for life, as each breath steals away a little bit more of my being. My chest tightens, and my eyes film over, leaving me feeling like a blind mass careening out of control.


Sharp jabs pierce my side. I wince in pain and stumble onto the muddy ground. I try to pull myself back up, but the strength in my muscles has disintegrated, leaving me crawling in the dark.


I look up towards the night sky. Where has daylight gone? Why has darkness prevailed? Is there anyone out there who cares? How did I end up this way? So many questions but no time to answer them. The pain intensifies in my body as I force myself up…off the ground. I have to keep moving…


I hear the voices inside my head. This too shall pass. Joy comes in the morning. Be still and wait. How can I wait when danger pursues me? His arrow is pointed at me, and his bow cocked. Murder crackles and burns within his eyes as he seeks to devour me with razor sharp incisors. I must keep running.


My heart smashes into my chest, screaming to burst out with every intense beat. Hot and cold sweat drips off the tips of my hair. My time is running out. Soon I will surrender to the black.


Wait a moment! Are my failing eyes playing tricks on me? I stumble into a beautiful grove. Vibrant purple and yellow wildflowers encircle the forest floor beneath me. Light penetrates the treetops and shines its golden beam onto me, leaving my eyes blinded for a moment.


I take shelter inside a hole carved within a giant rock at the center of the grove, huddling my aching body against the cold stone. The smooth texture soothes my skin and relaxes my muscles as I lean into it.

“Ready or not, here I come!”

I hear the sound of loud footsteps stomping through the forest in search of me. The sound of a blade leaving its sheath attempts to rattle me, but I am at complete peace inside my newly found shelter. The icy chill of darkness’s footsteps can be heard entering the grove. I refuse to fear, because I have found a safe haven. His claws cannot penetrate my dwelling place.


I listen to screams of pain and agony coming from the one who first created suffering and placed it upon mankind. The beam of light penetrates the dark being and sends him running in fear, seeking his own place to hide.

I start to crawl out from the rock, but quickly fall back inside. I do not want to leave this place. I curl up and fall asleep. I am safe now within this solid rock…within this strong fortress.

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This article has been read 715 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laury Hubrich 08/14/08
What an intense entry. I felt like I was hiding, too.
Joy Faire Stewart08/18/08
At first I thought it was a game, but soon realized by whom the MC was being pursued. What a relieve that he reached the Rock. I was touched by this very spiritual piece. Excellent!
Kristen Hester08/18/08
Wow. This is intense. The countdown really works. I'm glad he made it to the ROCK. Great job.
Chely Roach08/18/08
I loved this, Josh. Very intense and metaphorical...another solid entry (even if it was outside your comfy norm). Well done!
James Dixon08/19/08
The count down was very effective. Your writing was very taut.

It was a little disappointing, (from a narrative point of view), that the protagonist escaped with so little effort on his part. (Then again that was the message). Perhaps he could have been obliged to make a chose and add to the inner conflict?

I enjoyed this. Thanks.
Leah Nichols 08/19/08
I thought it was very well-written. I'm not entirely clear on the significance of the "game" of hide-and-seek, though. I enjoyed the spiritual connection and it was quite reminiscent of Psalm 11.
Heather Sargent08/19/08
Wow! I had to read faster and faster. I was completely enthralled in this and that's hard to do with my 4 kids running around. Well done!
Marlene Austin08/19/08
Well-written, emotionally compelling piece. You continually stretch your potential, Josh. Great work. :)
Edmond Ng 08/20/08
He is our hiding place, a strong fortress, and upon this Rock, we shall be safe. Thank you for sharing scriptural truths from an unusual perspective. You have captured the intensity of fear very vividly, and conveyed the peace we have in God's dwelling place very well.
Julie Seeto08/20/08
This is a very intense piece. You've kept up the pace (of both speed and emotional state) of the MC very well with the images of heavy breathing and crashing through the forest.
Good message too - we often feel as if we are running on our own, but if we hang in there and keep going we will surely find the Rock of refuge.
Betty Castleberry08/20/08
Don't kid yourself, Josh. This is very well done. You can definitely do other styles besides humor. I enjoyed this, and loved the symbolism. It was a good, intense read.
Sara Harricharan 08/20/08
Whoa! Definitely powerful stuff! I love this entry. It's one of my faves for this week. The momentum you build up with the numbers and then the frantic pace and feeling. ^_^ Good writing!
Joanne Sher 08/20/08
WOW - so intense, Josh. Your descriptions are incredibly vivid, and the tension was palpable. I'm still shaking :)
Helen Dowd08/20/08
This story had me hooked, right from the start. I thought I knew where it was heading, and was assured of that as the story progressed. You did so well to bring the reader right up to the point of being out of breath and exhausted along with the protagonist of the story...Relief, as he found the place of hiding. Thanksgiving, as he saw the pursuer destroyed. Peace, as we rest in the solid rock of our Salvation. Great writing!...Helen
Benjamin Graber08/21/08
Wow, this is great, Josh! Excellent job using descriptive words to make the reader feel a part of the story...
Lyn Churchyard08/22/08
You had me holding my breath with this one Josh. So full of tension. This is a great analogy. You've done a great job here even if it is out of your comfort zone. Well done.
c clemons08/22/08
Interesting writing, you have come a long way. I was not blown away by the characterizations because that's the way most people think. The devil being the pursuer when it's usually Christ as the pursuer. Daily he is pursuing us to be better people. Just a thought.
Glynis Becker08/26/08
Your writing has grown by leaps and bounds in the last few months, my friend. This is wonderfully descriptive and had me right on the edge of my seat!