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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Truth or Dare (08/28/08)

TITLE: Jake's Dare
By dub W


Jake stared at his watch. “Four o’clock, I oughta be in Queens.” He glanced down the tracks as if to see the bright light of the Southbound round the bend. Behind him a pay phone was ringing on the wall.

Other would-be passengers walked past Jake and the phone, seemingly lost in the waiting time. The phone stopped, and then began ringing again.

Jake finally walked over to the black box and picked up the receiver. “Hey, this is a pay phone on the depot wall.”

“Don’t hang up please.” A female voice on the other end seemed to be pleading.

Jake looked around. Nobody was paying attention. “Yeah?”

There was a pause, then the voice said, “I know what you did, and if you don’t admit the truth, terrible things will happen.”

Jake slammed the receiver back onto the phone box. “Nutcase.” Minutes later the train arrived and Jake joined a hundred other passengers traveling into the city. “I know what you did, and if you don’t admit the truth, terrible things will happen.”

A woman sitting opposite of him stood and moved to another seat.

Sheesh, I gotta get that nut out of my mind. Admit what?

The train rattled to a stop at the Queens Station. Jake picked up his briefcase and walked out onto the platform. A black payphone was ringing. “I’m not answering that. Phooey, okay, I gotta find out.” Jake ripped at the receiver. “Hey.” There was no answer. He hung up the phone. “I’m driving myself crazy, I gotta get it outa my head.” He jogged down the stairs and walked toward his one room apartment.

All night long the voice haunted him. Twice he got up and stared out onto the bare street. A light fog was rolling in from the river and it gave the street an eerie look.

At three in the morning he suddenly awoke and again glanced out the window. In the mist and fog, standing under a streetlight, was a man in a trench coat, who appeared to be looking up at Jake’s window. “What’s going on?”

He picked up his cell phone and dialed 9-1-1. “Hey, there’s a guy standing outside of my apartment building.” Jake thought for a minute. “I’m sorry I dialed the wrong number.” And clicked the off button on his phone. He realized that he was wide-awake.

“Admit what?” Jake looked at the ceiling. “I’ll admit it, what ever it is.”

His cell phone chirped, and Jake jumped away from it. He didn’t bother to look at the caller ID. It stopped and Jake set the phone on a table. A minute later it chirped again. When Jake picked it up it stopped. A chill went down his arms. “Somebody is casing me. Man, I haven’t got a thing to steal. Maybe it’s a creditor, I think I owe Bank America a grand or so. Naw, they don’t call at four in the morning. “

He showered and got ready for work, reasoning that he would have an extra hour to sit in the coffee shop and chat. He reviewed his call record and could find no incoming calls. “Musta been a wrong number from out of state.”

Jake picked up a newspaper from the corner vendor and walked toward the train station area. A tiny coffee shop was just opening on the street.

“Coffee, black. Make it a large.”

“You okay man?” The coffee vendor poured a cardboard cup full of coffee and handed it to Jake. “I mean like you are pale. You sick or something?”

“No, just didn’t sleep well. This coffee will fix me up. Thanks.”

“Wow, that’s too bad. Take care of yerself, if ya know what I mean.”

“Yeah, I’m feeling a little rough today.” Jake sipped his coffee. “Maybe I can sleep on the train.”

Crowds began to gather on the platform and Jake picked up his briefcase and coffee, waved at the vendor and began climbing the stairs to the platform.

Jake’s phone began to ring in his pocket. He tried to balance his coffee on his briefcase while he reached into his jacket pocket. The coffee tipped over and Jake grabbed for the cup, when he did he dropped his briefcase. He tried to grab the briefcase but fell over the rail and landed on the street.

When the officer investigated he found Jake’s cell phone – it had a text message – “You should have admitted the truth.”

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This article has been read 824 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 09/04/08
Your opening paragraphs are wonderful. This is a great open-ended mystery… that I'm wishing wasn't so open-ended. :) My mind was racing in several directions for possibilities. Excellent work.
Marlene Bonney 09/06/08
I was drawn right into your story and the ending was just right for an appropriate twist!
Glynis Becker09/08/08
Really clever...loved the ending. The dialogue is realistic and really drew me in. Great job.
Leah Nichols 09/09/08
What happened? What was he not admitting? Why? I want to know!!! Great writing - totally drew me in.
Jan Ackerson 09/09/08
Super suspense! Love the open-endedness, and the mystery...great job!
Joy Faire Stewart09/10/08
Oh, I enjoyed this mystery. I couldn't wait for the next paragraph to see what was to come but the ending is perfect.
Carole Robishaw 09/10/08
Great piece, I really wanted to know what he did!
Kristi Peifer09/10/08
Great!! The suspense is killing me, though!
Dee Yoder 09/10/08
Wow-love the mystery and suspense of this story. Reminds me of Ted Dekker's "THR3E". That open end is begging for a sequel...right?