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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Snap (09/04/08)

TITLE: Snap out of it, Joshua Jones.


Blood dripped from the bikers’ nose as he stepped over his busted motorcycle. “So why’d ya do it, Jonesy? Who said you were invited here anyway after you let that hooker get away with my money?” Red spittle dripped onto the road and his hateful glare penetrated deeper into Jonesy.

“Look... I... I’m sorry, man. I didn’t mean it. Honest, Smithers.”

Smithers smeared the blood across his face with the back of one of his calloused hands and slipped the other into his pocket. “HA! Nobody rides his machine into another ‘accidently’ and gets away with it that easily. Who do ya think you are?”

Jonesy backed away, stumbling over his own mangled motorcycle laying on the pavement. He gripped his arm that twisted awkwardly at the elbow. “Jez man, it was an accident. Put the gun away.”

“Not on your life, you son of a b…”

“NO!” The street echoed with the blast and Jonesy hit the ground. He lay with his legs and his right arm splayed. His limp arm was no longer there.


“Joshua Jones, come on, man. Snap out of it. Hey, I’m your brother. Me and Maria, we’ll help you through this.”

“Yeah... Well. I may not wanna snap out of it, so quit naggin’ will ya.”

Joshua stood in front of the mirror and stared at the place where his arm once was. “Not even the preacher part of you can help me now, bro, but thanks for the offer.” He put on his jacket and shoved the hollow sleeve into the waistband of his jeans and turned away.

“So... where will you go?” Maria whispered.

“Maybe I’ll head east... see Arizona.”

“Aw man, there’s nothing there but dirt. Come on home with us, bro.”

Joshua shook his brother’s hand and left the hospital room in silence.

“We’ll be praying, bro.”

“Yeah, whatever. See ya.”


“Hey you. Snap out of it. This is as far as the bus goes. You getting off or you plan to stare out that dirty window for the rest of the day?”

Joshua looked up to see the sweaty faced bus driver. “Sorry, man. Where’s the nearest hotel?”

“None around here—you know anyone in these parts?”


“Look, if you need a place to stay, there’s always my brother’s place. He’s the local preacher... has a spare room.”

Jonesy’s mouth dropped opened. “You’ve got to be kidding, man. Your brother’s a preacher too? Ha...” He shook his head slowly. “Man, I just can’t get away from preachers.” Throwing his back pack over his shoulder, Joshua followed the driver off the bus. His lungs rebelled against the stifling heat. “Thanks, but maybe I’ll just keep going.”

“Where? There’s nothing for hundreds of miles. The heat will kill you. There’s another bus tomorrow.”

Jonesy just nodded his thanks and headed for a nearby cafe.


“Hey there, dreamer. Snap out of it. Your coffee’s gone cold.”

This time, Joshua grinned. “What else is on the menu?” he asked the pretty young waitress dressed in pink.

“Chef makes a mean burger,” she grinned back. “Actually, he’s also my dad... and local preacher.”

Joshua’s smile disappeared and jerked his head toward the kitchen. He sat staring as if in a trance.

The girl's eyes followed Joshua’s gaze. “What? Did I say something wrong?”

Joshua snapped to attention and sat upright. “No actually, I’d like to speak to the chef, if he’s not busy.”

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This article has been read 821 times
Member Comments
Member Date
dub W09/12/08
An interesting travel log. The first scene is almost too graphic, but the overall story tracked. Sometimes the syntax was difficult, but the theme exposed itself and followed through the whole multi part essay. Novel take on the topic. Thanks.
Sunny Loomis 09/12/08
The beginning is a bit too colorful for my liking, but good descriptions. Glad this guy finally realized what was so obvious. Good job.
Yvonne Blake 09/14/08
Good story, but I almost didn't make it past the first part...a little too graphic for my tastes.
Interesting theme!
Beth LaBuff 09/14/08
Well, I hope I never run into Smithers and that he doesn't come to Arizona. :) Ha… love the Arizona … nothing but dirt statement :) (When my Dad comes to visit, he thinks there are too many rocks in Arizona :) ) I think your "snap out of it" -- "snaps" are a creative way to write for this topic. It sounded like Joshua Jones had a date with predestination. :)
Chely Roach09/14/08
I loved the repetition of "snap out of it" through the piece, and the onslaught of grace that Jonesy couldn't ignore. Very well written!
Amy Michelle Wiley 09/14/08
Would have loved to see a little more of the story. Love how the preachers keep showing up. Ha.
Celeste Ammirata09/15/08
I like this. It is graphic, but so is real life. And the beginning adds more effect to the ending. I like how God kept coming after him, in the form of preachers. Great job! Definitely on topic.
Leah Nichols 09/15/08
I didn't think it was any more graphic than the stuff we hear on the street any day. :) Only ink I'd suggest is keeping his name consistent throughout the piece - sometimes he's Joshua and sometimes he's Jonesey. Nice job - a great take on the topic; I'd like to read more!
Shelley Ledfors 09/15/08
I like this piece. I think we all have different tolerance levels for "graphic" or "suggestive" or whatever. I don't like to read those kinds of things "for their own sake". But if there's a great message (which this has), I can tolerate a bit of "edge". In fact, I think the edge can make the piece stronger overall...it gives greater contrast (as long as it's not overdone...and IMO, I don't see this as overdone.) God Bless!
Kristen Hester09/15/08
I didn't find this too graphic. I thought that was actually the best writing of the story (not that anything was wrong with the rest, I just liked the beginning). I wish you had more words, because I wanted a tad more of each scene. I'm glad he finally was willing to talk to the preacher. Sounds like God was trying to get his attention!
Valarie Sullivan09/16/08
Being a firefighter/paramedic, I didnt find this too graphic, at all. I think it was tastefully done. I loved the way God kept 'poking' him to get his attention!
Glynis Becker09/16/08
I enjoyed this and didn't feel that it was too graphic at all. Great dialogue and I too would love to have seen a bit more of each scene. Great job!
Edmond Ng 09/17/08
There is certainly no escape for Jonesy from the preachers God has appointed for him to listen to. At least at the end of the story Joshua makes the decision to speak to the preacher chef. Wish the story continues from there a little longer though.
T. F. Chezum09/17/08
I didn't feel this was too graphic. Very well written. Great job.
Karlene Jacobsen09/17/08
Graphic? No, more so than "The Cross and the Switchblade" with David Wilkerson. Great job. It sounds like God was following Joshua. I'm glad he decided to talk to the chef/preacher.
Rick Higginson 09/17/08
Nothing but dirt? Nothing but dirt?!? Why, I'll have you know we have ROCKS! And CACTUS! And SCORPIONS! And one of the BIGGEST holes in the ground in the WORLD! (Good story, by the way)