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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Kingdom of God (03/12/09)

TITLE: Princesses
By Shirley McClay


A woven wreath of wildflowers crowned Heather’s wind blown curls. The breeze danced a blond ringlet across her face. She wrinkled her nose at its tickle and brushed it behind one ear.

“Princess Debra, allow me to crown you with the circlet of… ummm… truth and love.” The other twisted ring of blooms nestled atop her shoulder length hair.

They giggled and Debra reached out to move another ringlet threatening Heather’s nose. “Your hair is the color of sunshine. Mine is plain and brown... like dirt.”

“Whatever.” Heather tossed her head and rolled her eyes. “Your hair is so shiny I can look in it like a mirror.” She widened her eyes, made a face at Debra’s hair, and pretended to see her reflection. Debra gave her a friendly shove and she tumbled backward with another girly giggle. “Mine just gets tangled and frizzy. You look like you could blend in and be a part of… this.” She waved her hand at the meadow and surrounding forest.

They lay side-by-side on their stomachs, hidden in the gently blowing grasses like wild rabbits. Their long legs bent and dangled above their flat hips. Blue jeans that had been clean and scented like vanilla that morning now proudly wore dirt smudges and grass stains and smelled of horse and the fresh outdoors.

“Do ya think…?” Debra hesitated, plucked the straw from her mouth, and twirled it between her fingers. “Could there really be fairy princesses dancing here after we leave?”

Heather wanted to say yes but her heart insisted on honesty… even if it hurt her friend. “No. I don’t believe in fairies.” She turned her head so she could see Debra’s emerald eyes. “We’re the princesses, Deb. You and me. It doesn’t get more magical than that.”

Debra turned her head, but Heather heard her sigh. “That’s just pretend too.”

“Nope… not at all.” She rolled onto her back and adjusted her colorful crown. “See all that?” Heather waved at the sky. Puffy clouds decorated the blue sky that people said matched her eyes. “My Daddy made all that… and all this.” She waved her hand again, this time at the field surrounding them. “There’s a verse that says He’s King of kings. I guess that makes us the princesses of princesses!”

“You mean God.” Debra’s answer was flat.

“Yup. I know you don’t like me talking about Him… but He’s my Daddy… my best friend. I can’t help it. I love being a princess. I like knowing that all of this is His kingdom. Even me!”

“Am I? Am I part of His kingdom?” Debra’s voice trembled.

Honesty again won out. “Not yet. You haven’t asked Him to let you be part of it. You don’t believe that He really loves you and died for you.”

Her view of the sky was blocked by Debra’s anxious face. “But you say He came back to life. That’s not possible.”

“Not for you or me. But, c’mon, He’s God. He created life and death. He’s King of that too!” Heather rolled her eyes again.

Debra rocked back on her heels, and Heather rolled over onto her side. “I never thought of that.”

“Yup.” Heather couldn’t come up with anything else to say so she waited quietly.

“How can I do it? How can I become His princess?” Debra flung the straw in frustration but it settled just inches from her knees.

“Just ask Him. The Bible says believe and receive.” Heather saw the confused look in Debra’s eyes so she paused to think. “My mom explained it like this.” She plucked a seed from a puffy dandelion. “This seed has to go into the ground and die before it can become a flower. Right now you’re a seed and you need Jesus to come in and give you life before you can be a flower. If you never accept His life then you will never be anything but a dead seed.” Heather figured she wasn’t making much sense. She searched for words to make it clearer. Then a light flickered behind her friend’s sad eyes.

“I think I get it.” Tears welled up even as excitement brightened her face. “Heather, how do I do it? How do I get His life in me.”

Heather pushed herself up onto her knees as she pushed the lump in her throat down. “Let’s pray together.”

And another princess was born into the Kingdom of God.

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Verna Cole Mitchell 03/21/09
This story left me with a warm, girly feeling myself. Excellent story telling.
Joanne Sher 03/23/09
Very nice job with the dialogue. Enjoyed this sweet piece.
Christina Banks 03/24/09
What a wonderful girly witness. I love being a princess in God's kingdom too! :)
Carol Slider 03/24/09
I loved the vivid descriptions. It reminded me so much of pleasant summer days with my best friend when I was a little girl. A great illustration of the miracle of salvation, too!
Mona Purvis03/24/09
Oh, I loved this! Plain Jane is the real beauty! Your writing is so descriptive that I was there with them in the grass. Like a wild rabbit...loved that.
Build a book around this one, a picture book...I'd buy it.
Jan Ackerson 03/24/09
This would be a great read for jr. high and high school girls...love it!
Bryan Ridenour03/24/09
Loved the descriptions. It's really wonderful to be reminded of our position in the Kingdom of God.
Sheri Gordon03/24/09
This could make a really cute illustrated book.

Okay, you asked for red ink. :) The second paragraph confused me. I don't know why, but I had to read it a few times to understand who was putting flowers on who...and I still don't know if I got it right. Also, I can't get a grasp on the girls' ages. They seemed very young--playing princess--but the dialogue felt much older.

Love the message, and the writing and dialogue flow so well.
Karlene Jacobsen03/24/09
I loved your descriptions, comparing the girl's eyes to the sky, wow! You made this piece vivid in the imagination with your imagery.
Gerald Shuler 03/24/09
This has some well written conversation. That's a great thing for a writer to be able to do well. Good storytelling.
Diana Dart 03/25/09
Very sweet, yet serious. Loved the way Heather communicated the gospel to her friend, loving and sincere. I was a bit confused about the crown thing, thought maybe someone else was there crowning them. Took me until you explained they were laying in the grass to figure it out. You have a wonderful way of describing appearances (the hair descriptions were just picture perfect).
Beth LaBuff 03/25/09
I really liked the description of the hair/mirror. You combine so many wonderful things in this story.. a fairy-tale-type story with a princess.. wonderful sensory details in your setting.. and you crowned this with an excellent gospel message. This is so very good.