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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

TITLE: The Day Evil and Righteousness Met
By Rachel Burkum


The tension hung in the air like a thick, invisible fog. A slight breeze made the grass quiver. The sky was void of shadow or cloud, but a storm was on the horizon, rumbling, ready to strike. A scent wafted on the air - it was stagnant, like the odor from a dying lake.

The clearing was twice as long as it was wide with trees on either side - witnesses of what was to come. They stood still and silent, as if fearful of the next moment.

From the West came the sounds of clashing armor. Horses snorted in expectation. Men’s voices shouted orders, or were whispered along the orderly rows of soldiers. All eyes were ahead, focused on the enemy. Today they would own victory. Today they would own a soul.

To the East, the opposition stood at the ready. Spears, bows, swords and shields were taken up for the inevitable battle. The seasoned troops were poised, equipped with the order from the King not to surrender, no matter the losses.

It was hard to tell which army took the first step. But in the time needed for a field mouse to take cover in its nest, the battlefield came to life. On foot and mounted both, soldiers advanced, the war cries rippling across the plane. The pounding of feet and hooves shook the earth, making trees tremble and wildlife scatter.

Like two swarms of angry bees, the armies raced towards the center of the field. No one knew if they would live or die. But courage forced no man to flee.

Swords clashed. Spears were hurled through the air. Shields ricocheted off of each other. Teeth rattled in soldiers’ mouths as their helmets were struck with force. Men dropped like rain laced with lead.

The sounds were deafening. The sights would make one’s stomach churn. It was war in its most brutal form.

Though the battle seemed to see no end, only one victor would rise. Though both sides had been mortally wounded, only one army would stand. This land was owned by the King himself, given to Him years before. And it was this land that He would not give up. His troops would prevail. Victory was theirs...

...I lifted my head one more time to stare into the eyes of my captors. The curse I wanted to hurl in their direction was held back by biting my tongue. I blinked as a bead of sweat mixed with blood stung my eye. My arms ached from the chains that held me to the wall.


Though my voice cracked, barely above a whisper, I refused once again to deny my Lord.

Another backhanded slap to the side of my face intensified the battle within me. I could end my suffering here and now. It would only take a word.

But I had taken a vow. And no matter how intensely I could taste freedom, I knew that a greater freedom awaited. No matter the outcome of my captivity in a foreign land, I knew who would be the victor. Today was the day that righteousness would prevail.

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This article has been read 958 times
Member Comments
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Allison Egley 05/15/09
Oh wow! I could feel the tension throughout, and could picture the battle... Almost Narnia like in my head. :) I felt for the man at the end. You portrayed his battle -- physical and spiritual -- well.
Betty Castleberry05/18/09
Excellent descriptions. This is something I would never have thought of: "Teeth rattled in soldiers’ mouths as their helmets were struck with force."

Creative take on the topic as well.
Mona Purvis05/18/09
What Christian hasn't thought about being in a situation where it would be life/death over denying God?
You wrote this with such a battle-tone, thunderous words. Very good descriptions, vivid.
Gregory Kane05/18/09
some excellent battle narrative. Likewise I was reminded of Prince Caspian.
I found the transition a little awkward, particularly with the change in person. Maybe you could have dropped in a line just before the transition about this knight falling in the battle and being left for dead. That would have made for an easier sense of continuity. That said, I enjoyed your dramatic language, especially 'men dropped like rain laced with lead.'
Catrina Bradley 05/19/09
The battle scene was electric! Then when I realized it was a spiritual battle, I was even more excited about the Victor and His orders not to give in. Vivid descriptions - Super writing.
Jan Ackerson 05/20/09
Very good allegory--I'd have liked even more of this. Love the ending.
Diana Dart 05/20/09
Yowsas, I was on the edge of my seat, gripped in the battle. Excellent word choices - loved the witnessing trees, the sounds of the battle, the rain laced with lead. The ending was perfect! Made the whole opening picture even better - well, well done.
Colin Swann05/20/09
This reminded me of the Battle of Hastings (being English) but it was the foreign king who prevailed in that war.
Very interesting piece - but some of your spelling is different to ours too.

Sheri Gordon05/20/09
Very good writing. Excellent job with the topic. Totally captivating.
Myrna Noyes05/20/09
Your opening lines set the scene and mood for this wonderful story so perfectly! These words sent a chill down my spine: "Today they would own victory. Today they would own a soul." I had to keep reading!! :)

What a creative, energetic piece!

Patricia Herchenroether05/21/09
Excellent! I felt like I was in a theater watching a Big Screen with the sound of battle booming all around. Great detail and a good lesson.
Myrna Noyes05/21/09
HEARTY CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 2ND PLACE EC!! I'm not surprised your excellent story won! :)
Sheri Gordon05/21/09
Congratulations on your EC. I really liked this one.
Jim McWhinnie 05/22/09

Masterful job of matching sentence structure and style to the pulse of battle.

You captured the anticipation and feeling of dread when we hear the reveille of battle.

Masterful, indeed.