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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sightseeing (08/08/05)

TITLE: Oklahoma Flats
By Maxx .


I was happy until I saw the blood. Then I became frightened.

I had wanted to see the world before college. There isn’t much for a farm girl in rural Iowa. Paul came to me like a rescuing angel outside of Yellowstone. He changed my flat tire. I gave him a ride. We were both going the same direction; which was nowhere, and everywhere. Just sightseeing.

I felt safe with him.

He had the deepest eyes I’d ever seen. I found myself lost in them when he told me stories of his childhood, his voice a deep Wyoming drawl.

He listened to me when I talked and made me feel important. We wanted to go to Paris.

We shared a bed for the first time in Boise.

A month later I was alone in a motel outside of Oklahoma Flats. It was dark. The TV news told of a jeweler who had been robbed. He’d been shot. There were sirens in the distance, red and blue lights flashing on the streets. I was scared.

Paul came home. There was a spatter of blood on his sleeve. It wasn’t his.

He kissed my cheek. “Hey Babes. Let’s get packed and hit the road. Tomorrow night we’ll be in Cancun.”

I went into the bathroom and locked the door. My chest felt tight, my eyes hot. My father was a jeweler.

I sat on the commode, my denim skirt about my waist, my panties on the floor. They were pink with red hearts. Paul had bought them for me at Victoria’s Secret. I shuddered. There was blood on his sleeve. Blood that shouldn’t have been there. And on my panties where there should have been blood, there wasn’t any. A wave of nausea washed over me.

I wanted to go home.

I couldn’t drive to Cancun. If I let him take me I knew that I’d be parted from my family forever. If I left with him, he’d never let me go home. I saw before me a long dark road that had no end.

I had to escape but didn’t know how.

Colored lights flashed against the tiny window. A spotlight illuminated the bushes outside.

I cried. Tears burned my cheek. “Oh God, I’m frightened. Don’t put me through this. Send him away without me. I’m scared.” I hadn’t prayed in months. I hoped God remembered my voice. “What if he hurts me, kills me?” I wiped my face on a towel. “Help me.“ I was terrified of losing the life I’d not yet lived. My hand moved across my belly.

I knew I was twisted in a web of my own making. He’d made me feel like a woman, but he’d shot a man. He’d given life, but he’d taken it, too. He’d been tender, but now was violent. Could I betray a man who’d given me so much? Could I risk my life trying to flee the darkness that had consumed him?

I had to turn him in, yet I wished we were back in Boise.

I stood and straightened my clothing. I opened the door and stepped out.

He was by the front window, staring into the night. He turned. “Hey Babes, I packed your things.” He nodded toward the suitcases by the door.

“Paul,” my voice was weak, “what’s going on?” Tears spilled again.

He came to me. “Hush now.” He wrapped his arms about me as my body trembled. “It’s ok. Don’t let the commotion scare you.” He kissed my head. “I’ll protect you.”

He rocked me back and forth and I slipped into his rhythm. His voice was soothing; a baleful calm washed over me. I was swept into his eyes as a darkness in me began to smolder.

I leaned against him and sighed. My trembling stopped.

He petted my hair. “Good news. After Cancun, I’m getting us tickets to Paris.” He lifted my chin and kissed me.

“Really?” I gasped. “You mean it?”

I took my suitcase and followed him outside. We’d always wanted to go to Paris.

We walked together to the car. It was chilly. I pressed myself against him. Something solid rammed my hip. It was in his coat pocket, metallic and cold.

I hesitated.

I saw before me a long dark road that had no end.

A police cruiser stopped, the officers got out.

I wished we were in Boise.

I looked to them. “Help me!”

Paul turned and reached for his pocket.

I screamed.

I heard gunshots.

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This article has been read 1246 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Crista Darr08/15/05
Excellent, fast-paced, edge of your seat writing! It stumbled a bit with the panties - convinced me a man wrote this. Hope I'm not wrong posting that:)
Debbie OConnor08/17/05
This is good work, but the symbol of the blood in the killing and the blood on the underwear was a bit too gross for me.

Your writing has a very male feel to me too. I don't think many women would write the bathroom scene. Too private.
Beth Muehlhausen08/18/05
Jeepers, this is definitely counterfeit "sightseeing" at its best. Sights no one wants to see. I'm thinking of a word to describe my response - maybe "piercing", as in sharp-sided.
Your ending left me with chills.
Tisha Martin 08/18/05
You kept me on the edge of my seat! Awesome outside-the-box of sightseeing! But I have to agree with the other girls...the scene with the girl in the bathroom was...a bit disturbing... Other than that, great story!
Debbie OConnor08/18/05
No offense intended Maxx. Great writing as always, I just had to tell the truth. No lawsuits pending. :)
Lynda Lee Schab 08/19/05
I loved it - including the bathroom scene. I thought that scene especially was well-written, a creative way to explain a possible pregnancy. Loved the entire entry. The only thing I would question is the relation to sightseeing - it was definitely "out-of-the-box." But excellent writing regardless.
Blessings, Lynda
Debra Brand08/19/05
Well written. I got the 'pregnancy part'. It's anguish that a lot of women go through when they're in the wrong situation. You brought it out well.
Val Clark08/19/05
Grrr, Maxx, on the edge of my seat and nowhere to go. Great story, well told though, despite my desire for tidy endings. (unless I'm writing) yeggy
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/19/05
Aaaug! You left us hanging! Good job though, I liked all of it. hehe.
Shari Armstrong 08/19/05
ACK! very well written -but the lack of resolution drives me crazy -which I know was on purpose lol. Very emotionlly charged.
Reni Bumpas08/19/05
What got me most was how a poor girl looking to see the world would end up seeing more of the world than she bargained for. Excellent work. Even the panties -- vivid picture.
Joanne Malley08/20/05
Action-packed story! I think I would have selected "stroked" her hair instead of petted (it was just something that blarred at me-just a minor nitpick), but as always, awesome writing! The bathroom scene didn't bother me in the least. You "showed" instead of told! One last personal nitpick--I don't like to be kept hanging! But, I guess that's part of the appeal as well. :)
darlene hight08/20/05
This is great! It is very real and may keep some girl out of a situation or at least be able recognize that they are in one. Hope that you have a market and they aren't being wasted on the us.
Tammy Johnson08/20/05
I could relate! Been that small town girl taken in by a "strong" sweet-talking guy and felt trapped when his true character came through. Only by the mercy of God did I escape and avoid pregnancy. Nice job. Thanks, Maxx.
Shelley Snyder08/21/05
I enjoyed this. Great job! I didn't really care for the bathroom scene, but it didn't offend me. I like the way you make us hang on at the end...wondering what is going to happen next...great writing!
Jessica Schmit05/29/06
Grrr. The traditional "maxx" ending. Fantanstic. I really enjoyed your writing style in this story. Short, pointed sentances. I find it very interesting how ofter you switch styles. This writing style is entirly different from your last piece. I love stories that surpise me or catch me off guard. Your bathroom scene was perfect for that. written extremely clever and perfect. I loved it. One of my favorite part sof the story. So naive! I know a girl exactly like this one in the story. I pictured her in mind while I was reading and you captured it perfectly. I particularly loved your wording choice based on the fact that a young girl was telling the scene. I did find it a tad confusing when it seemed to jump from the POV of the young girl to another more "mature" narrator. It was as if another person was watching the scene and describing what they saw. Maybe that was intential? I loved the intensity of the piece. Your intro sentances always suck me in. great work. (as always)