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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Red (10/01/09)

TITLE: The Red Haze
By Pamela Kliewer


I see a red haze.

I blink several times.

It doesnít work.


I got so angry this time that now I canít get rid of the it?

I donít really remember when this problem started; I know itís been going on for years.

This is the longest the haze has ever stayed Ė over forty-five minutes now. Itís usually gone in one to fifteen.

Everything I see is filtered through this weird light.

Maybe if I hang my head between my kneesÖ

Sitting on the bed, I do just that.

I leave it there for a few minutes, then slowly raise my body.

Iím panicking now. Why wonít this go away?

Youíre still angry.


Who said that?

Valerie, how long has it been since youíve talked to me?




I figure if I just go about my day and ignore Him, Heíll leave me alone.

I finish getting ready to leave for my volunteer position at the hospital - thatís what I was doing when the red haze started.

Hmmm, what was it that made me angry?





Iím kind of embarrassed about this.

I was zipping up my dress and I couldnít get the zipper pulled up all the way.

I went into an absolute rage.

It wasnít pretty.

Iím glad everyone else was out the door already.

I - uh - well -

I started screaming and jerking around, yanking on that zipper...

I yanked it down, then back up.

It wouldnít get past a certain point.

Then, I went berserk.

Flailing my arms every which way.


Iím sure I was quite a sight.

I pushed the dress off my body, hard.



My favorite dress!



Since it was torn anyway, I thought I might as well finish the job.

I stepped out of it and grabbed it off the floor.

Seeing where it was torn, I pulled on the fabric, shredding it.

Ha! Thatís what you get for trying to best me, you stupid dress. You were always a little too pink for my taste anyway.

That was a bit much over not being able to get a dress zipped up wasnít it?


God, youíre still here?

Where did you think I would go? I said I would never leave you or forsake you. You think now that in your time of anger, Iíd break that promise. Not gonna happen.

Wellllll... No.


What? I snap.

Donít you think we need to talk? Godís voice, as usual, is gentle, calming me...

Yeah, I guess itís been awhile.

You werenít just angry over the dress, were you?

I hang my head.

I can almost feel God putting His finger under my chin, lifting it so I can look at Him.

Tears slide down my cheeks.

The red haze clears.

Valerie, tell my why you were angry.

But God you already know.

Yes, thatís true. I do know. But you need to talk to me.

Okay, if youíre sure...

Iím sure.

Why do you keep taking things away from me? Everything thatís been important to me, you rip from my heart. I feel like you donít even care. You took me from a place I loved living, where I had tons of friends, and put me in a place where I donít know anyone and nothing is familiar!

Valerie, that was five years ago. And didnít you pray for my will to be done in your life?

Welll, yeah. I guess I did.

And donít you like your Ďjobí at the hospital?

A smile creases my face.

Yes, God, you know I do, very much.
Holding those premature babies is a joyous balm to my heart.

You need to stop letting that be the only time you feel joy. I have put you where you are for my purposes. I want you to learn to cling to me.

Let this anger go.

Spend time with me.

Let me fill the empty places of your heart.

I am more than able.

But God, I have ignored you for so long. Do you really want to spend time with me?

Yes, my child, I do.

I love relationships.

I know you do too, because you bear my image, so what better place to start, then growing your relationship with me?

As I finish getting ready to leave, my heart softens more and I know I have a lot to think about over the next few days.

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This article has been read 529 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 10/08/09
Well done. I like the deliberate, jerky pacing, and how it subtly changes toward the end.
Allen Stark10/11/09
I'm still not clear as to where the anger came from, or why.
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/12/09
I like the gradual change--it was realistic and not too much too fast. I like some of the jerky style and format, but it might be even more powerful if it was used a little more sparingly... but that's just my oppinion. :-) Good story and good point.
Bryan Coomes10/13/09
Nice job. I could feel the roller coaster ride of emotions with the character. The style seemed odd at first but the more I read the more it worked.
Rachel Phelps10/13/09
I loved how the jerky style calmed down toward the end, reflecting her emotional change, but I also felt as if the jerkiness was a bit overdone. The intro was great, but I got a little lost in the white space.

Great way to do "seeing red," which could so easily be cliched. Excellent!
Teresa Lee Rainey10/13/09
Yup, I've been in that red haze. Love how you handled this challenge.
Ruth Brown10/13/09
A lesson that needs to be
learned.Well done.
Cherie B.10/14/09
I liked the jerkiness, it helped me feel the MC's temper tantrum. And I loved the way you had God speak to her in a soft, patient voice. Such a good contrast. Well done.
Laury Hubrich 10/14/09
I'm sure we can all relate to this anger. Excellent message of God's patience and unconditional love.
Aaron Morrow10/14/09
Nice work, very honest and candid glimpse into our self-talk and dialogues with God. My favorite part was the "Oh. God. Great."...classic and so true sometimes.
Loren T. Lowery10/14/09
Very good use of inner dialogue to bring out the emotional turmoil within and ultimately the healing. So simple, but powerful.
Brenda Shipman 10/14/09
You used a great technique for communicating God's heart toward us when we are angry. Thanks for sharing this with us!