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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blue (10/08/09)

TITLE: An Intimate Kiss
By Debbie Roome


Seagulls wheel overhead, mewling like babies as they surf the wind. I lift my eyes to watch them, spray battering my face, sluicing away a thirty hour shift in the ER. “I’m tired, God. Tired of helping people who don’t appreciate me. Tired of long hours. Tired of everything. I don’t have anything left to give. I’m not even sure if You still love me.”

The seagulls’ cries intensify and through the rushing wind, I realise someone is wailing and screaming for help. Adrenaline surges as I pound across the beach, eyes searching, heart racing. It’s a woman, stumbling across the sand, a child limp in her arms. “Help him, please!” She thrusts him towards me. “He fell in the sea! I couldn’t get him out!”

I fall on my knees, conscious that I’m bereft of my support team and the security of the ER. There’s no technology here, no one shouting code blue, no one pushing the crash cart into the cubicle.

The child’s face is dusky like the blue of the stormy ocean, his lips a mottled bruise. I shove my cell phone towards the woman. “Call 911!” The child is motionless as I check his airway, tilt his head back, feel for a pulse in his neck. This is the first time I’ve done CPR outside of a medical environment. As I press my mouth over his and pinch his nose shut, I block off thoughts of Aids and disease. Breathe, compress. My hand forces his sternum down, causing his blood to move and circulate.

The mother is wailing next to us and the rawness of her emotion urges me on. In the ER I’m shielded from this pain by glass partitions and thick curtains. Come on, boy. I breathe and compress, breathe and compress, my lips forming a seal, an intimate kiss as I pour my life into his body. You’ve got to live. Your mother needs you.

He coughs and liquid erupts, salty water and bile streaming over his chin and neck. I turn him on his side, wiping his face with my shirt. Then he’s still again, deathly blue, his finger-beds navy, eyes sunken shadows.

I suddenly want to save this child more than anything. Breathe, compress. I get the rhythm going again, pouring everything I am into his body. This is so much more personal than working in the ER. The mother is quieter now, sobbing as she watches for further signs of life.

After a couple more minutes, he coughs again and then the miracle happens. He sucks in a breath. And then another and another. I sit back on my haunches and watch as blue skin suffuses with pink. As dark shadows melt away and life returns. It’s a physical demonstration of rebirth; a child given a second chance.

In the distance, sirens howl as the mother gathers her son into her arms. He’s crying now, soft mewling sobs that blend with the circling seagulls.

I lie back in the sand, drained, exhausted, staggered at the emotions within. I poured my breath into his body and now he lives again.

After a long moment, I look up at the heavens. “Is that how it is for You?” I ask. “Is that how you feel about us?”

A small still voice whispers in my soul. “A thousand times over.”


The story is fiction but I once performed CPR on a 15 month old with no pulse or breath. After five minutes he started breathing and the pink literally washed away the blue. It changed my life forever.

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This article has been read 896 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Deline Tan10/15/09
I like your style of writing; every explanation is very well constructed and the scene just flows smoothly. It is a good read with carefully chosen words in each sentence structure. Keep up the good work.
Charla Diehl 10/16/09
The urgency of the situation is handled so realistically that I was caught up in this story from start to finish. Great job.
Mona Purvis10/17/09
I love everything about this entry from the title forward. Your remarkable ability to have me holding my breath as the MC attempted CPR shows just how good this writing is.
Creative take on the topic.
Sarah Elisabeth 10/19/09
Wonderful piece, kept me breathless from start to finish! Loved the last line
Kate Oliver Webb 10/20/09
So real, I was trying to breathe for the boy! And when she questions God at the end, I seemed to get a real glimpse into God's heart with that wonderful reply. Nicely done!
Ruth Brown10/20/09
Gripping story. Well done.
Betty Castleberry10/21/09
Gripping. Touching. The footnote brought tears to my eyes.
Margaret Kearley 10/22/09
Oh Debbie this is so amazing. It gripped me from start to finish. Just wonderful.
Rita Garcia10/23/09
Janice Fitzpatrick10/23/09
Well done. This captured my attention all through the story and then you wrapped it all up in a beautiful ending, something we all need to remember. Thank God He breathes life into us every day through every cirumstance. Congratulations on your win too. God bless.:0)