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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Time-consuming (02/24/11)

TITLE: Lord, do you hear me?
By dub W
02/28/11


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My Wednesday day-timer was open across the keyboard; Wednesday loomed before me. “Sheesh, I’ll never get through this.” A chewed up pencil seemed to point at 6a.m. – the broken lead belied any responsibility for the entry. “Why did I ever agree to a prayer breakfast with those guys at six in the morning.” I pushed the book aside. Four hours later I looked up from the computer screen – it was midnight.

The alarm was a greeting from the dark side, but I managed to put my feet on the floor at the same time the dog ran between my legs. “Miserable dog, don’t you know what time it is?” I fumbled for the bathroom light, and then covered my eyes as Edison’s torture filled the small tiled room. Twenty minutes later I had run through a tepid shower, brushed my teeth, shaved, and dressed. The dog witnessed the entire process; then obviously feeling it was his turn for attention began running in circles and yelping. “Yeah, if you’d learn to lift your leg on the commode this wouldn’t be a problem.” From the bathroom, I negotiated the hallway guided by the stereo’s LED lights. My searching hand found a light switch and illuminated the living room and the front hallway. I cracked open the door and the dog ran out while simultaneously the cat bolted into the house; but a reflection caught my eye. Sitting on my porch swing was a female friend.

“Charlie,” a pitiful sound leaked from her lips. Her knees were drawn up under her chin, and she had her arms wrapped around her legs.

I blinked my eyes. “Megan?” The wavy red hair and pallid skin was a dead giveaway. Of course, the small butterfly tattoo on her ankle also was an indication of her identity. “What are you doing here?” The shock of seeing her on my porch, in the wee hours, sent my manners 'out the window'.

“I didn’t know where to go.”

My composure began to catch up to my tongue. “Uh, don’t sit out there, come in out of the night air.” I fully opened the door.

“What time is it?” She stepped under my arm, her hair brushing my shirt. She reeked of tobacco and sweat.

“Like five or so. Do you want to get a shower or something?” I thought for a second. “But, I don’t have any girl clothes.”

Her petit frame flopped down in my favorite leather chair.

I looked at the ceiling. “Lord I don’t have time for this.”

“Did you say something?”

“Just praying a little.”

She pulled her knees up again. “You still do a lot of that, don’t you?”

I motioned to one of the guest bathrooms trying to ignore her clip. “Guest bath has towels, you can wear one of my old sweatshirts; they’re in the chest in the guest room.” Megan was a petit, I was a double X large.

Megan was nothing like my beautiful late wife Susan. We were married ten years when God called Susan home. Megan was diametrically the opposite. Her life was the sum of bad choices; I was never her boyfriend. I was just someone she knew from whenever, who listened to her woeful stories.

She stood and headed for the guest room. “Do you have any conditioner?” She must have seen the dismay on my face. “Never mind.”

“So how did you get here?”

“Walked.”

“Nope.” Megan’s grasp of truth was tenuous.

“Sheriff’s deputy.”

“That’s better, but how'd you get a deputy to drop you here?

“I told him my mother lives here.”

“Megan!” She closed the door.

I leaned against the wall. “Lord, why do you place me in these situations? I haven’t the time to deal with Megan today.” I flipped open my cell phone and called my friend Hal. I left a message. “Hal, I won’t be there, pray for me, explain later.”

The shower splattered against the bathroom wall. “I’ll call Connie (my sister). No, Bob will kill me.” My head began to pound. I sunk to the floor. The shower shut off. I continued to sit with my head between my legs. “Lord, do you hear me?”

“Hey Charlie, you praying again?”

“Yeah.” I glanced up, her hair was frizzled and she looked like a little girl in my oversized sweatshirt.

“Hey Charlie,” she repeated and softened her voice. “You think you might teach me to pray?


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Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 03/05/11
Good entry. I loved the descriptions of the morning... the alarm being from the "dark side" and "Edison's torture." It reflects my own feelings of morning. :)

I don't think you needed to explain who Connie was, or you could have said "my sister," but the parenthesis was a bit distracting. This is a very minor issue, however.

Great job with the story. I liked the ending.
Noel Mitaxa 03/06/11
Wow, you have really opened up the turmoil and the hopes of your MC's mind, though I'm not sure where the doorstep guest fits into the picture. But I did like the twist at the end: a prayer meeting without the expected travel. Good work!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/08/11
Your descriptions make your story come alive, and your mc's thoughts make for excellent characterization. I especially like your unexpected prayer meeting.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/15/11
Congratulations for placing in the top 12 of your level and the top 30 overall!