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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: Red Rain
By Maxx .


Red. A fluttering of red. Like confetti or a late spring rain. It floated down from the seventh floor apartment at the corner of 82nd and Southgate onto the hustlers and vagrants that filled the street below. It drifted on the breeze, falling where it was led. Coming to rest on heads and hands, and on the hearts of the famished.

She roused, blinking away the sleep that had held her captive for an age. Her subconscious mind was clouded in dimness. Her head felt dizzy as if she had been tossed in a violent sea. The sheet that covered her was damp with sweat. It was a summer’s afternoon.

She moved, the luxury of silk caressed her, an invitation to resumed slumber. The bedding felt good, decadent, tempting. It was comfortable there.

She rolled onto her side; her auburn hair spilled across her face. Her lashes fluttered and settled. A shaft of light cut through a gap between the burgundy drapes and sliced into the carpet like a flaming arrow. She stared at it. It seemed to call to her, pulling her mind from the darkness.

She sat up.

The air was hot and stale. It prickled her skin and coated her mouth with thickness and lethargy. She uncovered and stood, feet unsure on the carpet, knees weak. Her body felt parched, her spirit dry, her soul longing.

She was naked.

There were flowering plants by the window. The leaves were wilted and dusky from inattention; the petals had fallen and lay scattered.

A noise. A movement in the hallway. She turned and screamed.

A figure stepped through the doorway. “Oh, you’re awake.” The voice was tinted with buried frustration.

She lifted the sheet to cover herself. “What are you doing here?” Her heart raced.

He crossed the room toward her. “Sshh. It’s ok.” His tone was reassuring. “Lie back down, everything’s going to be fine.”

She tensed and pulled the blanket about her like a robe. “I told you never to come back.”

“Ginny,” he paused, a smug expression tugged at his puckered lips. “You asked me to move back in. Don’t you remember?” His eyes seemed so disarming.

She stumbled. “What are you talking about? I threw you out.” Uncertainty gripped her. She looked down. Both sides of the bed were jumbled. Tears began to well in her eyes. “No, it’s not possible…”

“Baby, let’s just get you back into bed.” He seemed determined. “You’ll feel better with a bit more sleep.” He moved to the end table and opened the drawer. “Let me get you a pill. It’ll put you right out.”

Her fingers twisted into the silk cloth. “Get out of here.” She spit the words. “And never come back.”

He raised his hands and laughed. “Alright. I’ll go.” He stepped to the hall. “But you’ll want me again.” He winked. “You always do.”

The tendons in her neck tightened. “Not this time.”

Ginny trembled as the door slammed. Weakness washed through her as the adrenalin faded. “Oh God, what have I done?”

She found her wrap, crumpled and kicked under the bed. She clothed herself, pulling the flawless lace about her waist and tying it in place. She pulled open the drapes and averted her eyes from the brilliance, the twilight of the chamber fully exposed by the light pouring in.

She stroked the flowers. “I’ve neglected you for too long. I’m sorry.” The shame of her actions weighed on her. She shook with sobs. Her tears spilled into the cracked and shrunken soil. New buds began to form.

She opened the windows. The air outside was fresh and new. Falling to her knees she held her hands up in submission. “Father, forgive my depravity. Please cleanse me. Send your Spirit to freshen and fill me anew.”

A breeze moved through the casement and stiffened. It circled about the apartment and swept the staleness from the air. The burgundy drapes were lifted and shaken, blowing out the portal and over the street. The fallen petals fluttered and spun. They were raised, blown through the window, and carried away by the draft.

Red. A fluttering of red. Like confetti or a late spring rain, it floated down from the seventh floor apartment onto the hustlers and vagrants in the street below. It drifted on the breeze, falling where it was led, coming to rest on the hearts of the famished. Flower petals wholly restored and fresh with dew carrying the promise of redemption.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Anita Neuman10/10/05
I love how you wrapped up by echoing the first paragraph. I was a little confused at first, though - perhaps an extra space after your first paragraph would clarify the switch in point of view.
Garnet Miller 10/10/05
Interesting piece. We all need to be forgiven and renewed from time to time.
janet rubin10/10/05
ooh. This is good. "He" is the temptation to take the pills and escape to the comfort of bed, rather than facing life, right? Or something like that? It made me think. I'm still thinking. Good stuff, well written.
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/10/05
Facinating story. I agree, it made me think. :-)
Helga Doermer10/11/05
"Red. A fluttering of red. Like confetti or a late spring rain..." coming full circle on another rung of the spiral. I do like the imagery with which your story is parenthasized.
Brandi Roberts10/11/05
Very descriptive. I enjoyed this! Thank you for sharing!
Gabrielle Morgan10/11/05
I liked this very much. Good tight writing with impact. Interesting, repeating the first paragraph at the end to complete her attitude change. It finished the piece very well. Almost like a poem. Very well done.
Beth Muehlhausen10/11/05
Deep, thought-provoking stuff. Loved the repetitive opening and ending!
Alexandra Wilkin10/13/05
Thought provoking, descriptive and a very compassionate portrayal of the young woman. Really loved the repeated 1st paragraph at the end. Satisfying read. God bless.
Jan Ackerson 10/13/05
Very good! But I'm not sure you needed the last sentence; I think just repeating the first paragraph conveys your message of renewal. That's just a little picked nit, though. This is great story.
Linda Watson Owen10/13/05
Yes, a poignant vignette of this girl's life, physically and spiritually. Wonderful imagery!
Shelley Snyder10/14/05
This was so excellent! I loved everything about it. Keep up the great work...you've got a way with words.
Cassie Memmer10/14/05
I liked this writing. Addiction, the seductiveness of evil, the trap, the escape. Great!
Val Clark10/15/05
A visually stimulating, and thought provoking story. I was a tad confused as to whether this was an allegory or a straightforward story. What took it out of allegory for me was the reference to 'Both sides of the bed were jumbled' and 'decadence' which were very concrete images that tend to be associated with sexual sins. Yeggy
Suzanne R10/15/05
I love your imagery, such as this line: "A shaft of light cut through a gap between the burgundy drapes and sliced into the carpet like a flaming arrow." I like admiring a master craftsman's work.
Crista Darr10/15/05
The picture of the petals falling is beautiful. I love how you weave your underlying message into this piece - especially the tears producing new buds. Please keep the last sentence. It makes the red rain even more lovely.
Jessica Schmit05/30/06
WOW. you have a lot of information packed into this piece! WOW. First, I loved the title. LOVE IT. Second, I loved how you enforced Christ's blood acting as redemption throughout the entire piece. Over ten referances to the color red and over eight referrances to "falling, cleansing." beautiful. What a smart piece. So much to it. Depth. I also loved how the flowers were symbolic for her own life and that when the breeze blew throughouht the room, they were lifted (direct contrast to everything else that was falling.) Her tears falling on the dry soil. New buds emerging from the pain, the brokeness. beautiful. This piece screamed new life, washing of the Spirit over tired lives. This piece was really something. I also thought that the man in the girls' apartment was symbolic for a habitual sin that she felt was pretty much killing her. Oh! And she was naked! Great work. She was vulnerble before the Lord, ready to be washed by the Spirit. Wow Maxx, quite the story.