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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hacker or Virus (computer) (12/15/11)

TITLE: Locked Up and Blacked Out
By Amanda Brogan


My mind is whirring. Grinding and probing overtime in search of a verse, a proverb, a psalm ... an answer. But my memory is blocked and even the simplest response is inaccessible. My knotted tongue wrestles to untangle itself, but its hopeless struggle is in vain.

The answer should come like lightning, in a high-speed blur of Scripture-soaked truth and my latest update from God. But an error has occurred. I cannot run the program of His grace, cannot see the love that fills the screen of my life.

I feel ... vulnerable.

An unknown force of malicious strength and potency claws through every sinew, every nerve. It shreds through my faith, erasing the heavenly confidence that allows me to dare kneel before the throne room of an omnipotent God.

You’re unworthy. Hisses a message from an unfamiliar sender.

God could never use you.

You fail too often.

You don’t deserve to be called His child.

Each message invades with more gusto, building on the accusation of the last. The attacks meet no resistance for I have no defense. I have not taken the time to install His protection.

I should have seen this coming. Should’ve been prepared. Shouldn’t have ignored the warning signs that flashed and blinked and screamed, “Danger! Danger! Do you really want to proceed without Him?”

And when given the option to choose “now or later” to absorb His new insights for me, without fail I always chose “later,” not counting the cost. Not pausing to analyze how damaging the results would be of not choosing “now.”

So I am faced with imminent failure, faced with the gruesome fact that it may be too late, faced with –

“So...” My friend’s voice zones me back in to his original question. “What has God been doing in your life lately?” The query drones through my skull, its innocent asker waiting with patient, expectant eyes.

“I, uh...” I can say nothing. I have no story. No fresh new lesson, no miraculous tale of answered prayer. There have been no recent prayers for Him to answer.

Before my frozen brain can lock onto a proper excuse, my eyes lock onto something odd. My friend’s face seems to have grown completely still. Unblinking, unmoving.

“Hey, are you still there? Did we lose the connection?”

Blackness abruptly covers the face of the laptop, blotting out the Skype window and the image of my chatting friend. I slink back into the cool, leather chair, a defeated sigh lingering on my lips. This isn’t the first time my fully charged laptop has shut off without warning. Though I’ve tried, I know this is too complicated for me to fix on my own.

It’s time to call the computer technician.

With rising clarity my memory informs me of where I left the technician’s business card. Icy fingers move to open a drawer in my desk. They rummage through unfiled papers, forgotten envelopes, unused pens and highlighters until ... there it is.

Tucked between the pages of a large hardcover book is the business card. If only I’d been reading this book every day, my problems with viruses would be nil. Tenderly I stroke the cover and trace the binding with my fingertips. The business card is in my hand, dutifully urging me to pick up the phone and save the life of my endangered laptop.

I hesitate.

Then setting the card down next to my laptop, I open the pages of my long-neglected Bible and begin to read.


Author’s note: Though this entry is written in the first person, it is a work of fiction and not based on any particular event.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 12/29/11
Oh I liked this. I love entries filled with Christian messages. Loved the ending. Good job.
God Bless~
annie keys12/29/11
This is really good; there is not a person among us who hasn't been in this 'disconnect' at one time or another. Whether for a single moment or years, this story speaks to reconcilliation. All the message aside, it is also well written. Good job.
Allison Egley 12/30/11
I love how you incorporated the computer virus with the MC's state of mind at the beginning.

Personally, I think I may have gone on without the actual computer virus... To me, it disrupted the flow of the story a bit. Your parallels in the first part were clear enough without the "actual" computer virus.

Nice job with this one. Despite the slight disrupt in flow, I love how you brought it together in the end, with the computer tech's card being in his Bible. Nice touch. :)
Jenna Dawn12/30/11
Great story. I could totally relate to the MC's thoughts of inadequacy at the beginning of the story . . . and then the MC's realization that he/she would be in a better place mentally and spiritually had they been spending more time with God. This also hits home.

I love your prose, your choice of words. I must watch to see whose story this is, because I want to read more of your writing. ;)

Thank you for sharing!
Edmond Ng 01/03/12
An interesting read. The message comes through very well. Good job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/04/12
I liked this. I could so relate to the feelings of the MC. You used some wonderful descriptive words.
Leola Ogle 01/04/12
You definitely have a great writing style. I enjoyed this very much. God bless.
C D Swanson 01/05/12
Congratulations and God Bless~