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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Don’t Look Back (04/19/12)

TITLE: A-Running with Moses
By Marina Rojas


“Don’t look back! Don’t look back!”

She thought her hand was going to fall off as tightly as it was being gripped by the strange dark woman running low in the grass beside her. Devi tried hard to run as fast as she could, but she was winded and getting tired fast.

It seemed like they all had been running forever. If she could just take a moment to catch her breath, to sit down…she slowed her steps just a little bit.

“Hurry up! Run! Run for your life!” The voice rasped quietly in the night and she just gave in to it, forcing her legs to run when there was no more strength left in them. Forcing her lungs to take in more oxygen when she could barely breath.

Tall weeds were hitting them all in the face with little stings across their cheeks. She could have sworn she’d swallowed a bug or two, so she tried desperately to keep her mouth closed tight even though her lungs were screaming for air.

Her ears were on high alert, listening for any sound behind them, a snap, a tweak, the bark of a dog or the high pitched calls of the ones who were sure to come after them even in the dark of night.

She craned her neck as far to the side as she could without turning her head. What was that? What had she heard? Were they nearby? Had they caught up with them? Devi started to look back again.

“Don’t look back! Don’t look back!”

People were falling around her. She could hear the little ones stumble and fall and almost begin to cry. Strong hands covered the children’s mouths, suppressing any sound trying to escape their lips.

Hands reached down to the ground to lift those who had fallen. Wide eyed and full of fear, the smaller ones stifled their tears and held on for dear life.

Run, run, run, don’t look back, don’t look back. Devi used the words to set a cadence for her stride.

Soon she spotted a clearing next to a river bank. The strange dark woman brought them to a halt and motioned for them to all stay hunched down, hiding in the tall grass next to the riverbank.

Devi was grateful for the break. Her chest was heaving trying to drink in all the air she could, as silently as she could. She looked from face to face, counting the numbers. They were all still together, they were all in one place.

The old woman moved towards the riverbank, entering the water with the silence of an alligator. She stayed low to the water’s surface, moving towards a clump of lilies floating near the river’s edge. Silently she pulled a raft from out of nowhere, and turned to motion them into the water.

Reluctantly, they moved one by one into the cold waters of the night. The old woman was quiet and only reached her hand out to them to help them board the raft. As soon as the last one was sitting aboard the wet planks, she cast the little vessel out to the middle of the river.

Devi squinted in the dark to try and see where they were going. She watched the old woman deftly handle the raft down river. The moon hung low in the pitch black night but she moved the rudder as if she knew the placement of every rock that could be in their way.

Devi looked away when the old woman caught her stare. Somehow, Devi knew, she was helping them, but she was still afraid of her. She had never met a woman like this. She looked at the long-rifle she carried at her side and remembered the promise of death to anyone who looked back. Once you’ve started, she had said, there’s no return, no surrender. Devi knew that she did not want to go back to where they had come from. She only wanted what was ahead.

A long, long way down the river, the old woman who the others called Moses began to sing in a low sturdy baritone.

Wade in the water
Wade in the water
Children wade, in the water
God’s gonna trouble the water
Who’s that young girl dressed in red
Wade in the water
Must be the children that Moses led
God’s gonna trouble the water.

Looking over her shoulder Devi glanced behind them. “No child,” the old woman intoned, “Don’t look back.”

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This article has been read 639 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joe Moreland04/27/12
What a compelling read! I couldn't stop. You imposed the sense of panic, fear and urgency so well on me that I could feel my own heartbeat quicken with your mc's run for freedom. Great, great job!
C D Swanson 04/27/12
Good job with this riveting entry. I felt the panic and fear of the MC. Well done.

God Bless~
annie keys04/27/12
Powerful, well written story! I love the way you 'word paint' what's going on, putting the reader right there with the MC.

Well done, very well done!
Hiram Claudio04/30/12
Great story that held me from the beginning. So many wonderful images were created. This was a very well written entry and a very enjoyable read. Thanks!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/02/12
This brings tears to my eyes. Oh how our history defines us, but God's grace lifts us up and beyond the ways of those who have gone before us. I can't imagine what it would have been like for all of the Devi's in the world. You did a splendid job building the characters. I could feel myself holding my breath as I read. This is such a strong piece.
Leola Ogle 05/02/12
Excellent story and very well written. It held my interest throughout. Good job. God bless!
annie keys05/03/12
Wonderful! My heart is clapping and cheering for you! Congratulations!
marcella franseen05/03/12
This was WONDERFUL! I loved it! Great job!!!!!
Nancy Bucca05/03/12
I love the way you weave your words through this. Very creative. Congratulations on a well deserved win!
Leola Ogle 05/03/12
Congratulations! Well done!
Jennifer Porter05/03/12
Congratulations! I was instantly swept up into your story. Beautifully written!
Lillian Rhoades 05/03/12
Congratulations for a well-written story with historical significance.
PamFord Davis 05/03/12
FaithWriters Congratulations and Hugs!

Wing His Words!
Genia Gilbert05/03/12
This is really a great piece. Congratulations on your EC!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/03/12
Congratulations on your EC! I'm so happy for you!
Ellen Carr 05/04/12
A wonderful piece of writing, gripping and emotive. It left me wanting to know what happened next. Congtatulations on your win.