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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Blessed (10/11/12)

TITLE: The Samaritan Wore Combat Boots
By Vicki J. Cypcar


By 2:00 a.m. she was completely snow-covered. Frozen and still she was lying in a ditch alongside highway 36. What began as a celebration was ending with a tragedy. In and out of consciousness she remembered remnants of the day before…her birthday.

It had started out routine. She remembered staring out the window as Professor Orr rambled on in monotone about the Big Bang theory.

She was restless soul with a notebook full of doodles prove it. She was more fascinated in the emerald ivy embracing the bricks and mortar of Pearson Hall than philosophy.

Over a hundred miles from home nobody in class knew it was her birthday. Her mother and father both talked of coming to visit the following weekend to celebrate; but at college nobody really ‘knew’ Kristi. They didn’t know Kristi Redding the editor of the school newspaper, or Kristi Redding the head varsity cheerleader. In Watkins, Colorado she had been a popular small town girl where everybody knew her name.

After class she rode her bike home and changed clothes for her birthday celebration. Her friend Kim would be picking her up at 8:00 for a night of partying. The snow was falling hard when they arrived to the Black Diamond Pub. Everybody there knew Kristi, and knew it was her 21st birthday. But deep down Kristi missed home, so much she decided to immerse her homesickness in liquor.

In quick succession the drinks were delivered and she was encouraged to ‘drink’ every ‘gift.’ It began with five beers followed by over a dozen shots of Jack Daniels.

Just after midnight Kim left with her boyfriend Richard. Fortunately the bartender was kind enough to phone Kristi a cab while she rested her head on the mahogany counter…alone.

She passed out on the seat of the taxi before arriving home. The cab driver stirred her awake, dragged her up the steps, propped her up against the front door and rang the doorbell before leaving.

With no roommates home she fumbled in her pockets for her keys. A wave of nausea washed over her and she found herself leaning over the porch railing to hurl liquor onto the virgin snow. Staggering to the porch swing she wiped her mouth with the sleeve of her parka, her head whirling.

Her bike was resting on against the railing. She remembered leaving her purse with her keys at the Black Diamond, two miles away. Drunk and stupid she dragged the bike down the steps. The snow falling harder, the temperature dropping.

In the blinding snow the lights of an oncoming car caused her to veer off the shoulder and hit a tree, the driver never even saw her.

For over two hours she was lying in the ditch of highway 36. Inebriated she feared she would never see her family again. She couldn’t muster the strength to stand but managed to turn onto her side so she wouldn’t choke on her own vomit. The ebbing logic of a drunken pre-med student freezing in a ditch. Weakly she whispered, “Bless me Father for I have sinned.”

At 3:00 a.m. a paneled van pulled over to the shoulder of the road and came to a rest. With haste he grabbed Kristi and placed her in the front seat. A Samaritan, at 3:00 a.m., the time some people consider “The Dead Hour.”

Kristi caught a glimpse of her ghostly pale self in the side mirror. Fear coursed through her still drunk veins – “My parents may never see me again.”

Sunrays cascading through the window stirred her awake. Her head still throbbing she noticed her bicycle leaning against the stark white hospital wall. She vaguely remembered a stranger – a stranger wearing combat boots.

A nurse entered the room to check her IV. Kristi looked to her with knitted brows, “How did I get here?”

The matronly nurse gave her a stern look before speaking. “A newspaper delivery man by the name of David brought you here- said he was on his paper route when he saw your bicycle.”

The following week Kristi drove to the newspaper distribution center with a tray of homemade chocolate chip cookies.

A burly man by the name of Chuck was smoking a cigar while rolling newspapers. He gave Kristi a stunned look when she asked to see David. He extinguished his cigar with newsprint stained fingertips.

“David? David was my son –he was killed in Afghanistan 2 months ago - did you know him?”

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This article has been read 236 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Brenda Rice 10/19/12
Very interesting story. I was pulled in right away. You definately were on topic.
Good job.
Noel Mitaxa 10/20/12
Absolutely absorbing in its descriptive sense of drama. Excellent material with a very sobering close. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/21/12
This is a great story on so many levels. I could so empathize with your MC. So many kids who are out on their own for the first time will overindulge. This story reminds parents how important it is to keep talking to your kids about alcohol, drugs and sex. Even "good Christians" can mess up.

I noticed you didn't use a lot of commas. There were places that really needed them. For example: In and out of consciousness she remembered remnants of the day before…her birthday.
You need to set off the phrase In and out of consciousness, with a comma. This sentence is also an example of telling instead of showing. Just by switching it up a tad, you can do more showing: Remnants of the previous night flashed through her brain, as she slipped in and out of consciousness.
It's a tiny difference but makes the sentence active instead of passive. If you added a moan and perhaps have her blinking her eyes in a futile attempt to remain conscious, that would paint more of a picture too.

You definitely covered the topic in a different and fresh way. You built the conflict and added to it as you sprinkled suspense throughout the story. The ending was sweet too.
Genia Gilbert10/22/12
I entered into this story from beginning to end. It is well written, even with a few punctuation flaws, and has a lot of raw reality, yet with good taste. Nicely done.
Hiram Claudio10/24/12
This story was gripping ... it grabbed a hold of me right from the beginning and held on to the very end. This was intense and flow so effortlessly through out. This is excellend writing with an ending that didn't disappointment.
C D Swanson 10/24/12
Wow! What a powerful and gripping story. Jarring and penetratingly sobering...the ending jolted my heart.

Nicely done. God Bless~
Phyllis Inniss10/25/12
What a terrific story. It held my interest throughout. The end gave me a bit of jolt, but added to the story rather than took away from it. Continue to write; you certainly have talent.