Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: "Splash" 4-11-13 Deadline (04/04/13)

TITLE: Tunnel Vision
By C D Swanson


Friday. The start of it all.

I met Ida, another fifty-something empty-nester, at the Route 9 North bus stop. "Hi," I mumbled, my face buried in a steaming container of coffee. "Lo," she grumbled, equally immersed in her own morning caffeine fix. Then we boarded the bus for our jobs in downtown Manhattan.

On the bus, I slurped my coffee and meditated. Ida gulped hers and read her latest Danielle Steele. She interspersed her sips with comments like, "Hah!" and "Oh, no!" and "I knew it!" When we got to the tunnel connecting Jersey to Manhattan, the fun began.

A mind-numbing forty minutes later, we were still in the tunnel.
With fear in my heart, I called out to the driver, "What's holding us

"How would I know, lady. I ain't no fortune teller."

That's when the cute, but weird guy, who always sat near the
driver, started to bellow. "We're stuck in the most inaccessible part of the city! We're all doomed. This tunnel is old. VERY OLD. Soon we'll see a drop, then more drops, then SPLASH! The river will come crashing down upon us and we'll all drown!!"

"Shut up, you nut!" Ida yelled.

"Don't encourage him," I whispered, shivering in my boots, er,
sneakers. "It's that cute but weird guy. He annoys me."

Then suddenly we were moving and blessed daylight was visible
ahead. Soon, Ida and I joyfully disembarked and started to head for our separate destinations.

"Ida, wait," I said, "I think I just made up my
mind about something. I'm going to quit my job today."

"Stop with the jokes, will you."

"No, really, I'm dead serious. Five years I've been doing this. I
just can't take the stress any more. The long commute, the traffic, the endless tie-ups."

"Whoa, and then what? Back to the empty nest? Vera, your husband's gone, your kids are away in college. You'll go nuts sitting around the house all day. How can you think of giving up all this." She flung her arms out wide as though embracing all of Manhattan. "We're in the greatest city in the world!"

"But it's not worth all the aggravation."

I turned onto my street, barely hearing Ida calling after me. "Vera, listen to me. Don't quit today. Don't do anything so rash. Promise you'll go home and think about it all weekend."

"Okay, I promise," I said weakly.

I kept my word and didn't quit. I went home and thought about it
all night Friday and all day Saturday, and I was no closer to a solution than when I started.

Sunday morning, after church, I went to keep my usual rendezvous at the local Starbucks. I was early, so I sat at our usual table in the
back, sipping my coffee and praying silently to God to help me make a decision. One of my favorite passages from Exodus came to my mind. "The Lord is my strength and song, and he is become my salvation."Twenty minutes later, in walked my mystery man, the one that even Ida didn't know about. And that's when I made my decision.

He bent down to kiss me, and said, "Well, did you make up your
mind yet?"

"Yes. I most happily will marry you. On one condition. I want to
introduce you to Ida so you can tell her we've been seeing each other, and..."

"Great! But here's my condition. We tell her together. We're not
starting this marriage hiding any more. And you have to tell her the truth about the real decision you were trying to make this weekend."

"Deal. I'll simply tell her my decision is to quit my job, and
that the real reason is because I'm going to get married...to the cute
but weird guy from the bus."


The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 370 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sheldon Bass 04/11/13
Wow, I didn't see that one coming! Great climax and ending. Not sure how well the topic was covered, but that's just me. This was very believable and genuine. Good grammar, no mistakes that I can see. Wonderfully entertaining.
Dannie Hawley 04/11/13
You really got me with this ending...terrific. I never saw it coming! I do so love a happy ending. Nice job of storytelling. You had me hooked from start to surprising finish. Nice way to begin a new set of challenge articles! Thanks!
Lillian Rhoades 04/11/13
Surprise endings! How great is that! It almost makes "relevant to topic" irrelevant.:-) I agree about topic connection, but this was such a delightfully, creative story, even thought took a bit more reading to realize your MC had not met Ida for the first time.

I love the way you cleverly and effortlessly wove the details. Job well done!
Lillian Rhoades 04/11/13
"even though it took..."
lynn gipson 04/11/13
Love it! I felt like I was right there, stuck on that train with Ida and the crazy guy. The ending was the clincher! Great story and superb writing.
C D Swanson 04/12/13
NOTE: I was just informed by a Christian friend that Starbucks allegedly has a "nefarious" following/reputation, including occult symbols.

I want everyone to please understand, that I had not heard about this, until this very moment! I don't even frequent, nor have ever gone to this place anyhow. My Aunt does, who this story is loosely based on! And, she never heard of this either.

So, if I've offended anyone, It was unintentional, and I was blindsighted by the info my friend supplied to me. Again, never heard about any of it!

Thank you to those who commented already...I appreciate every word.

God Bless,

Linda Goergen04/12/13
The word “SPLASH”, the way you used it capped and italicized, both in the story and ending with it, undoubtedly has a special “code” meaning to Vera and the “cute, weird guy” LOL I think you needed to make that point stronger in the story, help us understand why that code word “SPLASH” was significant to them, and an integral part of the story and therefore the topic.

That being said, without having to worry about topic, this story was GREAT, such a fun read with its unexpected twists and turns, not knowing until the end where it was going! It was interesting, entertaining and charming...definitely a story I think you should flesh out (apart from the word constraints of this challenge) and develop into a longer, more detailed short story or better yet as an excerpt as part of a book about “Vera and the cute, weird guy”...for I found myself wanted to know more and more about this interesting, secretive couple!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/13/13
This is a sweet story. I'm not big on romances and Danielle Steele makes my teeth hurt, yet I still found myself enjoying these characters.

I like a good twist, but you have to stay loyal to the story to pull it off. The fact that the cute but weird guy started yelling like he was losing it or to scare others turned me off a bit and didn't seem like the right fit for the MC.

I did enjoy the ending, even though it was somewhat predictable. I really
Liked Idea and she seemed like just the perfect friend. You did keep my interest from beginning to end. Nice job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/13/13
I try not to read comments before commenting, but let me reassure you that I also haven't heard of the Satanic symbols in the logo. I've never stepped foot in a Starbucks so I have no idea if they have nefarious plans. I do know you and your sweet heart and know you would never intentionally intimate something satanic. Also I believe that there have been other stories on here that talked about Starbucks, so please don't let that worry you.
Dana Anders04/15/13
That ending! This was fun. I feel inspired to go write something with a surprise twist. Thanks for sharing this!
Patsy Hallum04/17/13
I don't connect anything bad with Starbucks, but I find that leaving out store names or brand names works best all around. We never know. Cute story.
Judith Gayle Smith04/18/13
Very enjoyable!
Beth LaBuff 04/18/13
Ha! I love your title in retrospect. ;) What a fun, enjoyable tale. I'm still smiling!
Hiram Claudio04/22/13
Wow ... what a great ending! The story was so real and held my attention right through to the end. This really was an enjoyable read, light, and yet had a deeper tone to it about thinking things through and turning all of life's decisions over to the Lord. Very well done!