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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: First (as in original) (01/10/05)

TITLE: Pain
By Maxx .
01/12/05


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I waited for my seductress to sweep me away from the reality that sat weeping in my bedroom across the bay. I lingered in vain, however, as I could not escape my despondency. The seaside had always been my refuge but in my time of greatest need it had failed me.

I was alone.

The house had been quiet when I entered. My children remained oblivious to my presence, lost in electronic games. Amber was on the deck behind the master suite. She was facing the horizon, her eyes searching the waters and shoreline, her auburn hair blowing about her shoulders. I found that I was drawn towards her, memories of our college courtship still fresh in my mind as if they had taken place moments before and were not two decades removed. But I remained blocked from the side of the woman I married as surely as if an invisible wall had been erected between us. I turned towards the closet to change.

She was sitting on the floor when I returned. Her eyes were wide for a moment then clouded as if a pall had been laid over her heart. Her shoulders deflated and sagged as the corner of her mouth twisted into the beginnings of a berating smirk. Her gaze drifted away as countless festering marital lesions began to suppurate and bleed.

Her lack of action left me hesitant, paralyzed with no direction, no ability to respond. I started to move towards the door but stopped and turned to face her once again. I came home early, I said, offering the statement as if it was a last desperate plea from a child about to be punished.

She turned, the wife of my youth, the one who pledged to grow old with me, my first love, and, blinking the accumulating moisture from her eyes shook her head. No, no, her breath caught and she inhaled with jagged sobs, You came home late. Its just too late.

I flinched and turned away from Amber, now clutching her knees to her breast in an imploding fetal position. I looked to the sea and the sand, towards escape. The sun was fading as tendrils of fog began to slide in from the depths, entangling themselves with the lives of the earth bound. Seizing my keys, I stumbled down the stairs; no valorous actions or bold words, simply retreat. The children remained engaged in their computer games, unaware that their world had just collapsed into a heap of rubble.

I sat, abandoned, the cold moisture from the compacted sand seeping through my jeans and into my body, the hopeless yelps of a plaintive seal solitary in the deep filling the air. I trembled as the weight of my marriage pressed in on me. There was no reserve strength coming to shore up my weakened being. What little life that remained was spilling from me and vanishing into the inky depths of the ever rolling tide. My body began to shake and my lungs heaved into shattering sobs, the salt on my cheeks no longer wholly from the spray.

I prayed aloud that the tribulation would be removed from me in one way or another. That things would either end or be restored, but that life in the transition not continue to wound. My words, however, were swallowed by the constant crashing of the waves and the cries of the herons returning to their nests. It seemed that nobody had heard me and I could not comprehend why I had been forsaken in my darkest hour.

I hurt, as if I had been assaulted or my body was disintegrating into nothing. Every nerve ending was firing as hopelessness consumed me. It was beyond any comprehension remaining in my gnarled mind how two lives might become so tightly knit that the mere possibility of separation could cast such an acidic spray of suffering. If my marriage was dead, why, then, was I continuing to weep not as if for the loss, but rather for the continued rending? From beyond my vision a family of seals barked, hurling their collective voices across the swells and my thoughts turned towards Amber and the misery we shared.

Hope. Was there any remaining for me? For Amber? For us? I could not be certain. I knew only that where there was pain, life still existed and where life remained perhaps hope kept a tenuous grasp. I rose and swiped the moisture from my cheeks.


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This article has been read 1304 times
Member Comments
Member Date
darlene hight01/17/05
Very moving piece! And love the way you brought the tiniest shred of hope at the end. Well done!
Sally Hanan01/17/05
Beautifully written emotion and nice ending...but will you tell us the true ending here or on the board, pretty please?!
Kathy Cartee01/17/05
Very well written with a lot of emotion. Unless I missed something what does this have to do with first? Just wondering. Maybe your first heartbreak.
WENDY DECKER01/17/05
Great writing with true emotion and description.
Tesiri Moweta01/18/05
The first time we feel pain, it's hard to describe but you have done a great job in describing. Not only that, there is a way out of every pain and you have given hope for it. Great writing !
Keep winning and shining for Jesus.
Suzanne R01/18/05
I LOVE all your imagery. I'd love to be able to write like you, but don't want to experience the sort of hurt that has resulted in such beautiful writing...... If indeed this is a true situation, may God grant you lots of wisdom and a very happy ending to this story.
Melanie Kerr 01/19/05
You have captured the emotions involved and the lack of communication between yourself and your wife. I liked the way that so much was happening that the children were unaware of. The description of the sounds were good. I think at times you got bogged down with too many adjectives and adverbs. Sometimes simple sentences can be really effective.
Debbie OConnor01/19/05
This left me breathless. Such powerful, descriptive writing. Such truth boldly exposed. A wonderful job.
Deborah Anderson01/22/05
Powerful word description. Felt like I was there. Good job. God bless you.
L.M. Lee01/23/05
right there with you feeling the emotions
Dave Wagner03/15/05
What a contrast between this piece and the one on Blessing. Contrast in content, not in presentation or style, which is strong and rich in both cases. I know I've mentioned this before, but I really appreciate the way you use the language...your word choices are almost always terrific...*occasionally* you'll have an instance or two where the line is crossed, and it gets a bit too dramatic, but for the most part, I cannot imagine how it could be improved.
Jessica Schmit05/14/06
I scrolled down the list of people who left comments (interesting to see how your fan base has grown) I saw many familar names. Many people who say the same thing about your writing today, as they did months ago. That says something-you are consistant. I think that's why so many people admire you. We know that when we read a "Maxx" we won't be disappointed. This story is no exception. I can't believe how versatile you are. This story is night and day from "Conception" yet equally gripping, beautiful and true. "I waited for my seductress to sweep me away from the reality that sat weeping in my bedroom across the bay." That sentence is one of dozens that stuck out to me.How do you do that? How can you write so vividly, passionatly and extraordinary? Amazing Maxx. Truly amazing.