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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: End Times (02/27/14)

TITLE: Is the Day Truly Done?
By Richard L. Provencher


Funeral’s done, tears shed, memories discussed and life’s enchantment a tendril of chimney smoke, from leftover cremation. And I am unable to even cry.


I lay in blackness; heart once a rhythm of natural movement, stillness without voices. Yet I hear something, a rustling perhaps. There it is again, something shuffling along --- a kind of feathery sound. Could it be, no, it couldn’t. Then, without fanfare nor further delay a mighty wind came racing through my mind.

It gathers in ascending speeds until it reaches the crescendo of an awesome roaring, and I sit up with babbling lips. On earth they call it “Tongues.” In Heaven it is “Resurrection.”

“Open your eyes,” a kingly voice suggests. And I do. Not because it is a command, nor a threat wrapped in words. It is simply a suggestion, which blankets me in a shawl of protection. I desperately wish to respond but am unable to form words. I attempt a grunt of determination; still nothing comes forward in the air surrounding.

A whisper of an idea enters my heart, moves to my brain and thoughts pour as if emptying into a bowl at thanksgiving, “Oh, Creator of all,” a pattern of brain activity responds.

From that moment I knew it was unnecessary to speak words, but to think as an array of beautiful colors with ideas flowing in harmony. I stood up, joining other bursts of energy as they flickered but a moment then disappeared into a chasm of distance.

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Member Comments
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Lillian Rhoades 03/07/14
You've used very descriptive phrases in this piece... "tendril of chimney smoke...shawl of protection... ideas flowing in harmony, etc.

Opinion: I thought you had a great opening paragraph, but it was difficult for me to tell what setting the rest of the story took place. Is it after the funeral and your main character is dreaming, or is "blackness" a metaphor for the grieving "place"? Consider editing for sentence structure and word meaning. For ex: "A whisper of an idea enters my heart, moves to my brain and thoughts pour as if emptying into a bowl at thanksgiving, “Oh, Creator of all,” a pattern of brain activity responds."

The above is a "run-on" sentence that might be written as: "A whisper of an idea enters my heart and moves to my brain. Thoughts pour as if emptying into a bowl at Thanksgiving. A pattern of brain activity responds, "Oh Creator of all." As per word meanings...What do you mean by "a pattern of brain activity responds?" Since most of your piece is in present tense, consider using "stand" for "stood," and "flicker" for " flickered," for "flickered," and "disappear for "disappeared."

Thank you for writing this distinctive piece.

C D Swanson 03/08/14
I loved your flowing imagery and the way your words feathered over the page, gently and yet powerfully.

I really enjoyed your beautiful entry. Thank you!

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/08/14
Your beginning immediately grabbed my attention and pulled me in. I also totally related to the I haven't cried line. I have grieved greatly, but been unable to cry. That made me relate to the MC right out of the gate.

I was a tad confused if the second part was still the same person. I also noticed you used lay instead of lie, because most of your piece was in the present tense, the correct one would me I lie. (I always look those up because it can be confusing.) Be aware of which tense you are using and try to stay consistent.

I think you nailed the topic in a fresh and interesting way. You also had a clear message that really touched my heart. I've had a death phobia my entire life and your words really touched my heart and lessened my fear. The ending was wonderful, leaving me feeling warm and comforted, which I wasn't expecting in the beginning. This piece felt more like a poem to me and you have a knack with that poetic feeling.