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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)

TITLE: Freedom
By Amanda D'costa
03/13/06


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Two days left…

I am a monster. I wait to die, to be free from this curse of life. Caged in my prison cell, caged by memories and nightmares with deep despair eating into my soul, I wait.

It’s funny, when a man’s time is up, how it plays back, how it could have been and what it finally is!

I was born into a broken home; broken in every sense. Cursed by my mother, beaten by my old man in his constant alcoholic haze; poverty, hatred and neglect became my constant companions. As I grew up, life turned all the uglier. I took on drugs, the ups being my only escape from hell. I then turned to the darker side of darkness – mugging, stealing, lying, conning, you name it. It was a matter of time before it ended with a bullet in the heart or an overdose.

It was at that time that the sun dawned into my life. My Sara, my sweet Sara! She was beautiful, with a smile on her face and her deep faith in God. She looked beyond my ugliness and saw something divine. She got me out of my rut and made me take a stronger path.

In time, we got married and had a family with two beautiful children. I remember their smiles and laughter; their innocent faces…my boys!

But from their dark corner, the demons returned. I was weak! I could not keep away from the drugs, I just could not! The craving was too strong.

I remember her eyes as she realized something was different; fear, as she could not understand what was happening to me… what I was leading my self to. The lying started. Old habits die hard….and I started hating myself for betraying their trust in me. Evil twined around me and my every breath hissed a venomous cry. The thunderclouds returned more and more…till that ill-fated night.

I do not know what happened. I only remember it as the worst nightmare of my life. It’s haunting me, haunting me… O God, take it away! Demons from hell danced around me as I took a knife and struck out. They were all dead, their cries still ringing in my head. ‘No daddy… don’t….daddy…’ My greatest loss; my sweet Sara gone! I was drenched in their blood.

The trial was quick. The jury looked at me with contempt. The prosecutor painted a darker picture and my lawyer was relieved when I was declared guilty with a death sentence. I did not want to appeal. I did not want to live. I do not want to live!

One day left…

Fr. Sam had come in earlier. With immense kindness, he spoke to me… about the prisoner with Jesus and of Paradise. I couldn’t look into his eyes. They reminded me of the kindness I’ve known in my Sara’s eyes. I had betrayed those eyes…

Realizing that I was more distressed, he left me, asking me to keep his Bible and read Luke 23:42.

I looked at the book. What could this book offer me? I opened the Bible, mainly to escape the memories, and read the chapter that preceded this verse. “Remember me Jesus when you come as King.” A thought struck me. Jesus had told him that he would be free, his reward being Paradise… Jesus had not looked on him with contempt, but had forgiven him. Could He do the same to me? Anything to be with my Sara and boys again!

Tears flowed, as I cried, asking Jesus to help me. Could You help me from this hell? I’m caged in, I’m locked in…. Jesus set me free…..

I cried myself to an amazingly peaceful sleep.

My day...

In the morning they came for me. They strapped me on the table and waited for the court appointed time. They read the ruling to me…but my mind was racing. Despair all around, I could see my demons smiling and even smell their phosphorous fumes. I was pricked with a fine needle. The injection! My chest… my lungs… I couldn’t breathe! Jesus help me!

Through all the darkness descending on me, a small light grew. A beacon of hope! I felt strangely free as my soul split from my body and His light shone brighter.

“You are with me in Paradise!”

A peaceful face appeared and my soul trembled with joy. He looked into my eyes and then there was life…


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Member Comments
Member Date
James Clem 03/14/06
Very intense and gripping story. A light shining into a pit of darkness.
david grant03/15/06
Good attempt, but could have gone deeper in to his feelings. At least we know the environmental factors that pushed him to destruction. How come he never responded to his wife's faith? Did she even try to tell him? Didnt understand this sentence: "Realizing that I was more distressed, he left me, asking" I would think his comforter would have stayed.
Dare to go deeper! Use every word you have.

Phyllis Inniss 03/16/06
Very powerful story. The priest didn't stay, but he left a Comforter alright, he left the Bible. It made a difference to the story-teller in the end.
Virginia Gorg03/16/06
Needed more to explain why he was driven to do what he did. Gripping and suspenseful.
Jessica Schmit03/16/06
Wow. What a heart wrenching story.
Helen Paynter03/17/06
You communicated something of his self-hatred. A powerful piece.