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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hope (05/04/06)

TITLE: Cheryl and Lost Hope


Due to a disagreement on politics, Cheryl lost her best friend on Monday and then on Tuesday her fiancé of two years said he wanted a trial separation. Her fiancé wanting a separation hit her like a ton of bricks. She was always there for him. Well, almost always. What will happen next? She whispered to herself. Two people she thought she could count on; were now just a part of her past.

What was it about her that most people found offensive? Was it her perfectionism or was it her desire to be first in everything she did, or maybe it was her highly developed organizational abilities…Whatever it was, Cheryl consistently drove away everyone in her life and often thought to herself, "It must be them; after all I’m no different than anyone else; but I am a tad smarter than most.!"

She wasn’t what many would call a “Christian” woman—that is, a woman of faith and hope. Heck, the only hope she ever had in her heart was the hope for another day—another day in which to show the world how wonderful and clever she was.

Well, Wednesday was another day and she had to get ready for work. Putting on one of her best suits, eating a bowl of healthy cereal for breakfast with a cup of decaf, and taking a few vitamins; she was now ready to leave and enjoy another day..

Traffic was often heavy around eight in the morning but she was a careful driver; should be no problem, she thought.

On the freeway, she began thinking of her best friend, Tina and her fiancé, Chris. She reminisced of all the happy times she had with both of them. Tina was such a card; always ready with a joke or kind compliment and Chris, always thinking of her and ways in which to make her happy.

She strained her brain but could think of nothing bad she did to either of them. She did; however, bug them from time to time on their “poor sense of styling.” But, that couldn’t be an issue because she always turned it into a joke. Funny, she couldn’t remember them laughing too much…But, what the heck, maybe they just lacked humor!

As she put on turn signals to get off the freeway and on to “Spencer’s Exit,” she saw a lonely car to the side and saw an old lady bent over the steering wheel, blood streaming down her face.

She wanted to help, but gee, it was getting late and after all, surely someone else would stop and help. And, after all, the woman was old…Maybe it was just her time to go…So, she continued on her way.

Arriving at work on time, she went to her office and began her morning routine—turning on a small light, pulling out a few files and then flipping on her favorite radio station.

“Good morning everyone, time for the news. First in the news, Thelma Brown, a 65 year old retired school teacher was found dead, after a car accident on the east side of town. Sad case, because the officer on the scene, Sergeant Joe Smith said that if she were found and treated a half hour after the accident, she might have lived. But, she lost too much blood. Next, the governor’s office is saying that….” After the message on the old lady, she quickly turned off the radio…

Cheryl felt bad for about a minute but soon began thinking once again about her friend and fiancé. She just couldn’t get over the fact that they both “dumped” her…After all, she was a “caring person” and she did feel sad about the old lady but well, life does go one, doesn’t it?

I wonder is there any hope for Cheryl? Or, is she a lost cause?

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This article has been read 771 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jessica Schmit05/11/06
Your a very good storyteller. A few suggestions I have is to describe more, instead of instructing the reader. Also, if their are times when the character thinks to herself/himself put the thoughts in italics. By doing this the reader can still enjoy the story without wondering "where did that come from?" Sorry if this is too negative. I believe you have quite a bit of talent and keep on writing you'll go far.
Val Clark05/12/06
Oooh, where did you get that portrait of me from? :-)Lots of information. Think about what is absolutely necessary and do some showing, rather than telling, concentrating on one of her friends rather than two will give you space. Also it's hard to feel for an unlikable mc with no redeemable qualities. We can only surmise that there is no hope for her. Yeggy
Joe Moreland05/13/06
I thought you had a great story going here without the old lady dying. Just my opinion, but your point was just as valid without that shocker. Don't fall into the trap of feeling like the consequences of losing her best friend and fiance as a result of her insensitivity and selfishness were not adequate punishment for the character. Not that you did the bit with the old lady badly, I just felt that leaving that part out, might have given you more space to show us more about the main character...something redemptive, maybe?
Phyllis Inniss05/16/06
Perhaps Cheryl was trying to be too perfect and you just wanted to show why she lost the two people she cared about. The old lady bit just seemed to be what showed Cheryl up more clearly - not so caring as she thought.
Beth Muehlhausen05/23/06
The final thought is a clincher - are some people a lost cause or is there hope for them? I want so much for this woman to step from her self-imposed confinement and see the Light!!