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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Personal Peace (06/01/06)

TITLE: The Shadow of Chelle's Cove
By Amy Michelle Wiley


The wind moaned through the rocks, cold and foreboding. Blackness hovered on the horizon, biding time before it swooped in to engulf Chelle’s Cove in its power.

Ichkan’s ghost would walk the waves that night.

It had been a storm just like this that had taken her away. Her body was never found. Legend said that when tempests came, Michelle Ichkan could be seen walking across the waves, illuminated by flashes of lightning. Always behind her loomed The Shadow, the very one who had taken her so long ago. One night, they said, The Shadow would return to claim another victim. If he did not get his wish, the town would be destroyed, and disappear into nothingness.

The only living Ichkan stood watching at the window of the boardinghouse she cleaned. She could feel the storm approach, could feel the rumbled warning that made the rhythm of her heart falter.

Keisha knew why her grandmother had walked the beach that night, so long ago. She knew how it felt to have the wind call her name, how the lightning reached hot fingers to wrap around her chest, how the thunder pounded, unsatisfied until she stood in the very midst of it.

This night, on the eve of her grandmother’s death, The Shadow would return. She could feel it, even now in the boiling clouds, searching, reaching for her.

Dark secrets lay in Michelle Ichkan’s past. Secrets only Keisha knew. She had found the diaries in the furthest corner of the attic, stained with tears and rain. Stained with blood.

The Shadow sought revenge.

“There is no ghost, Keisha.” The invalid in the bed behind her shifted. “Do not let the storm worry you. Spirits of the dead find an eternal home.”

“Not when they have secret’s such as Michelle’s.” Even as Keisha spoke, the sun found refuge on the bottom of the earth. The electricity flickered and the last vestige of light was sucked from the cove.

Keisha screamed as lightning licked the window. Thunder shuddered the house. For hours the storm raged, only growing worse. The wind tore at the shingles, peeling them off piece by piece. The Shadow’s breath seeped in, searching, probing.

“He comes for me.” Terror clutched Keisha’s chest. “I must pay! Pay for the evil my ancestors have done. Pay for the secrets I myself have kept.” She swung upon the invalid, demanding, desperate. “Lucille, if the ghost does not walk the waters, if The Shadow is only superstition, why do I feel his presence? Why do I feel the doom?

Lucille’s face gleamed pale. “Evil was done. Revenge must be given.”

The cold words settled in the bottom of Keisha’s heart. Death would come that night.

Keisha struggled. The power of the storm pulled her. Fear held her back. Would the town be destroyed because of the Ichkans?

Lightening struck. The tree beneath the window flamed.

“I will go!” Keisha stumbled for the door. “I will give myself.”

“Keisha no! The price has been paid!’ Lucille’s voice gripped her like a safety line. “Death is conquered. Christ took your place.”

For a moment Keisha hesitated. Then the window smashed in with the force of the wind, flames still licking at the tree.

She ran, stumbling in the sand. Ice-cold water gripped her legs. Rain drowned her soul. The dark tore at her with sharp talons of wind, ripping, tearing, pulling. Shrieks filled the air, surrounding her with wails. Keisha reached up, up for any hint of help. Only evil surrounded her.

The Shadow loomed, beating. Crushing. Killing. Foam surged up. Grabbed her. Water filled her lungs.

The scream ripped from the very depths of her soul. “Jesus!”

The storm raged on. Waves crashed. Thunder bellowed.

In Keisha Ichkan’s heart, peace took hold. The Shadow fled.

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This article has been read 2165 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jessica Schmit06/08/06
This was extremely well written. I loved the genre. So differnet from the usual. Very captivating. I honestly adored how you wrote this one. You really painted with your words. Wonderful job.
Becky Depp 06/08/06
This was AMAZING !!!! I was glued to it from beginning to end.
Helen Paynter06/09/06
Wow - loved the personifications you used - the lightening's hot fingers, for example. Brilliant writing.
Suzanne R06/11/06
Wow - spooky - you brought us right in there - brilliant writing!!!! The way the peace reigned at the end even though the environment around hadn't changed was beautiful.
Pat Guy 06/11/06
Wow! I'm exhausted! Fascinating writing! I wish it was part of a book because I would love to read it!

Great work with too many favorite parts! Loved this read!
Tabiatha Tallent06/12/06
I loved it. And I loved that it only took one word, Jesus, to calm the storm for her.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz06/12/06
You painted a masterpiece with your well chosen words. Thanks.
Rita Garcia06/12/06
Peace, it's all in His name. Master writing at its best. Strong message!
Jesus Puppy 06/13/06
Bravo, bravo.. well done.. Christian Ghost story indeed.. ::claps enthusiastically:: A mystery to start, spooky throughout with the hint of a ghost worked in, and a hint of peace at the end.. but did she live... or go on to be with the one who saved her... Great job. I WANT THE FULL VERSION.!.!.!
Sherry Wendling06/13/06
You sure got my heart pounding! This is simply top-notch Gothic drama, and you pulled it off with flying colors.

I value this piece's great potential to address the secret fears of many. (In my neck of the woods, we have many Native American folks who are enslaved by fear of ancestors' ghosts.)

Now for my dumb question: In the 13th paragraph, I'm wondering, who is Lucille? did you mean Michelle? Or did I miss something...

Anyway, I agree with Pup. Let's have the whole story!
Kyle Chezum06/16/06
It's good, it's good. :-)
Brandi Roberts06/21/06
You're lucky I'm reading this now, after I've had a taste of Christian thrillers - I loved it. Though the last two lines needed something... more, I felt. Everything else was GREAT!
Loren T. Lowery03/25/08
Amy, this was written before I found FW, but my goodness, you are good and the atmosphere you crafted with your words is as tangible now as it ws some 2 years past. Loren
Sara Harricharan 08/17/09
Oooh, SPOOKY!!! This definitely gave me goosebumps, sooo very fun! I loved the way you just wrote this perfectly eerie atmosphere into a setting where the MC was someone I really, really wanted to root for! Awesome writing! ^_^