Hire
Writers
Editors
Home Tour About Read What's New Help Forums Join
My Account Login
Shop
Save
Support
E
Book
Store
Learn
About
Jesus
  

Four Ways For A Christian Writer To Win A Publishing Package HERE



The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge

BACK TO
CHALLENGE
MAIN

INSTRUCTIONS

how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level

ENTRIES

submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners



Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.





TRUST JESUS TODAY

TRY THE TEST



Share
how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

TITLE: Sanctuary
By Michael Throne
10/31/12


 LEAVE COMMENT ON ARTICLE
 SEND A PRIVATE COMMENT
 SEND ARTICLE TO A FRIEND
 ADD TO MY FAVORITES

"I've seen you here before," she said.

The young man was sitting on a bench, his head bowed as if some great weight pressed upon him. He looked up. "I come here when I can."

"May I sit with you?"

"Sure."

He wasn't sure what to say next, so he said nothing.

"Are you from the area?" she tried.

He looked around. "No." He studied his hands.

It was a cool October day, and the leaves were turning from red to brown. A gentle breeze blew from time to time.

"Where are you from?" she asked.

He chuckled, almost bitterly. "Iowa," he said. "Originally."

"Do you live here now?"

He looked around again. "No. Not really."

"So you're visiting?"

"Yeah." He stood and walked a few steps to the fountain. He had a limp. He grabbed his leg, around his thigh.

"Are you okay?" she asked.

"I think so." He put his weight on his good leg.

"How...how long will you stay?"

He smiled. "There's the question," he said. "When I was in the army, I promised myself I'd come here and live out my days."

"You were in battle?"

"Yeah."

"Is that...is that how you hurt your leg?"

He looked down and frowned. "Yeah."

He walked back and sat next to her.

"My name's Jack."

"Angie."

"This place is peaceful."

"Yes, it is."

"Do you mind...?" he said courageously, "do you mind if I tell you you're really quite beautiful?"

"No, I don't mind. Thank you."

"I used to come to this park," he said, "years ago. When I was growing up, we'd stop here with my family when we visited my aunt. I'd play on those monkey bars right over there."

She smiled.

"And when...when I went into the service, I'd come here in my mind. When I was bored, or worried, or scared."

"Uh-huh."

"It was my sanctuary. My home. My destination."

She nodded.

"I always promised myself that I'd come back here...afterward."

"And here you are."

"And here I am."

She looked around. An engine started up in the distance. She folded her hands on her lap.

"You're still a young man," she said.

"Uh-huh."

She glanced at the sky. "You know, you have your whole life ahead of you."

He shrugged. "Yeah. I guess."

"It is nice here," she said. "Peaceful."

He looked around. "Yes, it is."

"But Jack?"

"Yeah?"

"I don't think you should stay here."

"No?"

"No. Probably not."

A jet flew overhead.

"Do you...do you live here?" he asked.

"No. I'm visiting, too."

A branch snapped behind them. Jack looked back, but no one was there.

"Do you think you'll come back?"

She smiled. "One way or another."

"When?"

Someone was shouting beyond the bushes. He couldn't make out what they were saying.

"I don't know. From time to time."

"Can I see you?"

"Sure."

A man burst through the tree line and then another.

"When?" he asked, mostly to himself. He picked up his gun.

"Soon," she replied.

The gun was heavy. He could barely hold it. He took aim and fired once, then again at the men coming at him. The closest one fell. He dropped his gun to catch his breath.

Someone scampered into his foxhole from behind. He stared at Jack's leg. "Oh, man! Are you alright?" He raised up and fired at the enemy.

Jack looked down in dismay. His pants were soaked with blood. He was too tired to answer.

"Medic!" the man called out. "Medic!" He fired four shots then ducked back down. "We've got to get you out of here." The man pulled at Jack as bullets flew around them. They'd barely cleared the foxhole when an explosion threw them forward, hard against the ground. Jack crawled blindly until he couldn't go on.

At the hospital, Jack woke up. He was tired, half-dead. He was through with war. He was done. He wanted to go home.

Later, during his months of recovery and painful rehabilitation, he dreamed of the park. As he worked to regain use of his leg, he thought of Angie and imagined long conversations with her. Other times, he sat alone in his park; it was all he had left. He did this in his mind, until finally, he did so in his life.

And so, day after day, he would sit alone, thinking, regretting, dreaming, letting the cool October breeze sooth his soul until, one day, a young woman walked up.

"I've seen you here before," she said.


The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
Accept Jesus as Your Lord and Savior Right Now - CLICK HERE
JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.


This article has been read 168 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Laura Hawbaker 11/06/12
Interesting entry. Realistic conversation. I was a bit surprised by the sudden scene change/flashback. Like how the last sentence goes back to the beginning sentence.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/07/12
Wow this is a powerful story. You had my attention throughout it all. I did suspect Angie was an angel and that he would see her again. However, I didn't expect the men from the bushes and the gun. It jerked me into reality--a sad one where somehow killing other humans is called war. This is perfect timing as Veteran's Day approaches. What a good way to remind people to thank those in the service and their families for their sacrifices on our behalf.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/08/12
Congratulations for ranking 20th overall!