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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Breaking the Rules (08/16/04)

TITLE: Hiding the lambs
By darlene hight


“Hurry, Come in.” “Did anyone follow you?”

“I don’t think so.” Matty answered.

“Praise Jesus! You’ve kept another one of your lambs safe!”

Elizabeth poked the fire back to life. “Here child, you stand over here next to the fire. You must be chilled to the bone and starved. I’ll put the stew to heating. It will be ready right quick.”

As the warmth from the fire began to steep in, Matty relaxed. She was hungry, near starved. Her eyes felt heavy. She wasn’t sure if she could stay awake long enough to receive the nourishment her body craved. “How many days had she gone without food? Was it two or three days?” Yesterday, a rabbit came so close that she could’ve easily caught it but what was the point? It was too risky to start a fire. She settled, instead, for the roots and berries found along the trail. They weren’t enough, but it was something. At least it kept her hope alive.

“Here you go, child. This ought to put some color back in those cheeks.” Elizabeth said as she placed a steaming bowl of soup on the table. Matty’s eyes teared. “Thank you, mamm”, she said. “You eat.” Elizabeth said, smiling as she patted the chair. Matty sat and began to eat ravenously. “Not to fast.” Elizabeth warned “Your stomach might throw it back at you.” Matty slowed. She couldn’t remember the last time anything tasted this good. Two bowls later, realization settled on her like a heavy cloud.

“ I’ll not be staying”, Matty said “but you’ve been so good, so kind! Someday, I’ll make things right.” She promised.

“What do you mean “You’ll not be staying”? You most certainly will be staying! I’ve never seen a child more tuckered in all my days, cold and near starved!”

“Mamm, if they catch me here, they’ll burn your house. I’ll not be letting that happen!”

“You listen to me and you hear me good. I’ve got me a house that means more to me than this old shack! Jesus has that house waiting for me. Whenever, I be needing it. If they burn this old shack, I’ll just build me another one just like it. It ain’t right! People got no right to own another human being! God made you, child! You are beautiful, one of His own special lambs and I’ll not be sitting on my hands doing nothin’, jest watching that kind of evil. Not as long as I have breath. There ain’t nothin’ they can do to me that’ll stop me! You don’t know it but I prayed for you to be here. I pray everyday “God send me your lambs.” You hush this nonsense. You’ll be needing rest and some warm clothes.

“Mamm, tell me about that other house. The one that is better. This is a fine house! Matty said as she climbed the ladder leading to the loft. “A fine house!”

Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 08/23/04
Great story-telling, Darlene! I enjoyed every word - well done!
Blessings, Lynda
Donna Haug08/23/04
I enjoyed reading your story. It made me feel like giving Elizabeth a big squeeze!

A couple of comments: “How many days had she gone without food? Was it two or three days?” Thoughts don't need to be in quotes. Also when you switch speakers you should start a new paragraph. Great story.
Larry Elliott08/23/04
I enjoyed it very much. I admire Elizabeth's spirit. I want to know what happens next.
L.M. Lee08/23/04
what a beautiful tale. You could almost see them huddled around the fire eating.
Marina Rojas08/23/04
I loved the title, it just fit so wonderfully with the story. Enjoyed this a lot, thank you!
Melanie Kerr 08/24/04
This was good. What was the setting? It could apply to so many situations. The one that came to mind was someone like Corrie ten Boom hiding jews in her attic during the German occupation. Very good. I liked the bit about the better house.
Sheila Boyd08/24/04
I loved the dialogue; it was real and moved the story along nicely. This was a good story, well written. One thing ‘she could’ve easily caught’ would flow better as ‘could have’. I noticed this because I have been told many times not to use contractions except in dialogue. However, I still do.
Kenny Paul Clarkson08/24/04
"Elizabeth poked the fire back to life."

I love it!

Such creativity is what makes your writing come alive, easy to read and enjoyable.

Keep it up, girl!!
John Hunt08/25/04
Very well written. A creative adaption to this week's theme. Good job!
Karen Treharne08/26/04
Darlene, I'm at a loss for words. You write so beautifully, and this one really touched my heart and got my vote. Everything about this piece is perfect...the dialogue...the feelings expressed...and the description used. It honestly took my breath away. God bless you, Karen