The Official Writing Challenge
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Hauntingly beautiful! I don't seem to have the words to express how this touched me.

Brilliant.... Praise God!
Wow - Powerful & meaningful.
Thank you. God Bless~
This piece is quite powerful. I think it was quite clever to use so many cliches in the one long paragraph. Words that would often be soothing, but truly the only saving grace is knowing Jesus died and loved us.

I admit, I was a tad confused where the soldiers were from. I took it that the soldiers fired upon the huddled group of women and babies but perhaps I was wrong.

It did fit the topic and the ending took me by surprise. I liked the picture you painted in my mind of the huddled masses.
I loved the general idea and the idea of using the cliches that would normally be brushed off.

However, I think that your piece needs to have some serious expansion on what is going on and who exactly has rounded up the "Jesus lovers."

This genre is actually very hard to write in with such a limited word count (believe me, I know) so my suggestion would be to focus on the descriptions, show, don't tell us what is going on around the story. Maybe try telling it from a different point of view, a solider or even one of the "Jesus lovers" who might have a little bit of a doubt where this moment becomes their moment of deciding never to look back.

Just something to think about. Keep writing and I look forward to seeing more from you
A perfect title for this well-crafted piece. From your spellbinding opening paragraph to the vivid image of your last sentence, you've added new meaning to the saying that good things come in small packages.
I couldn't breathe as I read your article. Those who have been in that hole will tell you it is life and not cliches to remind one another why we were in the hole and that our lives are in His hands... live or die.The words bring courage to die with meaning and takes away the regret completely. I did not die but others did.
Somehow the rest of my comment did not get on the last comment, sigh. So, the rest of my comment was as follows:
You have captured the feelings of both the "accused" and the "executioners" realistically in the few words you had . Nice job! This could be developed into much more than this brief article, if you would like to try. Looks like you could succeed.
I'm always encouraged by persecution stories. I love reading Voice of the Martyrs and the Jesus Freaks books. (Though I've never heard of "Jesus Lovers" before ... you've intrigued me to look those books up.) This short, but powerful story does a great job of capturing the dedication and determination of those who would rather die than deny their Savior.

The descriptions you used in the first paragraph are utterly breathtaking! They really draw the reader into the scene.

The story is so perfect that I hate to leave any red ink, but I think what would really make it flawless is two things:

1. Make sure that there are no spaces between a word and the comma or period following it. (i.e. this, instead of this ,) Also, making sure there is a space between sentences.

2. Leave an extra space between paragraphs. (I know this because it was always a hard habit for me to get into. Spacing helps immensely!)

Other than that, you have a wow factor that can't be escaped here!
I hate to comment on formatting because I don't know if it's a problem with the way it was pasted/loaded or in the actual formatting; but spaces between paragraphs make reading so much easier.

I have problems getting my word count down sometimes, but you needed to take yours up. I wanted to know more about how they got in the hole, which country they were in and why were they paying the ultimate price.

The piece was good, but there were enough words left that could have made it great.
Thank you all for your interest , constructive comments and encouraging words. I appreciate the red ink as well. I haven't written in awhile and have forgotten some of the basic guidelines that make for better, easier reading.

st It is true this story could have used a lot more fleshing out and I did have enough word count space to develop the plot and explain the setting much more clearly. What I didn't have was the time. I wrote this piece in about 20 minutes and just barely got it entered by the deadline. What was developing in my head was a futuristic America, although the soldiers would not have been our current military but rather something more like the UN. I even had the idea that our American soldiers would be the rebellion against the dominating forces of evil...oh well, I didn't get that far wi for the challenge but maybe it helps those of you who were left hanging ;)