The Official Writing Challenge
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This story kept my attention to the end. I wonder if the chaplain will ever be able to forgive Dirk (whose name sounds almost like "dirt"). Excellent use of pictures an imagery. Well done!
From the hook of the title to the chillingly captivating descriptions to the heart-shattering ending, this kept me riveted all the way through. It really added to the drama to have a chaplain be the one whose daughter was killed. I wanted to say a prayer for him myself, praying that God would give him strength to somehow show God's unconditional love and forgiveness in the killer's life.
Great job on a difficult subject.
Wow this is a powerful story. I hung onto every word. You made me feel like I was right there in the courtroom.
This one grabbed my heart and wouldn't let go. I felt empathy for the father and his loss and I loved this:

"Dirk would have to wait for me in the corner of his nightmare. I will seek him in the darkness where he lives, where the black mold grows beneath the leaky pipes. I will make him wait until I am the shadow in his sleep, until I am the voice in his wilderness, until he begs me for death."

I desperately want the father to be able to forgive this heinous crime someday, and I have a feeling he would over time, on God's time. I would never wish for the father to rot away in his anguish, his hatred. I would want him to seek God's counsel. However, I loved the honesty of this particular paragraph. In the end, we are only human and even a Chaplain is subjected to our imperfect frailties.

This is powerful story telling that reaches into our emotions, grabs hold, and won't let go. And neither should it let go. I hope this is not part of your own story, but if it is, may you increasingly know God's power and patience to turn the pain into a pearl.
I like the honesty in this article. Christians are human and any one of us would not be able to deal with such tragedy to one of our children. We can forgive (leave justice in God's hands), but we aren't going to be having lunch with the monster later.

Skillful writing and honest to human emotion.
Excellent imagery of the culprit...I could easily picture him and his evilness. You also did a great job of capturing the torment of the father/chaplain. Strong story-telling and realistic mc's voice make this an excellent piece of writing.
Congratulations for placing 11th in your level!