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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Camping (07/11/05)

TITLE: Crossroads
By Karen Ward


Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. NIV

“Hey Ash! How’re you doing gorgeous?” Blake pulled the young girl close and kissed her hard on the lips. “Remind me to thank your mother for being so gullible!” He smiled, but his eyes remained hard. “Come down to the beach now. Jim got some brews from his old man and we’re gonna have a beach party”

Drawn to Blake, yet a little disturbed by the deceit that had brought her to the campground to be with him, Ashley hesitated, knowing that she should at least help the Martins set up camp before she took off. “I’d better unpack first, I’ll be down soon. Main beach?”

Blake was pouting. “Yeah, Main Beach, but don’t be too long OK?”

“Sure. I’ll be right out.” Ashley watched him walk away, hoping that she’d done the right thing. Blake was the coolest guy she knew, and he liked her. She didn’t want to blow it. He made her feel so good when he paid her attention and the ways he touched her. She tried not to think about the warnings her best friend had given her about him. There was nothing wrong with having a boyfriend. Most girls her age already had boyfriends. It was definitely her turn. She turned back to help the Martins set up the tents so that she could go.


There were two parties on the beach that night. Each party had a fire blazing in the centre. Each included many people singing loudly. Both parties included alcohol, but while a few of the older kids at the Martins’ partook in a drink or two, Blake and his friends had started drinking at noon, and were yet to stop. Both parties had a mixed crowd, but from Blake’s party, entangled couples kept disappearing back to their tents, while the Martin’s party included everyone in the fun of fellowship, worshipping through song, toasting marshmallows and enjoying the glory of God’s creation.

Ashley had spent the afternoon with Blake, but then returned to the Martin’s party to eat dinner with her hosts. Blake couldn’t be bothered going with her. Ash was a little put off by his drunken state. His attentions were no longer for her alone, and when they were, it was a little intense. She felt uneasy, but told herself she was just being silly. Blake was still Blake. The same guy who made her smile at school. Yeah, she was just being a baby. It was definitely time to grow up. Blake had even invited her to go back to his tent after dinner. That would be cool. Then she’d really have his attention again, and his attention would make her feel good again. The queasy feeling would go away. It would be like it always was. The alcohol can’t have changed him that much.

Matt Martin saw her walking away. “Hey Ash, why don’t you stick around tonight? We’d love to have your company and you can see Blake again in the morning.”

Ashley hesitated and turned to look at Matt.

“C’mon Ash, stay here with us. I know you love marshmallows, sit with me and we’ll cook some up.”

Ashley felt torn. Matt Martin was an old family friend. He had helped her the first time she was ever allowed to cook marshmallows. As a kid she’d pestered him to let her do it all the time. But she wasn’t meant to be a kid any more. She was almost 15 years old. Blake was waiting for her. Blake and his kisses that made her pulse race. Matt would never invite her back to his tent. The Martins had strict rules about girls in the guys tents, that was part of the reason that her mother had let her come with them. Matt and his friends were different. They didn’t just go to church, they lived church. They were the kindest people she knew and she’d had a secret crush on Matt forever. Any other time she’d have jumped at the chance to sit by him and be a part of the crowd.

“C’mon Ash”. He patted the sand beside him and looked at her imploringly.

“Ash” another voice boomed from a distance “Come on Ash, let’s get out of here”

Ashley looked from one boy to the other. Which way should she go?

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This article has been read 1085 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karen Deikun07/18/05
Oh! You're going to leave us hanging! Interesting story about choices. I hope Ash makes the right choice.
Nina Phillips07/18/05
Tough choices for teens. Good article, nicely written, left us hanging to come to our own conclusion at the end. Clever. God bless ya, littlelight
Shari Armstrong 07/19/05
A good contrast - nicely written.
dub W07/21/05
Ahhhh, the suspense...well done. Interesting story, could be used with a youth group.
Jan Ackerson 07/21/05
Am I the only one disturbed that there is drinking at the party of the "nice" kid, too?
Brandi Roberts07/21/05
No, you're not the only one...that's about the only thing I would change...would like to hear "the rest of the story". Thanks for sharing!
Val Clark07/22/05
Great story. Well developed dilemma for your character. Good that you left it hanging in the air. I'm not worried about the fact that both groups were drinking, it's clear one was, by contrast, in moderation and it was the 'older kids'. Well done.
Tammy Johnson07/23/05
Nicely done. The drinking issue is a toughy. Still, I enjoyed the story - flowed well, kept my interest, and left me wanting to know who she chooses.
Suzanne R07/25/05
Good job! I really like the way you left it unresolved, even though part of me wants to know. It illustrates that verse beautifully. A well deserved win!
Deborah Porter 07/26/05
Karen, first of all, congratulations on your 2nd place win in the Level 1 Challenge Awards. Well done! But that doesn't really tell the whole story. I really wanted you to know that you came very, very close to making it into the Editors' Choice awards as well. As you know, the Editors' Choice goes to the eight highest rated entries for the week. Your entry came in 10th. So be encouraged, you are definitely heading in the right direction and I'll be looking forward to seeing more of your work in the Challenge in the future. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Oladele Atoyebi08/05/05
Beautiful write-up! I was so engrossed in knowing where it would end. I hope Ashley took the right decision