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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Flat (01/03/13)

TITLE: Flat Line
By
01/03/13


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Three years ago my husband was riding his motorcycle. It was late on a Friday night and he had worked the night shift at the restaurant. Instead of coming straight home, he was headed to the restaurant chainís other location across town to walk the manager out with the nightly deposit since there had been some robberies in the area. About two miles from the restaurant, a car pulled out in front of him and he t-boned the side. I received the call about the accident at 3:09 am on Saturday morning.

I barely remember driving to the hospital and it is a wonder I did not wreck myself trying to see through my foggy red eyes. When I got there, the doctor explained it was a horrible accident and every bone in his body had been broken. He had lost 30 pints of blood and had swelling around his brain. I begged them to keep him alive long enough for our daughter to get here from south Alabama so she could say goodbye. It was a four hour drive but she finally arrived. No amount of preparing could be done when I had to tell her the truth and walk her into his ICU Room. She was only eleven at the time and there, on a hospital bed was her daddy bandaged up from head to toe. Remarkably, his face was unscathed. The nurses had packed ice around his head to keep the swelling down. There were tubes and machines of every sort hooked up to him.

In his hands was the bandanna he had been wearing under his helmet. The machine next to me was playing the backdrop music it seemed to my daughterís tearful goodbye. It had a steady beep, beep, and beep and as I glanced over at it, the lines that indicate vital signs were barely moving up or down. The nurse stood in the corner as we said what we had to say to the body on the bed. I removed the bandanna from his hands, held them close and kissed his fingertips because they were all that was visible amongst the gauze.

With my arm around my daughterís slight frame, we walked out of the room. It was then that I heard the last long beep of the machine and looked to see the lines on its screen go flat. The nurse had turned everything off and that was it; he was gone.

God tells us that when we die, we will depart in peace. (Luke 2:29) I knew the moment I saw the flat lines of the monitor that my husband and my little girlís daddy had departed in peace. There was no suffering or struggle in his death. The flat lines that day reminded me also that he had gone on to be with the Lord and he will be forever surrounded in Godís love.


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This article has been read 365 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jody Day 01/10/13
Gripped my heart from beginning to end. Good job. My only comment is that the impression is that an eleven year old drove the four hours from Alabama:) Keep writing!
Bonnie Bowden01/10/13
This storyline was very exciting. I saw a few of grammatical errors, but they did not take away from the plot in any way. Here are some suggestions:

1. It would have been nice to have names for the characters.

2. I did not wreck myself could have been written: I did not get in a wreck myself.

3. When combining two complete sentences, use a comma before the word and.
Lollie Hofer 01/10/13
I assume this is a true story...it has the sound of reality to it. I would like to encourage you to do a little more showing than telling...possibly showing us some of your emotions. Also, some dialogue will help draw your readers in as well. Thank you for encouraging us with a difficult time in your life.
Roxanne Howard01/10/13
A very heartfelt story. Thank you.
Glynis Becker 01/11/13
I agree with the others: this is very heartfelt, perfectly on-topic and emotional. A little dialogue would help the readers feel it even more. Great job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/12/13
This is such a powerful story. I'm not sure if it is a true story but I would guess that it was since you did such a so wonderful job of getting inside the MC's mind.

The only red ink I might suggest would be to start off with more of an attention grabber. It's important to pull reader in by the end of the second or third sentence. By doing something like this it would set the tone and be more showing than telling: The phone jolted me from sleep. My heart pounded as I squinted at the clock while the ominous red glow mocked me. I knew by the glowing numbers--3:09--that something terrible was about to disrupt my world.

I know I took some liberties but I wanted to show how starting the story like that pulls the reader in immediately as well as painting a picture.

I think you did an awesome job with this piece. You nailed the topic in a fresh and different POV. The conflict was introduced right away and you managed to keep building the suspense. That takes a lot of talent. You also did a nice job of transitioning from one scene to the next. It felt real and the dialog natural.

This piece is inspirational and I know it will touch many people and help them get through the grieving process. Outstanding bit of writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/12/13
I want to clarify what I meant when I said the dialog felt real. For example when the doctor was explaining his condition it felt natural but would be even better if you had put the actual dialog in. For example: The doctor walked toward me as his eyes scanned a chart. "Your husband is in critical condition..." I'm still taking your words about what he said but by showing him entering the room and then putting the dialog in quotes, it'll help the reader connect with the characters. I want to empathize that these are things that can be fixed with a little work or by joining a writing group or a challenge buddy. If you need help send me a PM and I'll try to help you. You have a way with words and I look forward to more of your work.
CD Swanson 01/14/13
Phenomenal job and entry. I enjoyed this well-written story that packed a powerful message. Very good!

God bless~
Lillian Rhoades 01/14/13
Bless you for sharing such painful memories.

Consider rewriting all of the sentences that have the passive verb. ex. was, is, had been.

Ex. Late one Friday night, three years ago, my husband left his night job at the restaurant, and instead of coming home, headed on his motorcyle towards another restaurant chain across town.

With robberies in the area, he intended to walk with the manager as he deposited the nightly receipts.

Ex. His hands held the bandanna, rather than "In his hands was the bandanna."

Sometimes the passive verb is necessary, but when overused leads to less
"tight" writing. You use more words than necessary.

You did a great job of describing the scenes. I could feel the emotion.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/18/13
Congratulations on your ribbon and for ranking
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/18/13
Oops I hit wrong button. Congratulations on ranking 20 overall! That's great for 82 entries!
hazel moodley01/19/13
Well written.
Bonnie Bowden01/24/13
Congratulations on your 1st place ribbon and 20th place overall. It was a very moving and powerful piece of writing. I will enjoy reading more of your work in the future.