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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Walk (07/20/06)

TITLE: Hurricane Elliot
By Joanne Sher


"Inside voice, please!" Melody Winford looked disapprovingly at her 5-year-old son Elliot. "You'll wake daddy."

"OK," Elliot whispered as he sprinted across the living room, jumped over the fire truck he'd left on the floor, and bounded up the stairs to his room two steps at a time.

"And walk, Elliot, WALK!"

Melody sighed and slumped down in her easy chair. What a workout that kid gave her! They say children his age, especially boys, are full of energy, but Elliot's pep dribbled out his pores. If she had a brick for every time someone said "I wish I had his energy," she could build the Tower of Babel in her back yard. She always told the "Elliot energy seekers" they were welcome to it - as long as they didn't give it back to him.

Now there was humor with a slice of truth in it. Melody loved her son more than she could ever express, but why did he have to be so high-strung, so loud, so hyper? If only he didn't fiddle nonstop, wasn't in perpetual motion 24/7, wasn't...


"Melody!" her husband Greg said groggily from the bedroom. "Is everything all right?"

"Checking," she answered, whispering a short prayer under her breath, as she sprinted up the stairs toward Elliot's room.

She looked into Elliot's bedroom to find at least five dozen books sprawled about the floor, his bookcase flat on the ground. Elliot - either oblivious to what had happened, or having dismissed it seconds ago - was sitting on his beanbag chair in the corner, reading, of all things, Go, Dog, Go.

Spouting out a quick "thank you, Lord," Melody walked through the book minefield and put the bookcase back in place, making a mental note to have Greg come up and anchor it to the wall later that day.

"Everything's fine, Greg," she shouted down the stairs, "Go back to sleep, dear."

As she started putting the books back, Elliot looked up from his reading.

"Sorry, mommy."

"It's OK, honey. You just need to be careful."

"I know," he said as he began picking up the books and helping put them back on the shelves.


"Elliot! Greg! Dinner!"

Elliot bounced (literally) out of his room and down the hallway to the top of the stairs.

"Elliot the kangaroo is ready for dinner," the boy giggled. "Boing, boing, b-"

A series of bumps, thumps and screams came from Elliot's direction. The older Winfords ran for the stairs, where they found Elliot sprawled across the landing, his arms and legs every which way.

"I'll call 911," Greg said breathlessly as he sprinted for the phone.

"Elliot, are you OK, honey?" Melody asked, as she cradled her son's head in her lap.

"I didn't walk, mommy."


"Wow, TWO casts!" Elliot looked down with pride at his wrapped up left lower leg and right lower arm. "Too cool!"

As Greg wheeled him down the hospital corridor in his wheelchair, Elliot asked everyone who passed by to sign his casts. Though stopping every three feet was getting old, Greg and Melody were glad the fall hadn't broken their son's spirit, and resigned to humoring him.

"My! What happened to you, young man?" a woman with salt and pepper hair and a matronly look asked.

"I didn't listen to mommy when she told me to walk," he said sheepishly. "Wanna sign my cast?"

She tittered, "Certainly. What is your name, young man?"

"Elliot. E-L-L-I-O-T. What's your name?

"Mrs. Grayson," the woman said.

"Do you listen to your mommy, Mrs. Grayson? You should, you know."

"Yes, Elliot, in fact, I do. Even when I don't want to, I try to do just what my mother told me," Mrs. Grayson replied.

"Now Elliot, it was delightful talking with you, and I hope you feel better soon, but I have an appointment to get to, and I need to run."

"Thank you! But-Mrs. Grayson?"

"Yes, Elliot?"

"Walk, Mrs. Grayson - WALK!"

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This article has been read 1527 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ann FitzHenry07/27/06
I really liked this story! I had an inkling from the title what your story would be about. It was very well done and had an ending that made me smile.
Lynda Schultz 07/28/06
Cute. I liked this a lot. Good job.
Tracey Jackson07/30/06
An unusual take on the theme but I loved it! You captured little Elliot's character very well. It really made me smile.
Rita Garcia08/01/06
A delightful story, strong characterization, I love that even when he gets injured it didn't zap his energy. Great story!!
terri tiffany08/01/06
Very nice! It moved along well and came to a cute ending! You might want to consider dropping some dialogue tags - the she said, he cried etc and make it more show. I had a really good writer here suggest that to me and it made a big difference in my story.:) Just a thought!
Kimberly Mitchell08/01/06
The story flows so well. You have a great talent for writing. This is one of my favourites in beginners.
Jan Ackerson 08/01/06
This is very cute, and left me breathless (and thankful for having had girls...) There were a few points when I felt Elliot's speech not quite right for his age, but it didn't detract from the charm of this story.
Venice Kichura08/01/06
Loved it! This read like someone more advanced than beginners..I don't think you'll be here for long! You're talented.
Angela Logsdon08/01/06
I enjoyed this story. Well done.
Jen Davis08/01/06
A cute story. Very effective to set apart the sentence "and walk..." Well done.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz08/01/06
What a cute story. I really enjoyed the ending.
Marilyn Schnepp 08/01/06
Very interesting, entertaining and delightful story of a "different" of hurricane. Did a bang-up job on the wordsmithing of this little piece. Nicely done.
Valerie Routhieaux08/02/06
I was expecting a hurricane, but yes, little children can be as well. You did a good job of capturing his high energy level. Enjoyed the story. Keep writing
Trina Courtenay08/03/06
Congrats on placing 2nd Joanne!

May the Lord continue to guide your quill as you write to glorify HIM!
Marilee Alvey08/03/06
Joanne! Wow! I told you just ten minutes ago that God was going to bless you abundantly and to be expectant, but this is RIDICULOUS! 2nd place! Congratulations! I am SO happy for you! It was well deserved, I might add. It was a very simple story, with well used humor. It was well written, too. No fluff. It was a "doing" piece, not a "telling" piece. I could learn alot from you!
Stephen Paynter08/08/06
I echo many of your other comments - a great fun story, nicely written. A well deserved win. I was about to write that I also agreed with Jan, that this made me thankful for having girls, but in the few moments it took to write this comment, I had my three swirl through the room giggling and bossing me about ... hmmm!
Carol Gray09/09/06
Joanne, a well deserved win. Congratulations. This was a splendid piece of writing. The title was a terrific description of that little boy. You are anointed to write. Joanne is writing easy for you? I believe it is. God Bless! Carol Gray
Jacquelyn Horne04/16/07
Reading the old along with the new. This article is especially cute (in spite of the tragedy). I can just see Elliot telling Mrs. Grayson to WALK!