Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)

TITLE: The Dog Backed Down
By Andy Gilmer


In my career as a Corrections Officer I believe the Lord has used several events to teach me the power of His grace to protect when a situation was beyond my control. The following is one of those times:

It was around 9:30 PM and my shift was almost over. I had just completed a cell check and it was too quiet. When I peered into his cell through the six by six-inch bulletproof window I knew that his patience had run out. He was “strapping up”. That’s what we called it in prison when someone was preparing for a fight. When an inmate gets dressed, ties a bandana around his head, and puts on his boots just before lock down at night, you’ve got a problem.
“You okay man?” I asked.
For the first time that evening he didn’t acknowledge me. He just continued lacing his boots.
“Call the building Sergeant,” I told the officer in the control room. “He’s coming out.”
I sat down at the desk to make a few entries in the logbook before it started. It’s always easier to capture the details more accurately when they are fresh and everything is calm.
It had all started earlier that morning when he had been notified that a family member had died. It was now almost sixteen hours later and all he wanted was to make a phone call. He was on isolation so a supervisor needed to be present to hand cuff him and take him out of his cell to a phone. I had tried to get the Sergeant to come down, but each time I asked, I received the same reply, “He’ll get to it later.” For the past seven hours I think he believed more than I did that the Sergeant would “get to it”. The morning shift supervisors had given the same empty promise and then assured him that the evening shift would take care of it. He had been very peaceful the entire time, but he had waited long enough. Now he was angry and I remember being angry along with him.
Then the banging started. No matter how many times a day you heard it you never got used to the sound. It could have been the echo off the concrete walls with no outlet. But most likely it was because no matter how much you wanted not to treat a man like an animal, when he beat against the steel door with his fists and feet you found yourself thinking he was a caged beast.
The entire cellblock shook with each blow to the metal enclosure. The track at the bottom and the frame at the top were beginning to bend, and my heart was beginning to race. My faith in the construction of the door quickly faded as a moment of silence was broken by the most powerful kick yet. The unbreakable window shattered into a hundred pieces. My guts felt twisted and I became physically ill as I tried to keep my composure and wait for backup. I knew that my attempts to appear unshaken had failed when the whole wing broke into a thunderous roar.
“Gilmer is scared!” some shouted. While others, in words I cannot repeat, taunted me about the beating I was going to receive once that door was broken down.
Suddenly, in the midst of the deafening jeers and taunts there was a noticeable silence. The kicking had stopped.
“Gilmer!” he shouted. “I ain’t gonna hurt you, man! You tried to help me!”
Absolute quiet fell over the cellblock as he started kicking again. It was only moments later that the extractions team arrived and entered the cell. The rage that had been kindled in this man was so intense that the trained attack dog backed down from the encounter. When the team saw the dog pulling back, teargas was used. Unable to see, the inmate gave up without a struggle and the incident was over quickly.
I still remember his last words to me as I left my post that night; “Did you see that dog back down, Gilmer?”
“I saw it,” I replied, and we both laughed.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE

JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 966 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marina Rojas02/01/05
The power of justifiable anger was spelled out in this article with breath taking terms. Dogs, apparently, are not as foolish as some of our species.
Deborah Anderson02/05/05
I felt so sorry for this man. :-( Thank you for sharing this story (oh, and remember to space between paragraphs, makes it easier to read). Seems you were the only one to show him compassion. God bless you.
Sally Hanan02/05/05
Great story, great writing, kept my interest the whole way though.
Shellie Power02/07/05
Really captures how powerful anger can be and often is.
Deborah Porter 02/07/05
Andy, Congratulations on receiving a Highly Commended Award in the Level 2 Champion Challenge. It is a credit to you, as the competition in this level was very, very strong. So well done and I hope you'll keep rising to the Challenge in the future. With love, Deb (Challenge Co-ordinator)
Anna Kittrell02/08/05
I really enjoyed your story- I was scared with you! (Paragraph indentions don't copy over well, my story was the same way) Thanks for sharing!