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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fellowship (among believers) (10/11/07)

TITLE: Excerpt From The Secret Teen Bible Study
By Sara Harricharan


The day ended in a blur of the usual chaos and conformity. I could not wait to be home. I’d stayed up the night before cleaning my little apartment to make extra room for the Lord’s presence.

It was my turn to host the Secret Teen Bible Study. I laid out the Bibles on the center table, arranging fresh fruit on a platter.

Everyone began to trickle in, the Kenaii twins, Derek and Kanae were the first to arrive. I guessed they’d had an argument on the way over because they weren’t speaking to each other.

Sheema and her little sister Denna were next, Myron was last. He inched over the threshold his gray eyes memorizing every detail. “Your parents left?”

I stifle the urge to roll my eyes, offering my hostess smile instead. “A while ago, the meetings do not end until midnight.”

“You should know that.” Denna teased, heading for the table.“Hey everyone!”

Sheema offers a half-hearted smile, flopping into my recliner. “I almost wish they allowed us to go, but then I’d miss all of you guys.” She sighed.

“Long day at work?” I offered her a slice of fruit.

She began to pick the seeds out. “Sort of, work was the pits. I barely sat down for two minutes before everyone was screaming at me to go do this or that. Once I finish one thing, someone else has another job for me to do, I didn’t even get half of my actual work done because I was so busy ‘helping’ everyone else!” She took an angry bite out of the fruit. “Now my boss is all mad at me, the supervisor says she can’t help and I just wanna kick something!”

Kanae snorted. “At least you work with perfect strangers that don’t know any better. I get stuck with a crazy brother who thinks the entire galaxy revolves around him!” She scowled. “Siblings are so overrated!”

“Hey!” Denna shot to her feet. “That’s not even fair! I don’t go around making other people’s lives miserable.”

“You do manage to contribute a tenth of my ever present misery.” Sheema yawned. “Sit down, you’re making a scene.”

“I’m making a scene?” Denna’s voice rose.

Myron sighed. His thin face appeared darker than ever with his ragged mop of midnight hair. “Shall I break it up, or do you want to?”

Mouthing “heads”, I flipped a stray seed.

I lost.

“Uh, guys?” I cleared my throat. “Guys! We’re supposed to be having a Bible study here.”

Derek perked a brow. “Really? You could’ve fooled me.” His eyes narrowed. “Please don’t tell me this week’s topic is respect. I don’t think my ego can handle it.”

“Your ego can’t handle anything!” Kanae snapped. “And don’t prop your feet on the table. There’s food up there!”

An ear-piercing whistle sliced through the arguments.

Silence quickly reigned and eyes shifted from the floor to Myron when he cleared his throat. “A fine lot we are, to think we came here to study forgiveness tonight.” He smiled thinly. “Sounds like it’s something we all need to learn.” He picked up a Bible, flipping through the pages. “The Law demands that we be twenty-five, of adult age, before we are allowed to attend studies to understand God’s word.” Gray eyes glistened with tears. “I don’t believe in that. I think we should all learn to be more like our creator from the moment we know who He is.”

Denna slowly sank down to the floor, the first to reach for her own Bible. “What does forgiveness have to do with now?”

“Jesus said we should forgive people seventy times seven, right?” I chewed on my lower lip. “I don’t think we’re supposed to count, that’d be crazy. Maybe our day might’ve gone better if we forgave people today.”

Sheema frowned. “Like how?”

I shrugged. “I could’ve forgiven Mom for washing my good china in the Autobot. It washed all the paint off, but it wasn’t really her fault. She doesn’t live here, I do.”

Kanae flushed a bright red as Derek mumbled an apology. “I’m sorry too.” She muttered. “I didn’t mean-well, you know.”

Apologies floated around the room for a moment and then silence and eyes returned to Myron.

His eyes were closed.

I poked him.

“Ow. That hurt.” He opened one eye. “Nevermind. I forgive you." His mouth curved into a smile. "Now who wants to lead prayer tonight?”

Copyright 2007

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This article has been read 1383 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 10/20/07
You've definitely got the teen personalities pegged. Great dialog, and I love the title. Great lesson, too.
Chrissi Dunn10/20/07
Lots of raging hormones flying around in this piece! I loved your characters and the message too.
LauraLee Shaw10/21/07
An ear-piercing whistle sliced through the arguments.

How cute is that! Very entertaining piece.
Janice Cartwright10/23/07
From your title I assumed this was set in the future - not too distant, perhaps, given the way things are headed - but wasn't absolutely positive until I read the word "autobot."

I love the way you showed not told in your writing of this excerpt. Through dialogue and inter-action you illustrated that human natures, especially teen distinctives, change little, whatever the culture - except perhaps for jargon. Really authentic voice and top-notch writing!
Jan Ackerson 10/23/07
Good writing, authentic teen voices--but I think you needed a bit more to establish your futuristic timeline. There were just a few clues, and they'd be easily missed by a casual reader.

Great title, it really draws the reader.
william price10/23/07
Great pace and energy. Enjoyed it/this very much. God bless.
Dee Yoder 10/24/07
Once I realized it was a futuristic setting, the story took on an entirely new meaning. Good characterizations!
Marty Wellington 10/24/07
Yep, I liked the pace, too. Very teen-like. I'm exhausted just reading it. Great job of capturing their moods, voice, etc. Kept my attention throughout.
Loren T. Lowery10/24/07
Sharing in Christian fellowship makes us real and puts things in true perspective. You did a wonderful job showing this.
Kristen Hester10/24/07
Wow. I was hooked from the beginning. It had a mysterious feel and I wanted to know more. Very good writing. I was left with a few questions, but they weren't important for the point of the story. I just wanted a little more information. Like about the girl's china and why the mom didn't live there.

Great job. I loved the idea that the kids wanted to study the Bible since they weren't allowed to. Very clever. Excellent.
Betty Castleberry10/24/07
I hope this isn't our future. Good dialogue work, and an enjoyable read. Thank you.
Joy Faire Stewart10/24/07
Excellent job with dialogue... personalities came through clear. I enjoyed this writing and its message.
Beckie Stewart10/24/07
I like how I felt like I was in the room with this group of teens.
Julie Arduini11/03/07
You absolutely have the teen genre mastered. Wonderful work, as always.
Sharon Hillary04/13/08
I know a lot of teens AND adults who should read this!Really good point! Thanks for the comment on my article. God bless you!