Category Archives: Creative Writing Challenge

You’ve Got Mail…

Creative Writing Challenge: 2AM Photo

by Michael Pick on March 18, 2013
It’s 2AM and your phone has just buzzed you awake, filling the room in white-blue LED light. You have a message. It’s a photo. No words, no explanation. Just a photo. Tell us all about it. And what happens next.
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Image Credit: http://theperiledsea.ning.com/profiles/blogs/horse-rider-made-of-fire-what-i-saw

“You’ve got mail!” The sound loudly clamored repeatedly, jarring me awake from a dead sleep, as I reached over to grab my cell phone, wondering why it kept repeating over and over again. Usually, when I received a text or notification, it only sounded once, and I never had the volume as loud as it was now. 

“It must be some kind of a stupid glitch,” I thought to myself, as I sat up in the bed, squinting to see who could be texting me at 2:00 in the morning, and what kind of malfunction was causing my phone to vibrate and continue repeating, “You’ve got mail!” at full volume. Finally, unable to silence it, I decided to open the stupid message, hoping that would shut it up.

As I opened the message, my heart began to beat violently in my chest. There was no “Sender”, nor was there any message, just the grim picture of the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. My heart felt like wax, as it melted within me, and a sudden weakness washed over my body. “Oh God,” I whimpered, as the image on the cell phone shook in my hands.

Suddenly, it seemed that time had run out. As I stared dumbly at the image on my cell phone, I saw the future begin to unfold, as other images raced across the screen, showing the impending doom of mankind and the earth as we now knew it. It was both great and terrible, as wars, famine and pestilence flashed across the screen, with each of the four horsemen leaving a horrible wake of destruction as they passed…

We were about to face the war that ends all wars, as families and friends would be pitted against one another. Children would turn against their parents, and mothers would betray their very own flesh. The love of many would wax cold, and it would soon be nearly impossible to tell friend from foe.

Indeed, this photo of the four horsemen was a call to war, and I knew immediately what I needed to do, as I dropped to my knees and began to pray fervently, crying out for God’s mercy and grace. I couldn’t deny that I’d already seen the signs — oh, who was I kidding? I knew that the first of the four horsemen had already arrived, and that it was only a matter of time before the second rider followed, as Antichrist set his evil plan into motion, winning the trust and adoration of many as they turned further and further away from Christ, calling His gospel of peace a gospel of war.

I had already witnessed the terrible toll that was taking place on believers throughout the world, and yet, like a foolish ostrich, I had buried my head in the sand, hoping that this terrible evil would just vanish if I didn’t look at it. “Oh Lord, forgive me for not taking a stand,” I now prayed, as I began to put my war clothes on.

Image Credit: http://taniarubimenglish.blogspot.com/2012_02_01_archive.html

Then, grabbing the breastplate of righteousness, I fastened it tightly, carefully guarding my heart. “Lord God,” I now prayed with purpose and fervency, “guard my heart and keep me righteous. In these last and evil times, Father, I ask You to protect my heart, so that I won’t stray from You, nor lead anyone else away from Your saving grace.”

Next, with purpose, I lifted the belt of truth, carefully examining it for any breaks or flaws that may have occurred during my time of cowardice, as I refused to face the truth before me. Thankfully, the Lord had guarded it, and I carefully fastened the belt of truth tightly around my waist, as I vowed, “Lord, from this day forth, with Your help, I will walk in truth, looking neither to the left nor the right. And though it may lead to my death, I will speak the truth in love, boldly to the men, women and children You place in my path, no matter who stands against me, because I know that no weapon formed against me shall prosper, and that every lying tongue that rises up against me shall be brought to justice.”

Image Credit: http://www.123rf.com/photo_15082883_old-and-dirty-military-boots-isolated-on-white-background.html

Even though it was now well past 2:00 a.m., I stooped down to slip my feet into the shoes in readiness of sharing the gospel of peace. “Lord, Jesus, send me to the streets, the prisons, the bars, the crack houses and the whore houses, so that I may share Your gospel of peace with those who are desperate for a Savior. Let me speak to them in Your love, so that they will be ready to face the trials and the tribulation that all must face. And Lord, I ask that You snatch them from the fiery grip of the enemy, saving many in these last and terrible days.”

Image Credit: http://fineartamerica.com/featured/the-shield-of-faith-booker-poole.html

I knew that my faith would need to be strong for me to endure until the end, and so, as I lifted my shield of faith, I entreated the Lord to take the faith He’d already given me, and to increase it, so that I would be able to withstand the fiery darts of the enemy. The helmet of salvation came next, and I carefully tied my hair up and out of the way, before resting the helmet on top of my head. It fit snugly and perfectly, and I breathed a deep sigh as I continued to pray, “Lord, let the mind of Christ be in me. Let my thoughts be Your thoughts, and Your thoughts be mine. Lord let me have the same attitude that Christ had, because even though He was God, He didn’t demand or cling to His rights as God. Instead, He made Himself as nothing, becoming a humble slave and suffering for the sake of many. Lord, help me be willing to humble myself for the sake of others, let me care more for their lives than my own. Oh God,” I cried, “Let me be a woman after Your own heart.”

Image Credit: http://fineartamerica.com/products/sword-of-the-spirit-jeff-haynie-poster.html

Finally, I was fully armed, save for one last weapon. I carefully picked up the sword of the Spirit, transferring it from my left hand to my right, placing it in its sheath, and then quickly removing it and assuming the warrior’s pose. The sword of the Spirit — the word of God… “Oh Lord,” I softly breathed. “Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You. As I prepare to leave the warmth of my apartment to go into battle with my brothers and sisters that You have also armed and called for such a time as this, order my steps, for Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light unto my path.”

“It is time now,” I sensed the Spirit commanding me, as I stood at attention. Then, without so much as a final look at what I was leaving behind, I walked out of my apartment, locking the door behind me. I would not be returning, for I had received my orders, and I was off to wage war against the enemy of the souls of men and women. “Remember this final thing,” I heard a voice speaking from beside me, as I continued to walk toward the city’s red light district, “This battle belongs to the Lord!”

“Hallelujah!” I shouted loudly, as I set my face like flint and sprinted to my destination.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

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Writing Challenge: Starting Over

In this week’s writing challenge, we’re asking you to write a short piece of creative writing (fiction/poetry/prose poetry/freeform mindjazz/whatever floats your boat) on the theme of Starting Over.
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Earlier today, I was listening to this song in my car, and a story began to formulate within my brain. Then, I came home and saw that the theme was Starting Over, and it all came together…

They think I’m crazy, Kara. Hmph! I’m crazy like a fox. Just because I’m old and I sometimes forget things does not mean that I’ve gone mad! I know plenty of young people  who don’t remember things, and nobody calls them crazy. They just say, “Oh, they have a lot on their mind.” Well, I’m ninety-six years old – I’d say I have a whole lot more on my mind than they do – ninety-six years of memories and thoughts!

They brought me here to this nursing home ten years ago ’cause your momma, my precious Kelley couldn’t take care of me anymore. She had cancer. She was the only child I had left. I don’t mind telling you, it left a great big empty void in my heart when she went home to the Lord. My sons, Miles and Jeffrey had been gone more than ten years and my husband, Charles, passed on more than thirty years ago. 

So here I am, left in a nursing home, and I don’t mind telling  you, I’m tired… real tired. Most of the staff are very kind and caring, but there are some who aren’t. There’s some, like Carly and Tina, that scare me, and I want ask somebody to help me, but I’m scared. If I tell somebody and they find out it was me that told — no! I don’t even want to think about that. 

But I can talk to  the Lord, right? He won’t get me in trouble with those girls. See, if I don’t “cooperate,” the nurses here give me this medicine that makes my mind fuzzy, and that’s why I can’t think straight sometimes. I don’t want to put nobody out. I just need help sometimes, and some of the girls, like Pearl and Barbie, get real angry if I bother them, so I try to keep quiet, unless one of the nice ones is on.

You want to know about one of the nice ones? Well, my favorite is Emily. She works on the day shift. When she comes into my room of a morning, she always has a smile. A real smile, ya’ know? Not one of those fake I couldn’t care less smiles. She always says, “Good morning, Sunshine!” to me, and she walks straight over to my windows and opens the curtains, ’cause she knows I like to look outside and see what’s going on. 

Then she comes over to check and see if my bed is dry, and I’m ashamed to say it’s usually wet. Old age is hard on the bladder, but Emily doesn’t make me feel dirty or embarrassed about it like some of the others do. Some of ’em holler out in the hallway, “Miss Ella’s wet the bed again. Can someone bring me some more pull-ups?” It’s so humiliating. And some of ’em get mad at me for having an accident, and they make me sit in it — even if it’s a b.m. until the next shift. 

I get a lot of rashes and ulcers, and I’m sure that’s why. I don’t like having to depend on others to take care of my personal needs like that, ya’ know? And what’s really bad is when one of them will take me to the toilet and forget me. I sat on the toilet for two hours one day and it left a blistered ring around my backside. The nurse said my skin broke down. She asked me which aide left me there, but I was scared to tell her it was Marge, ’cause she’s a friend of hers, and I didn’t want ’em to get mad and hurt me worse, so I just pretended I didn’t know.

I thank the good Lord that I’ve still got my wits about me and I can talk and think, (except when they give me that medicine to make me behave), which is more than some of the other folks that live here can do. I still have a lot to be thankful to the Almighty for. You know, I try to share His love with the old people in here, ’cause some of them don’t have much hope left in ’em.

There’s poor Mrs. Stanley. Her family brought her here six years ago, and they haven’t been back to see her once! She cries and she cries everyday for them, but they never come. It breaks my heart for her. I usually try to save her one of my cookies when we have them, ’cause it cheers her up and lets her know somebody loves her.

I try to share His love with everybody I see, even the mean hateful ones, ’cause Jesus said to love your enemies, and I tell you what — some of them are my enemies. There’s the hateful ones, which are bad enough, but then there’s those that like to laugh at us old people. They’re the worse. They treat us like we got no dignity. They have no respect for their elders, and when I try to tell ’em so, they just laugh at me and make fun of me, like I”m stupid.

But that’s okay, because things are about to change here. See, I’ve been writing this letter, and it’s almost finished. Forgive the shaky, crooked letters. I used to have beautiful penmanship, but arthritis makes it harder to write, as I’ve got older.

Still, I’ve talked to the Lord about this, and He told me to write this letter and address it to my granddaughter, and once I’ve finished this letter, I’ll be gettin’ me a fresh start. Yep. He said He’s gonna take me home when I get finished with this letter, ’cause I told Him before I go home, I wanted to help the other old folks here, who can’t stand up for themselves. Then, once my granddaughter gets this letter, she’s gonna take it to the authorities, and they’re gonna investigate this place so that all the other old folks here will get a fresh start too, at someplace that will love them and take better care of them.

My fresh start will be when I cross over the Jordan and see my Savior and my Father. I’m almost finished with this here letter, Kara, and once I place it in the sealed envelope, the Lord said I can come home and start over. I can’t wait. Ninety-six years is a long time. My body is tired and weak. 

Kara, honey, don’t cry for your old Nana, ’cause I’ll soon be home and I’ll be free from all my sorrows and all my pain. I’m gonna start new and fresh — gonna trade in this old worn-out body for a strong new one. And my precious Lord Jesus is gonna wipe every tear from my face, as He gathers me up in His arms and carries me to the Holy of Holies. 

Honey, the time’s comming soon, I can’t hold this pen for much longer, and I must seal it in the envelope if I want to be sure you get it. Please take this to the authorities, baby. Help my old friends get a new start too.

Love,
Nana

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Writing Challenge: New Year’s Resolutions (Doompocalypse Redux)

Writing Challenge: New Year’s Resolutions (Doompocalypse Redux)

The tin-foil hat, Mayan apocalypse conspiracy people were wrong about the world ending in 2012. Hooray. Time for them to go back to watching grassy knoll footage in slow motion. BUT! 

They were only half wrong. There’s a gigantic meteor hurtling toward earth at an alarming rate, and a 97.3% probability that we’re all going the way of the dodos and dinosaurs within three months. So, this year you aren’t going to make resolutions about losing a notch on your belt. You aren’t going to concern yourself about polishing off Remembrance of Things Past once and for all. You don’t even care a jot about emptying your email inbox. In three months, doompocalpyse is going to be upon us. So what are you going to do?

You’re going to do what any good blogger does. You’re going to blog some resolutions that matter:

Tell us about the three things you’d most like to change about your life, and make a bold, I-don’t-care-who-knows-it-because-there’s-a-meteor-a-comin’ assertion to the world that you are going to get these changes made. And that you’ll have at least started making them happen by March. When, erm, you’re probably going to wind up as dust.

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We’re being told that the world as we know it is coming to an end in just three months, when a meteor of cosmic proportions (pardon the pun) will crash into the earth, blowing us all to kingdom come. People, please allow me to be the voice of reason in these last days. I know things look bad, and that it’s almost certain that many will die, but listen to me! While many will lose their lives in this catastrophe, there will still be those who survive, and since we don’t know who will and who will not survive this massive explosion, it is vital that everyone prepare for that great and terrible day.

Extinction Event
Extinction Event

Listen to me, friends… Because the blogosphere is on overload now, I am only allowed to share three things with you before this terrible catastrophic event occurs. Now God, in His infinite mercy has given us a timeline for this horrific event, so that we can prepare. It is now more vital than ever that each man, woman and child be prepared to die. Listen, we all know that it everyone is destined to die once, but you must also know that after death, comes judgment.

Oh, I know that many of you are rolling your eyes at me as you read these words, but please! I beg you to read this with an open mind. For years, many of you have called Christians narrow-minded and closed-minded, and I won’t deny it. Often times, we are, but that doesn’t mean that we’re wrong.

Since I first heard of this ginormous meteor that is headed to our planet at an alarming rate of speed, I’ve known what I have to do. You see, each one of us have been created for a purpose, and I was created to be a watchman on the wall. For those of you who don’t know, let me give you a brief description of what a watchman on the wall is.

http://samuelschoi.blogspot.com/
http://samuelschoi.blogspot.com/

In ancient times, there was a wall around Jerusalem, and watchmen were placed around the perimeter of that wall to serve as lookouts. These watchmen were responsible for warning the people when they saw any signs of danger, often sounding a trumpet (in those days the trumpet was known as a shofar or ram’s horn). These were watchmen who watched out for the physical safety of their city.

But there were also prophets, appointed by the Lord God of Israel, who were responsible for warning the people of spiritual danger as well as physical danger. They too, would sound the alarm when people endangered themselves by rebelling against the Almighty God. My friends, there are still prophets today, including me, who try to warn the people of impending danger, so that the people may turn away from their rebellion and run into the safety of God’s protection.

My friends, we are living in times just like Noah lived in, when men and women refused to obey God, and their thoughts were continually, consistently evil. Look around! There are evil men like Earl Bradley, who molested who knows how many children… and Jerry Sandusky, who molested numerous boys… And what about Adam Lanza who brutally shot and killed twenty children and six adults in Connecticut just a few short weeks ago? I could go on and on, but my point is that man has not gotten better. Man has not evolved into a kinder being. Mankind is terribly flawed and full of sin and evil, and in desperate need of a savior.

My friend, the three things I want to share with you are this:

“The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” (Jeremiah 17:9 NLT)

There is not one person who has not sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and every one of us is capable of evil. Therefore, every single one of us needs a Savior to protect us and deliver us from the evil that lurks within us. We need to recognize this and admit it.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. God did not send His Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.

“There is no judgment awaiting those who trust Him. But those who do not trust Him have already been judged for not believing in the only Son of God. Their judgment is based on this fact: The light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. They hate the light because they want to sin in the darkness. They stay away from the light for fear their sins will be exposed and they will be punished. But those who do what is right come to the light gladly, so everyone can see that they are doing what God wants.” (John 3:16-21 NLT)

God sent His only Son, Jesus to be our Savior. You see, every sin must be paid for, whether it’s a “white lie” or murder, and to a holy and just God, who has a perfect standard, the cost of sin is death. Everyone who sins, (and that includes all of us) must pay for sin with our life, but because God loves us (I’m not sure why, but He does), He sent His only Son, Jesus, to live as a man without sin, and to pay for the sins of every man, woman and child who had ever lived and who ever would live (that includes me and you). And God’s only requirement for us to be saved is that we believe this, and love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. That’s it!

But now, O Israel, the LORD who created you says: “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are Mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I gave Egypt, Ethiopia, and Seba as a ransom for your freedom. Others died that you might live. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to Me. You are honored, and I love you.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west and from north and south. I will bring My sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. All who claim Me as their God will come, for I have made them for My glory. It was I who created them.” (Isaiah 43:1-7 NLT)

For those of us who die, loving Christ, we will enter into the presence of God, and there will be no more pain or sorrow, and every tear will be wiped away. For those who die apart from Christ, and I pray that it is none of you, my beloved friends, you will go to a place of never-ending torment, because you chose to pay for your own sins, rather than accepting the gift of eternal life that God offered.

For those who survive this meteor hit, please allow the word of God, as spoken through Isaiah the prophet, to comfort you. Fear not, because if you walk with Christ, He promises that He will never leave you nor forsake you. Indeed, Christ died so that you might live. No matter how difficult the days ahead may be for you, remember that the Lord your God will be with you, and if you will trust in Him, He will keep you in perfect peace.

My time is up now, so I leave you with this final blessing:

May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and give you peace. May He lift the light of His countenance upon you and let the light of His face shine down on you!

Many blessings to you all!

Love,

Cheryl

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers