Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH (08/31/17)
- TITLE: A Wisp of Hope
By Loni Bowden-Horn
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Mindy thumbs through the torn pages of her daughter’s journal. She can’t resist opening the window just a crack to peek at her baby's past.
”How many times do I have to tell you to clean that filthy room? It’s a pigsty.”
Nag...Nag...Nag. That's all my mom does.
How can I think of cleaning, when I just want to die.
My life is spinning out of control. Thoughts of suicide consume me for days, but I am too frightened to end my life so I “settle” on gouging my hands and wrists with a sharp metal file until I draw blood. It stings for a few minutes, until I go numb. I run my fingers over the ridges and around the jagged edges I refuse to cover them. I wear them as a badge of shame for my failures.
I've been busted. My mom freaked out out when she read my journal She and my dad called the cops on me. I can’t believe my own parents would sell out their own daughter.
My parents glare at me. The journal they found in my room, was graphic. It contains vivid details of how my friend Deanna and I planned to kill my own parents. So now they know about the smoking dope, drinking, dabbling in the occult, and the sexually provocative way I dress, plus the not-serious killing stuff. I believe they’re blowing things way out of proportion.
I storm out of the room. Am I not allowed any privacy in this house? I hear their voices reverberating down the hallway, “Come back here young lady. until we’re finished talking to you.”
It is so unfair. My parents are moving.me out of our neighborhood so I can attend a Christian school in another district. I am not allowed to have any contact with my best friends Deanna and Mark.
I’m a prisoner in my own home. I’m confined to a mattress on the floor of my parents bedroom For three long weeks, the window is my only connection to the outside world. Without it, this house would feel like a tomb.
I latch onto Jamie at my new school. She appears to represent everything my parents oppose.
Jamie is her own person. She has short, bleached-blond hair. She dangles big chains and metal beads around her neck, and wears grungy type clothing. Her color of choice is black.
This new school is lame. It’s been a week and besides Jamie no one has even bothered to speak to me. The kids just stare at me like I am some kind of mutant.
I am drawn to Jamie’s quiet demeanor. She has a genuine warmth that exudes from every pore of her body
The other kids steer clear of her because Jamie's clothes look like they came from a missionary barrel.
Jamie has talked to me a few times about God. I told her, “I can’t love God, because I gave my soul to Satan. I am captivated by the darkness and shun the light.”
After some resistance, I accepted Jamie’s invitation to a youth group retreat. It was a perfect opportunity to get out of the house. A prison break.
Something deep inside me broke during the Praise- and-Worship Service. It was like a floodgate had been unleashed in my soul when I heard the lyrics:
Cause you see I have been down for so long
Feel like all hope is gone
But as I lift my hands, I understand
That I should praise You through my circumstance
Take the shackles off my feet so I can dance
I saw kids pouring down the center isle with drug paraphernalia and other stuff. It symbolized the breaking of old bonds.
Tears streamed down, gut-wrenching sobs. I had nothing to bring to the altar but a broken spirit and a repentant heart.
Could I let Christ in? Could He fill that ache I had inside?
In a moment’s notice, Mindy witnessed a girl that had been gloomy, head-down, say-nothing kind of gal transform into a bright-eyed, beautiful child, full of fire for the Lord. A light that shined like a diamond.
Fiction - 746 words
Song lyrics from “Shackle” by Mandisa
I also referenced the e-book, “she said “Yes” by Misty Bernall, published by Plough Publishing House,, copyright 2007 to make this fictional story accurate.
Cassie Bernall was killed during the Columbine shooting in 1999 along with twelve other students.
This quote from the www.meaningful stuck with me.“Only a trained eye can appreciate the true value of a diamond. The naked eye is unable to discern the diamond’s worth—its cut, carats, clarity and color.”
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