I Took 3rd Place in the FaithWriters Monthly Challenge Contest

A while back I entered my first writing contest through FaithWriters.com and took 3rd place in the Advanced Category.  I was so excited because it validated my writing ability.  FaithWriters is a great Christian Writers' site. It's free to join, has tons of great writing and publishing info, monthly writing contests, and forums for getting to know other writers.  Check them out when you get a chance...FaithWriters.com

Here's my winning story:

Death of the Spartan Seven

Truth or Dare – it’s a stupid game and why I had agreed to play it is beyond me. I could blame it on peer pressure, but that’s a crock. I’d never cared what others thought.

I’m not even sure how I wound up at a slumber party with the Spartan Seven, a chic clique of nauseating high-school fashionistas.

I’d never been part of that crowd…or any crowd, for that matter, but there I was, surrounded by cutesy girls in cutesy pajamas about to play the dumbest game ever invented.

Maybe it was the prospect of embarrassing the crud out of Jamie Lynn Walters or putting a few S.S. brats in their place that pulled me from the corner where I was sulking to the circle in the center of the floor. I don’t know, but it was about to get ugly.

Things started out pretty silly.

Did you ever…?
Would you ever…?
Have you ever…?

Blah, blah, blah.

A few answers, several dares and way too many giggles later, it was my turn. I looked directly at Jamie. I didn’t like her, never had. She was too perfect. Gorgeous hair, killer body, genius smarts and a great personality - yech.

Everyone liked Jamie Lynn. Everyone, including Jake, my next-door neighbor and best friend. Hanging out with Jake was the only decent part of my rotten life. At least it was until he fell head over heels for Jamie.

I’d heard the recent rumors. I knew they were lies, but I couldn’t resist.

“Jamie, truth or dare?” I asked.

Jamie Lynn giggled, “Truth, I guess.”

“Is it true that you had an abortion last year?” I challenged.

As soon as the words left my mouth I regretted them. Probably because I knew that Jamie Lynn would tell the truth. Any other person would lie through their teeth, but not Jamie.

While every girl in the room glared and wished me dead, Jamie lowered her head. Tears filled her eyes and dropped on her pretty pink pajamas.

Softly she said, “Yes, it’s true. I was raped while walking home from cheerleading practice. When I found out I was pregnant, my parents gave me no choice. They were afraid of what people would say and afraid of how it would mess up my life.”

“It was awful,” she continued, “and I can’t get it out of my mind. I killed a baby and I don’t know if God can ever forgive me.” Jamie sobbed.

The Spartan Seven closed ranks, surrounding Jamie in a soggy group hug that totally shut me out.

I said the only thing I could say – the one thing I swore that I would never say.

“Jamie, I’m sorry. I had an abortion, too and I know exactly how you feel.”

A collective gasp went up from the huddle. All eyes turned toward me and I wanted to throw up.

“Six months ago…only I wasn’t raped. I was just stupid and I thought it was the easy way out.”

Silence.

I continued, “It wasn’t easy, though. I thought I could just go on like it never happened, but I couldn’t. I was so ashamed, I quit going to church. I couldn’t sit there, knowing that God probably hated me for what I’d done.”

Jamie broke free from her cocoon, put her arms around me and for the first time in six months, I cried. We all cried and when our tears were spent, Sarah Matthews spoke up.

“The truth is that we’ve all made mistakes. We’ve all done things we’re ashamed of. We can’t change that, but isn’t that exactly why God sent Jesus? Isn’t that why Jesus died, to forgive sin?”

She paused. “So here’s the next dare, I dare us all to get real with each other and then get real with God.”

What followed was unbelievable. One by one, those girls I thought were so perfect began to share things that proved they were just like me. Young, confused and scared most of the time.

We talked, we cried, we hugged, and then we did something I had never done before with a group of girls. We knelt in a circle, held hands and asked God to forgive us.

The Spartan Seven no longer exists. It died the night we played Truth or Dare and in its place is a group of girls who will be friends for life…and I am a part of it all.

How amazing!


(Copyright© 2010, 2011 Jan Christiansen. All rights reserved.)

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