Fall Writing Frenzy 2021

I love participating in writing contests because 1) it helps strengthen my creativity and 2) it forces me to think in ways I might not have before. Plus, when I create something it can be very therapeutic, especially in this day and age. So… at the last minute I decided to throw my hat in the ring and write a story for the Fall Writing Frenzy contest.

The rules:

Choose one of the offered images and write a story about it. The age range: kidlit–from board book to young adult. I chose middle grade.

The catch: the story can only be 200 words, not including the title. Mine comes in at 195 words.

My story was inspired by my recent trip back home to Tennessee where I saw lots of old churches like the one in the photo below. That’s why I chose this photo. I love mysteries and anything that can’t be explained, so I wanted to write a story that was intriguing, yet hopeful.

We all could use a little bit of hope right now.

An Unexpected Hope

By Sheila Alford

Something caught Birdie’s eye as she walked past the window of the church. The old, weathered building had been there two hundred years. Full of history, it served as a hospital in the Civil War and had seen plenty since.

Birdie shivered and pressed on toward home. She stopped. She didn’t want to go home. There was too much drama at her house.             

She turned back to the worn steps leading up to the church. Stepping onto the sagging porch, Birdie tiptoed to the window.           

It was too dark to see anything, but something seemed to call her inside.

The ancient door creaked on its rusty hinges as Birdie crept inside.           

As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she saw the pulpit.           

Birdie made a beeline and stood behind it.           

A yellowed piece of paper was perched on top––like someone had just left it there for her to find.

“I know things are hard, but it will be alright. Go on home, now. I’m with you.” Granny Oglesby.           

Birdie gasped.           

Her deceased granny.

 A dove cooed from the rafters. For the first time in ages, Birdie felt hopeful.

She smiled and turned toward home.

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