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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Scott on November 29, 2010
"This is a revamp of a story I wrote almost 20 years ago in college. "

The Little Girl in the Church

The inside of the old church was almost completely dark. A shaft of light illuminated the altar just in front of where the pulpit once stood. A hole in the side of the wall was just large enough for me to squeeze through. The dust, at least that which had not been disturbed by the one who slipped in before me, showed the paw prints of countless mice and not a few bugs here and there.

Somewhere overhead, the flapping of bird's wings disturbed the eerie silence. She had come in here to hide, but, worried, I followed after her. I had seen her a few times at the park during the rally. She seemed so shy, maybe a little scared. So when I saw her slip away, I became worried.

From what I knew, the old church had been closed for about 15 years. Sad, really. Once, it had been a beautiful country church. If you listened closely, you could almost make out the sounds of choirs singing ageless hymns- "When the Roll is Called Up Yonder", "I'll Fly Away", "The Old Rugged Cross".

I heard a slight whimper and I knew, from having several younger siblings, that the young girl was weeping. My heart began to break at the thought of this little child, so sad, so alone. She had shied away from many of the camp workers that week, but a couple of times, I could see her start to smile during some of the songs. She would mouth the words, but was too afraid to sing aloud. I knew exactly how she felt.

I felt a tug at my heart as an old song came to mind. Softly, timidly, I began to sing.

"When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll; Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say, It is well, it is well, with my soul."

Tears began to well up in my eyes as I heard an equally shy voice respond with the chorus, "It is well."

"It is well," I sang back.
"With my soul."
"With my soul."
Then together, our voices sang, "It is well, it is well with my soul."

She peeked out from behind a broken table and smiled, her eyes telling a sadness that I was glad to see was slowly subsiding.

"Hi," I said. "My name is Scott. What's yours?"

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