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Powerful Prayer

by candywriter

Walking into my house after school one day, I smelled smoke. "That's weird," I thought. Stepping into the kitchen, I took one good look and cried aloud, because our kitchen was on fire! Running outside and turning on the garden hose, I doused the smaller flames, but the bigger ones eluded me. I ran to the living room phone and called the fire department. I told where the fire was, then hung up. Gasping for breath as I heard a cry for help, I ran upstairs to get my little sister. She was sobbing hysterically- and no wonder! She had been burned on her back in a way that would make even a Spartan scream.

Looking around desperately for a way out, I realized that there was no way out. I grabbed my sister and shoved her in a corner with very little flame, and made my body like a fortress around her small, shaking form, waiting until we both lost consciousness.

I groaned and tried to sit up, but quickly laid down again. Flashes of excruciating pain danced across my arms. I opened my eyes, and quickly closed them again. I laid still, willing the dizziness to pass. Gradually, it did, and I was able to look around at my surroundings. The room was clean, white, and small. I figured out that I was in the hospital. I carefully lifted my right arm. It was wrapped up in a thick white bandage. I lifted my left arm. It also was wrapped in a cotton bandage. I sat up just enough so I wouldn't get dizzy, and looked at my legs. They, too, were covered in white cotton. I laid down, wondering what had happened. The last thing I remembered was thinking that my sister and I were going to die. Just as I realized that I had been severely burned and was in the hospital because of it, a nurse and doctor entered the room. The doctor introduced them, saying that she was Dr. Norah, and the nurse was Maddie. Dr. Norah said, "Now, don't try to talk. We know who you and your sister are. She told us your name, Rebekah. She also told us to call you Becky. So, Becky. You were burned on your arms and legs, and Ellie was burned on her back. Does that sound right?" I nodded. "Your throat was severely burned and I don't think you'll ever talk again. I'm sorry."

My eyes filled with tears. A huge lump rose in my throat, causing an outbreak of pain, and my tears spilled over. However, though I wept, I made no sound. Maddie put an arm around my burn-free shoulders, and gently wiped my nose and eyes with a small packet of Kleenex. I sniffed and hung my head.

"I hate to tell you this when you're already hurting, Becky, but-" Dr. Norah broke off. "Maybe that should wait." I shook my head violently, causing a wave of dizziness. Dr. Norah shook her head. "No, better to wait until you're feeling better." I stared helplessly after them as they left my room, closing the door softly behind them.

I turned my head the other way, tears running down my face again. I fell asleep.

When I woke up, Maddie was back. She smiled and handed me a spiral-bound notebook and a pencil.

"Dr. Norah said you can still use your hands, Becky. You can't physically make noise from your vocal cords, but you can still communicate. "

I opened it and wrote my name on the cover. Then, I wrote, "Thank you," to Maddie. She smiled.

After that, the days passed more quickly. I used up the first notebook in the first months of my recovery. Maddie brought me another one one day. But she wasn't smiling this time. "Becky, Dr. Norah has some bad news to tell you." I nodded. Dr. Norah stepped in.

"Becky, I'm afraid it's about your sister, Ellie. Her lungs were badly damaged by the smoke she inhaled, and we tried the breathing machine, which is all we could do. Even with the best care, she didn't make it. She died early in the morning when you first arrived. I'm so sorry, Becky."

I was stricken with grief. My only sister, gone!

I wrote, "Please tell me this is an April Fools prank?"

(It was April fools day.)

Dr. Norah shook her head sadly. "It's true, Becky."

I broke out in wheezing, gasping sobs, the closest I would ever come again to speaking. Maddie helped me wipe my nose and eyes, much as she had that first day. Finally, worn out from crying, I fell into a restless sleep.

All through the night, I relived all the horrible things.

My house on fire, I couldn't speak, my sister dying.…

I woke up many times that night, silently sobbing for my sister.

I woke up with a start one morning, drenched in tears. I must have been shedding tears all night, even though I was asleep. Maddie was sitting in the chair by my bed, dozing off. I reached out with my pencil and poked her with the eraser tip. She jerked awake.

I wrote, "I am probably delirious. I dreamed my sister died." Maddie said, "It was real, Becky. She couldn't get enough air. She couldn't breathe." I cried again, grieving because I thought it was a dream. Maddie said, "You do know that she was a Christian?"

"What's a Christian?" I wrote. I had never heard of one before.

"A Christian is someone who believes in Jesus as their Savior." Maddie told me all about His life on earth, how He died, then rose again, and how He is coming back for all who believe and taking them to heaven to live with Hom for eternity. She pulled out a Bible and showed me John 3:16-17.

I read those verses over and over again. Finally, with Maddie's help, I prayed for forgiveness of my sins and accepted Jesus.

After that, Maddie helped me learn all I could about the Bible and Jesus. She even helped me learn how to pray. After that I learned how to pray about everything.

My life was still hard and sad. But knowing that Jesus would help me through it all drove me on.

After one especially difficult day, I prayed. I poured out all my troubles and begged God to help me deal with everything.

Day after day, I looked for signs that He was helping me. Day after day, I didn't feel anything.

Then, one day in therapy, I felt a glow of joy wrap itself around me. I felt happy for the first time in months. I was still saddened over my sister, but it didn't hurt as much.

As soon as therapy was over, I asked Maddie to help me find some encouraging verses in the Bible. She found Romans 15:13, " May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope."

I read that verse over and over again many times, memorizing it in the process. During a bad day in therapy, I would repeat it to myself many times over. During a sad day, I would repeat it, then pray for joy.

Maddie continued to pray for me and help me in my spiritual journey.

One day, at least a year after the skin graft surgery I’d had to have, I was released back into the world. My limbs were in working order, and my emotions were at a fragile balance.

My friends welcomed me with open arms, but couldn't understand why I didn't want to go to the normal hangout after school that day.

"Why are you so happy?" my friend Lola asked me.

"I have real joy in my heart now," I wrote.

"What's 'real joy'?" She sounded puzzled.

And so, I snatched the opportunity to share with Lola the life-changing news that Maddie had shared with me. It ended up that Lola accepted, and soon, through the power and mercy of God, all our group accepted and believed.

Well, that pretty much wraps up the story, so I'll sign off. But, we did start a local youth group of kids our age. Soon, other people were coming, and we became a local Bible Study group. At every session, I got to share my testimony through writing on a whiteboard, and then all my other friends shared theirs, depending on the class that they were teaching at the time.

I hope you weren't too depressed over my story, and glad you read it. May God bless you and lead you to Himself!


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User avatar
62 Reviews

Points: 1152
Reviews: 62

Mon Mar 16, 2020 7:19 am
BhavyaMehta123 wrote a review...

Hi@candywriter. I am here to review your work. I loved this story.
As the story started, I had a chill in my spine. As doctor announced Ellie was gone and narrator said , " Please tell me this is an April Fool Prank?" I could feel that. And talking about how Becky develops his spirituality . And in turn he find real joy though spirituality which is the best part of the story. And not only he keeps this joy to himself but share it with the rest of the world which is so great.

This was not at all depressing. I just loved how this story ended. Almighty Lord is the real joy!
This piece of work is amazing...
Best wishes for your future work and would love to read more of it.
From: Bhavya

candywriter says...

Hi, BhavyMehta123! Thanks for the review! I%u2019m so glad you liked it! As soon as I get it finished and posted on another site I use Andy I get enough points here, I%u2019m going to put out another hospital book of mine called Transfused Growth. It%u2019s about a girl who gets a blood transfusion and then gets super tall!

The title and plot of your next work seems exciting. Would love to read it!

User avatar
46 Reviews

Points: 321
Reviews: 46

Sat Mar 14, 2020 1:21 pm
JoyDark wrote a review...

Hello! I read your story, and I must admit, I liked it a lot. I kind have a personal connection to this one, not because I was severely burned in a fire, but because I have had an experience with religion in this way. So I found it good in that way. If this is an autobiography, I have nothing else to say. If it isn’t... I do have a few suggestions.

I think your writing here is a little too stiff. I feel like this isn’t real sometimes to me. For example, when you mention how you found out your sister’s burn, it just doesn’t seem... real. You could have written it another way. Or maybe that’s just preference. Your writing here is just stiff. I don’t always feel like I’m in the character’s head.

I don’t know, that’s really all I have to say. This is my first review, so I think I’ll get better at writing them, but for now I don’t really know what to say.

candywriter says...

Hiya, Lia5Giba! Thanks for the review! Don%u2019t worry; this isn%u2019t an autobiography, so your comments are definitely welcome! Thank you for telling me that it felt stiff sometimes; this was an early story of mine, but I decided to put it on here because it%u2019s short, and I feel like when someone%u2019s new, people would rather read shorter stuff by them first. I%u2019ll work on that stiffness.

User avatar
46 Reviews

Points: 321
Reviews: 46

Fri Mar 13, 2020 11:26 pm
JoyDark says...

User avatar
165 Reviews

Points: 12394
Reviews: 165

Fri Mar 13, 2020 1:25 pm
soundofmind wrote a review...

Hey Candywriter!

I should be asleep, but I was browsing the site and randomly happened upon your short story and read the whole thing, so I figured I should give you a review!

Just a quick practical note for formatting and stuff - I believe the typical rules of writing recommend starting a new line any time there's dialogue by a different character instead of sandwiching dialogue in the middle of a paragraph. It helps with readability and clarity when reading, and it just looks nice! And don't worry - you didn't do this throughout the whole story or anything! I just noticed in the third paragraph it was all condensed for some reason and I think a few spaces would help you out! :)

Now! As for the story itself - one of the things I really liked about it was how personal it felt. It felt like someone was telling me an experience from their life and how it all impacted them, and I think much of that was your choice to use the first-person point of view. But I think what also contributes to the authenticity of the story is how you didn't gloss over the pain of it, both physical and emotional. This specific line stood out:

My life was still hard and sad. But knowing that Jesus would help me through it all drove me on.

It makes for a more powerful testimony-type story to be honest that life is still difficult but that your faith and trust in the Lord pulls you through.

Maddie said, "You do know that she was a Christian?"

"What's a Christian?" I wrote. I had never heard of one before.

"A Christian is someone who believes in Jesus as their Savior."

I will admit, this part of the story took me out of it a little bit. Unless you're quoting this word-for-word and this is an autobiographical/non-fiction piece, this part feels very inauthentic to read. While the overall storytelling tone feels very genuine to me, this batch of dialogue feels stiff and a little not like how people really talk? Granted, that's my opinion, but I'll explain.

Namely, it's because Becky didn't know her own sister was a Christian even though they lived together in the same house (Becky saved Ellie's life, I'm assuming they did). It didn't make much sense to me, especially since there hadn't been any added context regarding how close Becky and Ellie were that could explain why Becky didn't know about such a big part of Ellie's life - her faith.

I think something that could make this story more effective, not just as a story about someone becoming a Christian, but as a story in general, would be to add some more context around their sisterhood.

I also wanted to note that there were some points in the story that felt a little rushed. I'm not as familiar with short stories - so maybe I'm not as used to this kind of pacing! But I felt that when it came to the part of Becky learning about Christianity and Jesus and all that, that the details were kind of left out.

And while I totally understand that maybe you didn't want to write out a whole conversation like that and have it turn into a sermon, I think it would be great if you highlighted maybe one or two aspects of the gospel story that struck a chord with Becky's personal experience - like how she's disabled, how she lost her sister, how she had a traumatic experience, things like that.

"I have real joy in my heart now," I wrote.

"What's 'real joy'?" She sounded puzzled.

In that same vein, I would've loved to hear Becky expound on the "real joy" she'd found in the Lord, instead of skipping to "everyone got saved"! While that's great that they all got saved, it would feel more fulfilling, as a reader, to have more of a glimpse into the process, or at least more of the conversation that sparked it all.

I hope you weren't too depressed over my story, and glad you read it. May God bless you and lead you to Himself!

I didn't find the story too depressing! As a believer myself, I was encouraged to read a story of how the Lord moved in Becky's life!

May God bless you as well! :) And if you have any questions about things I've said in my review you are totally free to ask and we can talk more about it!

Peace! - soundofmind

candywriter says...

Thanks for the review! It really helps. I actually do have a question. Where you said that it%u2019s more stiff (not really the way people talk), I really don%u2019t know what you mean, even though you appear to have expanded on it. Would you mind clarifying a little bit more, please? And it is so awesome that you%u2019re a believer! I am too; got baptized in November 2019. Thanks again!

soundofmind says...

Hey Candy! So sorry for my delayed response! The last few days have been crazy for me.

I think Lia found a good word for what I was trying to describe in the above review - "stiff." I see you said that this is an older story that you put on here just to start out, and I totally get that! When I first joined I did the same.

But as I was saying! I think the dialogue feels "stiff" or "unrealistic/not how people talk" because it feels scripted. I think the line that really stuck out to me was "what's a Christian," namely because (at least in the western world) many people at least have a vague awareness of a what a Christian is, so I thought it was strange that Becky seemed to have no idea at all. I also felt like the answer wasn't that thorough considering Becky, for all we know, has literally no knowledge at all of what a Christian is. Like, okay, a Christian is someone who believes Jesus is their savior - that's not wrong! But I guess I just haven't heard someone use that as a leading line into an explanation because 1. they don't even know who Jesus is yet and 2. savior of what?

And, like I said before, the fact that Becky's sister was a Christian, but Becky didn't find out until her sister's death felt very strange for me to read. Which only added to the stiffness of the following interaction.

That, and this conversation happens very soon after Becky hears her sister died. I guess I would've expected Becky to be more of a mess. I mean, I know I would be if I'd just learned my sister died.

Maybe more descriptions about her emotions and her reactions would help!

But yeah uh! I don't know if that helps clarify things at all, but I tried my best!

candywriter says...

Thanks for the clarification! It really does help. I%u2019ll work on fixing all that stuff and I hope to have the renewed version out soon!

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