Submitted by Heather on Fri, 11/07/2008 - 02:59

I am standing in a forest, but I can’t see the trees for the vines growing around me. Above me, below me, to all sides, the vines grow and block out the smallest glimpse I can have of the trees. The air is hot and stifling, but every now and then a breeze comes through. It smells sweet and flowery, and it lifts my sticky hair off my forehead. It shifts the vines for a second, and for that brief second I see into heaven. The vines close, cutting of the breeze, the forest, and the flowers. But the forest continues to call out to me.
But as I grow I become used to the humid air and the sight of the vines. I begin to study them. Some vines start out looking ugly, but the more I look at them the more I see the beauty in the very ugliness. There are times that I wonder if the vines twist my thinking as well, especially when I think that. But, as I grew used to the vines, so I grow used to the idea of thinking the ugly beautiful and the beautiful ugly. I rejoiced when a flower poked through the vines underneath my feet, but was entranced as a vine grew and choked it.
Soon the desire to touch one enters me. At first I toy with the idea. What if I did touch one? Would it be soft, or rough? Would it poison me by its very touch? Soon the idea becomes thought, and the thought becomes action. I touch a vine. It bends to my touch and caresses me. I shudder, because there seems to be something wrong, something evil in the vine. But it’s addictive. I stroke it again. Then I move around my little vine-room, touching every one. Soon I fondle them. I grieve over the ones that seem to ail and rejoice when they spring to life again.
But now I kneel, surrounded by vines as always. They have overgrown. I never thought they’d grow this fast. I was amazed; the more I handled them, the faster they grew. My little room is becoming smaller by the day. I kneel, my legs fastened to the ground by vines. I’m bent almost double, my wrists pinned to the ground by vines. A thick vine has wrapped around my body, up my chest, and around my mouth. There is no way to cry out. Though I try to push it away, they have become out of control. They control me. Sometimes they almost let me stand; other times I’m on the ground, struggling to call out past this vine gagging me. I almost manage to pull away, but they always bring me down again. The vine around my body thickens every day. Soon I know it will choke me, just as it choked the flower that tried to come up.
Stronger than ever the forest calls to me. I cannot get free of the vines, but the forest’s call drives me nearly mad. I thrash and kick against the vines. Nothing. Finally I lay still, a limp exhausted, sweaty heap, sobbing against the vine in my mouth. They begin to tighten again and I silently scream, knowing no one can hear my agony. Unless someone comes to rescue me, I will never be free from these vines. I can do nothing now. I am useless.
I can only wait for a Deliverer. Will no one come?

Author's age when written

This story has been rejected by a publishing company, so I thought I'd post it here and get some actual thoughts about it. Any criticism would be highly appreciated!


This is a powerful illustration, Heather; it captures the agony of being bound to sin very well; and it points directly to the purpose of the Messiah.
Thanks for writing it!

"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

That seems a bit odd. But being an amature myself, I'm probably not the best judge. The only mistake I could find was a typo, where you wrote "I grief" instead of "I grieve".
Sorry, I guess I haven't really thought of any helpful criticism; I'll keep reading it and seeing if I can come up with anything.

"The idea that we should approach science without a philosophy is itself a philosophy... and a bad one, because it is self-refuting." -- Dr. Jason Lisle

Why was this rejected?!

I can only say with James: this is amazing!!
"Ever heard of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates?...Morons."

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve." -Bilbo Baggins [The Lord of the Rings]

I also love it and don't know why it was rejected. But, as James pointed out, I am not a publishing company.

Oh well. All the better to roast marshmallows over that bonfire.
"Weddings? I love weddings! Drinks all around!" -Jack Sparrow

I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right. --The Book Thief

wow, that was amazing? I would publish it if I were a publishing company. But sadly, I am not.
Abstract, random thoughts flit through my mind,
manisfesting themselves in meaningless doodles.............................

"Sometimes even to live is courage."

This was a really good illastration! I love the way you talk about the different way of thinking of the vines. It was very easy to understand what was going on.
How did you decide to right it? Did you just sit down and start typing, or had you been thinking about for a little while?

"I love those moments. I like to wave at them as they pass by."-Captain Jack Sparrow

VERY cool! I really like it!

-Falling Leaves

"I'm not that complicated...My complications come out in my songs. All you you have to do to be my friend is like me...And listen." -Taylor Swift (one of the best musical artists ever!)

"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond

I didn't get any feedback from the publishing company, except for the standard "does not suit our present needs" so I don't know why they didn't accept it...but thanks for your encouraging comments.
James, thanks for pointing out the typo, I've corrected it.
Anna...yes, very god material for bonfire-lighting and marshmallow roasting.
TheBrit, I can't remember how I came up with this one. My mind works in really, really weird ways, so sometimes its difficult for even me to trace my thought pattern from the beginning idea to when I come up with the story plot. A lot of it is word association, so I prolly heard "entangled in sin" somewhere and associated "entangled" with vines, or some such thing... :0)
The successful writer of a Fairy Story makes a Secondary World which your mind can enter
~JRR Tolkien

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

I would have to agree, your mind works in strange ways. Seriously though, you did a really GREAT job with this!!! I wish I could write such things...but my mind is stuck in the clouds far too much of the time. I think you should send the publishers a note stating the following: "oh no you didn't". Which they may reply "oh yes, we did".

I can't wait to read more of your work soon!

Great Job,


Thanks for coming to check my stuff out, Justin! If you only knew what thoughts fly through my I really want to get into it with publishers, though?
I'd say your head isn't so much in the clouds as you spend a lot of time staring at them. :0)My mom suggested I say that, btw. And it is true, you must admit!

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Heather, I don't thing it would be a great idea to send the publishers an angry letter, but it would make you feel better now wouldn't it? You could make a story about an evil publisher that wouldn't publish your work though, really pull at their heartstrings(assuming publishers have hearts).

That would be correct, I tend to look at clouds more than having me head in them. At this time of year having one's head in the clouds would result in a likely unhealthy buildup of ice.


"Some are weather-wise; some are otherwise."
~Benjamin Franklin

Shall I tell you my favorite Snoopy quote? (you should see my corkboard, I have Snoopy comics all over it!) To editors: "Dear Editor, why do you keep sending my stories back You're supposed to print them, and make me rich and famous. What is it with you?" :0)
Yes, and like ice on windshielfs, ice on your head results in not so good vision. Plus it adds weight on the head, so your neck would be sore, and might even give you a nasty cold.
btw, your quote is great! Mom saw that and said, "It fits Justin to a T." :0)
But he didn't live happily ever after because he was a fairy-tale non-conformist
~Duncan MR

And now our hearts will beat in time/You say I am yours and you are mine...
Michelle Tumes, "There Goes My Love"

Very nice...Oh the wisdom of Snoopy. Also cool quote on the end...that's not the Duncan from H2O is it? Ha ha, won't I look silly if it isn't.

I will get a good weather quote from one of the professors tomorrow, I think you will like it. In the mean time try this out:

"Meteorology has ever been an apple of contention, as if the violent commotions of the atmosphere induced a sympathetic effect on the minds of those who have attempted to study them."
~Joseph Henry


Sorry to use the same phrase over and over again, but I have to agree with everyone else on this one. Today is the first time I've read this one, and it really is amazing.

Brother: Your character should drive a motorcycle.
Me: He can't. He's in the wilderness.
Brother: Then make it a four-wheel-drive motorcycle!