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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Music (03/08/07)

TITLE: Laughter
By Chelsea Pietsch


Kara chewed the pen industriously and stared at the sheet in front of her. The carefully written lines blurred before her as she agonised over the decision. Her delicate lips mouthed the titles, pen still in mouth. ‘From this moment?’ ‘Don’t wanna miss a thing?’ ‘I will always love you’? They were all great songs. How could she choose?

Someone caressed her hair aside and began kissing her neck tenderly. Momentarily distracted, she smiled, before protesting, “Dylan, come on, this is important! What song should be the first we dance to as a married couple? I can’t choose.”

Dylan sighed and pulled up a chair beside her. “Honey, it’s ten o’clock, this was supposed to be a romantic, relaxing evening.” She opened her mouth to object, but he shushed her with a kiss. “I know this wedding is important to you, but it’s only a song!”

“Well, which one is your favourite? I know you like more upbeat music-“

“-Do you really want to know my favourite type of music?” She nodded, slightly exasperated, hadn’t she just asked? “Your voice is music to my ears, and your laughter is my favourite song of all.”

She smiled. “That’s all nice and romantic, but it doesn’t really help with this decision.”

It was Dylan’s turn to be exasperated. “Well Honey, I love you, but I have to get home so I can stay awake at work tomorrow.” He leaned forward and gave her a hug – the big bear hug that had always made her feel safe and loved. Releasing her slightly, he searched for her lips. She kissed him lightly, still distracted by her dilemma, and turned back to the paper. Dylan watched her for a second, then grabbed his coat and left. She didn’t notice the way his shoulder’s had fallen, just a fraction… She drummed the pen against the table. Which song? ‘Angel’ was nice…


Kara gripped the paper in rigid hands, her heart clenched with pain. Oh why? WHY? Waves of agony washed over her, and then that familiar painful coldness. Dylan was dead. The wedding plans were useless. She might as well throw them out. She started to rise but sank again with a tortured gasp. His face flashed before her, his gentle eyes brimming with love. ‘I know the wedding is important to you, but… your laughter is my favourite song of all.’ She had been so preoccupied. So stupid. She curled into a ball and for the first time since that awful day, she let herself grieve. Sobs wracked her body as some of the coldness melted away. She cried and cried until no more tears would come. Finally she forced herself to sit up. The paper was crinkled in her lap. She gazed at it one last time, and saw where her tears had fallen to highlight one line -

“First Dance Wedding Song: ‘Don’t wanna miss a thing’”

She almost doubled over again, but she straightened instead. It was a horrible tragedy, but she knew without doubt that Dylan would want her to live, to love and to laugh again. Faintly, just faintly, she felt his strong arms encircle her in a bear hug. And, for a moment, she was tempted to laugh. Just for him.

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Sara Harricharan 03/15/07
I didn't see that end coming, good element of surprise there. I could really feel for her, searching for the perfect wedding song. I almost missed the tie in of the title though. Otherwise, this was pretty good, especially the touch with her tears falling on the paper with the song title on that line. ^_^
Donna Powers 03/18/07
A very sad story but it was very well written. In retrospect, the title says it all. I am looking forward to reading more of your work
Jacquelyn Horne03/18/07
Very sad. You pictured this well. I could feel all the early emotions and the latter grief. Good writing.
Angela M. Baker-Bridge03/22/07
Congratulations on your First Place! This story was worthy of every point it received. Wonderful...
c clemons03/22/07
Nice sentiment, although I don't know how one chews a pen industriously. Alot of potential here.