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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write something in the YOUNG ADULT or TEEN genre (06/07/07)

TITLE: Calming the Storm
By Emily Blakely


Tracie burst through her front door, “Mom, I’m home!” Hearing no response, “Are you upstairs?” she asked. Um-m-m-m fresh cookies cooling on the counter. Calling a little louder, “Mom, can I have a cookie?” Tracie pours a glass of cold milk. Mom made my favorite, ‘cowboy’ cookies.

Reaching for a hot one, she hears her Mom approaching. “Have a couple cookies and get a glass of......oh, I see you already have the milk,” Mom says, smiling. “Did you have a good day?”

“Um-m-m, Mom, these are so-o-o-o good. Um-m,” as Tracie finishes the first cookie. “Oh, it was okay at school. Is it alright for Jen to come over for a while; I want her to see the things I got shopping the other day. Sure was fun at the mall.”

The phone rings and Tracie rushes to pick it up, “Smith’s cookie factory. Oh, Jen, Mom made cookies to die for! Hang on a sec.” She turns to her mother, “Is it okay?”

“It’s okay with me if it’s okay with Jen’s Mom, but you have to get homework done first,” Mom replied.

Always ‘homework first;’ I’d get it done. Oh well, better go along so Mom won’t blow a gasket. She sure seems touchy lately. “I’m back Jen, and Mom said you can come over if your Mom says so and I have to get my homework done first. Won’t take me long. Do you have much to do?” Tracie asked.

“I should be over in about an hour; I don’t have much homework, but got my room to clean. See ya then?” Jen asked.

“Sounds super! Hurry,” Tracie excitedly responded, hanging up the phone. Second cookie devoured, she retreated to her room to tackle homework.

A half hour later, “Tracie, Can I talk to you a minute? Are you through with homework?” her Mom calls upstairs. “Would you come here and sit with me, I have something to tell you,” she said, sounding serious.

“Coming, Mom,” Tracie answered. Probably a lecture, but about what? I haven’t done anything or been in trouble at school.

Mother and daughter face each other on the sofa as they talk, sunlight streaming through the window. Conversation ends; Mom hugs Tracie who suddenly leaves for her room. Her cheeks were stinging red, feet felt like lead as she climbed the stairs.

Moments later, a knock at the door is answered by Tracie’s Mom. “Hi Jen. Nice to see you.”

“Hi, Mrs. Smith; is Tracie upstairs?”

“You bet; why don’t you take this tray of cookies and milk up with you.” Mrs. Smith invited.

Aroma of fresh cookies filled Jen’s head as she took the tray. Long legs allowed her to take steps two and at time, not even spilling a drop of milk.

“Tracie! It’s me; open the door, would you? I’m dying to try a cookie.” Jen nudges the door open with her foot and sees Tracie, face buried in her pillow.

“What’s wrong?” Jen puts the cookie and milk tray down. “Tracie, what’s happened?” Jen urgently asks.

Tracie’s face was puffy; she sat up on the edge of her bed. “You won’t believe the bombshell my Mom just gave me,” she cried. “Just when I’m getting old enough to have some freedom, WHAM, Mom’s pregnant! This will cancel our summer vacation plans for sure.”

Jen doubles over laughing, “Is that all? That’s not such bad news; maybe it will be fun. Yeah, I have to babysit and my kid sister is a pain-in-the-neck sometimes, but when she hugs me it melts my heart.”

“Probably be a BOY!” The hint of a smile brightens Tracie’s face as the friends begin to chatter. Forgetting what it was they had been excited to share, their attention instead turns to pressing plans for baby showers and redoing a room for the nursery.

Mrs. Smith sighs with relief listening to the girls brainstorming, “Lord, thank you for calming this storm, and it may not be the last.” Now to work on the storm that’s in me......back to diapers, feedings, potty training, things long forgotten!

Tracie calls from upstairs, “Mom, I need to learn how to make these cowboy cookies. We may have a boy, and a boy’s gonna want lots of them!”

Mom smiles.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dee Yoder 06/15/07
This is a cute story. I had a friend in High School who was appalled that her parents were having a baby! But she also adjusted and had fun with her little brother. Teens could relate to this!
Janice Cartwright06/18/07
Good idea for a teen story and good writing. To make it even better try coupling dialogue with action rather than "she said, she explained" etc. You did an excellent job of depicting embarrasment and frustration in daughter.