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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Happy (07/12/07)

TITLE: The Happiest Girl in the County
By Julie Ruspoli


Victoria is sitting in front of her mirror brushing her long brown hair and quietly talking.

“Eighty seven, eighty eight, eighty nine, ninety.”
“Mother, if your looking down from heaven today, do you see me? I still brush my hair how you taught me."
"One hundred strokes, twice a day, keeps my hair silky and the knots away.”
“Look Daddy, if your even in heaven, my eyes are still as green as the emeralds in Lawson’s Jewelry Store window.”
“Daddy always said my eyes would be the end of some young man. Daddy didn’t like when they came a callin.’.”
“Good thing Mother could see em walkin’ down the road from the kitchen window while Daddy was in the fields. She always managed to hide that gun before Daddy seen ‘em.”

“Ninety one, ninety two, ninety three, ninety four.”
“Mother, do you remember the lavender dress you made me for the dance at the fair last year?”
“After you went to heaven with Jesus, and Daddy went wherever he is, it must of got lost cause I keep lookin’ in my closet and it ain’t there.”
“Anyway Mother, I still remember the headache I got the next mornin’ cause Tommy Blancher put that alcohol in the punch.”
“Daddy said I didn’t need to take medicine for it to go away, just some rest.”
“Daddy said he don’t like me takin’ medicine.”

“Ninety five, ninety six, ninety seven.”
“I still remember the look on Tommy Blancher’s face when he came a callin’ the next week without first askin’ Daddy’s permission.”
“Daddy, when you shot that gun and it just missed his head, I thought I would never start breathin’ again.”
“Then Mother cried and said you were goin’ to hell for sure.”

“Mother, here comes that nice lady Rose to see what I’m up to again.”
“She’s got her red scrubs on today with the pictures of cats chasing balls of string. Although I still ain’t figured out why she calls ‘em scrubs.”
“Haven’t seen her scrub a floor once since she’s been comin’ here to check on me.”
“Daddy, she gives me these little cups of pills everyday. I keep tellin’ her you don’t like me takin’ pills, but she tells me the doctor says I should.”

“Good morning Victoria,” Rose pauses while walking past the door, “When your finished brushing your hair, come eat breakfast?”

“Yes Miss Rose.”
“Ninety eight, ninety nine, one hundred.”
“Well, Mother, and Daddy, if your even up there in heaven, I better go eat my breakfast. You always said it was the meal I needed to get me through the day.”
Victoria puts down her brush and walks to the kitchen.

Rose sits at the table and talks to Victoria while she eats her breakfast.
“Victoria, did you enjoy having visitors yesterday for your birthday.”

“Yes, they brought me a new hairbrush in a pretty bag with a big pink bow tied to it.”
“But the lady also gave me a birthday cake that said Happy 71st Birthday Nana.”
“The poor thing started crying when I mentioned that the numbers were backwards and my name is not Nana, it’s Victoria.”
“So I gave the lady a hug and told her I liked it all the same, cause Mother always says it’s the nice things people do that counts.”
“I think that made her feel better cause she stopped crying.”
“Mrs. Scott at the bakery always did get things mixed up.”
“They brought the prettiest baby girl dressed in a lavender dress.”
“And when they asked me to hold her, I told ‘em I had never in my life held a baby.”
“But then that lady started crying all over again, so I held the baby to make her feel better.”
“They even took a picture of me holding the baby girl.”
“Miss Rose, would you come help me find my lavender dress after breakfast?”

Rose turns and wipes away a tear, “Of course Victoria, and if you want, you could show me your new hairbrush.”
“And I’m so glad you had a good time yesterday.”

“Yes I did have a good time. Mother and Daddy always say I’m the happiest girl in the county.”

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This article has been read 701 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharon Henderson07/19/07
I liked this story. It held my attention and was quite a surprise when I figured it out.
Seema Bagai 07/19/07
Great story and a creative idea. I was worried for the "girl" at the beginning.
Glorey Wooldridge07/19/07
I was drawn into the story and wanted to see how it ended. Yes, it was a surprise and I enjoyed it - alhtough I felt tears coming to my eyes. Near the top of the story, you use the word there for they're other than that I think you did a great job. Well written. :O)
Dee Yoder 07/20/07
Oh my! I can relate to this story because my Dad has Alzheimer's. He still remembers me, but I know he thinks we should all be younger! Good story and great conversation. One thing to watch out for: when you can substitute the words "you are" in the sentence, the spelling should be "you're". (Don't feel bad about the grammar; I have problems with commas, and I use spell-check for everything!) A really touching story!
Joanne Sher 07/24/07
So poignant. You portrayed her quite well.
Trevas Walker07/24/07
This is very well written and I loved the twist at the end. You drew me in right from the beginning. Great Job!
TJ Nickel07/24/07
This is an excellent piece of literature and it takes guts to leave stories like this one ends. Loved it. Great writing.
Joy Faire Stewart07/25/07
This is excellent storytelling. I was drawn in to the story immediately. Great job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/26/07
I enjoyed your story. The twist cloes to the end was great.
TJ Nickel08/06/07
read it again for my own enjoyment and just needed to say again: Outstanding writing!
Diane Bertrand08/25/07
Julie, This is a very touchng story. Being a nurse, I can relate completely! There is a lot of unspoken emotion that accompanies this sort of peice. Thanks.
gene hudgens10/09/07
Julie, I certainly enjoyed this one. It was creative to say the least I can easily relate and the twist at the end was great. I hope that I some day develope the skill to tell a story so well. Gene Hudgens