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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: The Health Project
By Julie Ruspoli


“Max, its good to see you!” Lucy says as she climbs the steps to her former highschool.

“Lucy, what up girl? Why you come back to this school? After what happened to you, this would be the last place I thought you would come.”

“Mrs. Victor asked me to talk to the 9th grade girls during health class about a special project that’s new this year. We’ll Max, I gotta’ go, good to see you again.”

“Okay Lucy, you take care girl, and give little Missy a hug. She still got that curly blonde hair?

“I will Max, and yes, she still has curly blonde hair. See ya’.” Lucy waves to Max, then sighs heavily as she enters the school.

“Class, this is Lucy, she has agreed to talk to you about the new health project. Did anyone not turn in their permission slip to participate? Good. Lucy, you can begin.”

“Thank you Mrs. Victor. I want to start by showing you a picture of my daughter, Missy. She just turned three. I got pregnant for Missy while I was high on cocaine. If you notice, Missy is very small for her age and she still has some health problems. I was three months pregnant before I knew it and the drugs affected her development. But the doctors say she will be fine.”

A pretty brunette in the last row begins to talk. “Are you here to tell us not to play the game? Just cause you and my sister were stupid and got pregnant doesn’t mean any of us will. It’s my life, I can do what I want.”

“Are you Susan, Martha’s sister?”

“Yes, but I’m not stupid like she was.”

“Susan, Martha and I thought the same way when we started the game. Being over confident is the first step to being stupid and making wrong decisions. Think about the game and how dangerous it really is. Will a contest to see who can try the most drugs improve your future? In 10 years, will winning a game matter to your life?”

Susan says, “In ten years I’ll be out of college and working, I won’t even remember what I did in high school.”

Lucy softly says , “If the drugs kill you like they did Martha, you won’t have a life. Class, Martha had a heart attack and died while high on cocaine.”

Susan begins to cry. “Well, what if someone has already started the game. Isn’t it already too late for them?”

“It is never too late to change your life. That is what the health project is about. At any time, you can come to anyone listed on the paper. That person will talk to you and help you change your life. This school has lost too many students in the last few years due to that dangerous drug game. And so many of us became pregnant while high from the drugs. Mrs. Victor will explain the steps of the project to you and the help that is available. Remember, the project is designed to help anyone at any level of drug use. The phone number at the top of the page can be called at any time. One of the people listed will answer and begin the process. Mrs. Victor, thank you for letting me be a part of this very important project.” Lucy walks to the back of the classroom and sits in an empty seat next to Susan.

Mrs. Victor then explains the project to the class. Susan and many others join and begin the steps to becoming drug free.

Lucy fights tears as she drives home and has to pull over several times to gain control. Finally she enters her driveway and runs to the door. As she enters the door and slams it shut she cries out to God.
“I did it Lord, with your guidance I made it through the day. We helped so many girls today Lord. Praise God.” Lucy falls to her knees and begins to sing with tears rolling down her face.
“Jesus take the wheel, take it from my hand, cause I can’t do this on my own. I’m letting go, so give me one more chance, take me from this road I’m on... Jesus take the wheel. Oh, take it, take it, from me...”

(Lyrics from, “Jesus Take the Wheel” by Carrie Underwood)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 09/08/07
Good for Lucy!

Be careful of run-on sentences, and make sure your dialogue sounds realistic for each speaker.

It'd be great to have health projects like this in all our schools!
Patty Wysong09/08/07
Such an important message for kids to hear!! Lucy's dialog sounded a little stilted--even for a 'formal teaching' voice, but I thought Max (his voice made me smile) and Susan sounded a little more natural. GREAT message to wrap up in fiction! Keep writing (fiction) and your dialog will soon flow smoother. Good job!! :-) Hugs!