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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Calm (emotionally) (09/13/07)

TITLE: The Fight
By Ebony Broussard
09/20/07


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The sight of blood sent her into frenzy. The blows to my head and face were merciless. The jeers and ruckus of the crowd that had gathered grew as I fell to the ground. I can’t quite remember when I scraped my shoulder, but it was a deep, angry wound that took forever to heal and eventually left a scar the size of a silver dollar. I never did find out what the fight was all about but, all the same, it cost me something.

The tapping of a toddler’s toy on the hard plastic handle of a shopping cart shook me from my remembrance. I had thought to change lines but now every line had grown longer. By the time I left this line to get into another that line will have grown longer than this one. Why did I have to choose this line today?

Cutting my eyes ahead in the line, I could see the double take happen but I was not quick enough to turn my face out of her sight. Oh God! Why today? Why?

“Cheryl?”

The lady in front of me turned around and met my eye, smiling. “I think she’s trying to get your attention.” Thanks, lady.

I glanced up and nodded to the waving woman a few people in front of me. Argh! I don’t have anything to say to this woman. I don’t even want to act friendly. Perhaps if I act as though I do not remember her, perhaps she will move on.

I watched as the woman spoke to each person behind her, allowing them to move ahead of her in line until she met me line.

“It’s been a long time. Hasn’t it?”

I tried to give her the best puzzled look I could muster up. I think I looked more constipated than puzzled.

“It’s Maxine from Carver High. Remember?” Yes, I do remember! How does she even have the nerve to come back here? We were never friends. Then there was the fight….

If my face didn’t register remembrance, my voice did. “Err…yes, Maxine. I remember you.” Now that you have shamed us both, what do we have to say to one another? The line moved forward. Can this line move any faster?

“Uh, Cheryl, I know you don’t probably have too many good memories of me and I am not certain if we will even get the chance to meet again for me to say what I need to say. You did not deserve what I did to you back then. I am so sorry for the pain that I caused you and anyone else close to you. Even my own pain isn’t justification for hurting you. I pray that one day you will find it in your heart to forgive me.”

The cashier greeted Maxine and began checking out her items. Although Maxine wanted to continue to conversation, the cashier sought to make small talk with her. The old Maxine would have cut her eyes at the cashier and said something like, “Can’t you see I’m talking?” but she remained pleasant and light.

She stood at the end of the checkout, waiting for me to pay for my items. How in the world did I end up in this line? I paid for my items and pushed my cart toward the parking lot, Maxine in tow.

“Cheryl, I do not believe it is a coincident that we ran into each other today. I do not expect your forgiveness today but I just needed to apologize.”

I nodded to her, not knowing exactly what to say. I felt like I was fourteen all over again. All of the awkwardness, embarrassment, and hurt from the day of the fight felt alive and raw. There were no onlookers for this chance meeting, but thought of the beating and the enjoyment it seemed to bring Maxine played back in my mind. That was Maxine then, but it was not Maxine now.

Maxine pushed her cart, heading toward her car. “Maxine, wait!” I shouted from across the parking lot. She met me halfway. “Look, I don’t know what to say but know that I do appreciate your apology. It doesn’t erase the fight, but it does help to know you did not enjoy it so much. Thanks.” We exchanged smiles instead of hugs then headed to our cars. Who would have thought reconciliation could be found in a grocery line, let alone on a cross!


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This article has been read 754 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Allison Egley 09/23/07
This was really good. I enjoyed it.

I noticed a couple typos, but nothing major. I also had to re-read the first paragraph after I read the end, because it was a bit confusing at first, but it made sense on the 2nd read. :)

Great job. I think this could be expanded a bit too. Keep writing!
Sharon Henderson09/23/07
Great story! I think most people can relate to it. Maybe we weren't physically beat up in school but we were emotionally beat up and we don't want to face those 'bullys' and we certainly don't want to think that they could have changed over all these years. Well done.
Janice Cartwright09/23/07
I've never been in an actual physical fray, but I can wholly relate to the desire for distancing from a pain-inflictor. You conveyed these emotions very well. Good job.
Joanne Sher 09/24/07
Your descriptions, particularly in the beginning, are quite vivid. I could definitely see what you were seeing.

Some of your sentences felt a bit on the long side - shortening them might make this an easier read.

Very engaging!
Dee Yoder 09/25/07
Bullying is not a mere childhood rite of passage many think it is. The pain and humiliation can last long into the future. I like the forgiveness angle you wrote into your story. You kept my attention from beginning to end.
Sheri Gordon09/26/07
This is a really good story.

A little tweaking with some punctuation would really tighten up your writing.

You write well, and your creativity is good.
Catrina Bradley 09/26/07
The opening line was great - good attention getter. The reactions and emotions and thoughts of the MC were very natural, and the bit of humor thrown made it fun to read. Some punctuation work would help with the flow, and "coincident" should be "coincidence". I'm not sure the last line "let alone on a cross" works so well, even we all know what it means. It seemed to me it didn't quite fit somehow. Hope this is the kind of feedback you're looking for. like your writing, and the story was a great read. :) Cat
Kristen Hester09/26/07
Your writing is very good and show much potential. I'm impressed.

You asked for suggestions, so here goes:

I liked your humor and your descriptions. Very vivid. I liked the phrase about "looking constipated rather than puzzled." Funny.

I thought it too much of a coincidence that she was daydreaming about the fight in high school and then minutes later...there her attacker was. Perhaps the MC could spot her with out being seen and then remember the fight. You could write some funny things about trying NOT to be spotted (hiding behind a magazine, etc.).

I thought the second paragraph was awkward. I liked the idea of being frustrated at picking the slow line, etc. This was good, it just needed to be tightened up some.

Overall, very good. Keep asking for feedback. It's helped me lots. I weigh every suggestion. I don't apply them all, but I appreciate them all.
Jenny Fitch09/26/07
Good job with some vivid descriptions. You had me there with you.

As for critique - I also suggest shorter sentences. An example is, "I can’t quite remember when I scraped my shoulder, but it was a deep, angry wound that took forever to heal and eventually left a scar the size of a silver dollar." That could be broken down into 3-4 more powerful sentences.

The beginning paragraph and the last line were also somewhat disjointed to me.

Great job overall, it was an enjoyable read. Keep writing!
Joanne Sher 10/01/07
Congratulations, Ebony. Your entry has placed 12th in Level 1. The Lists for the Top 15 in each Level and the Top 40 overall are available in the Weekly Results and Highest Rankings forum of our Faithwriters Message Boards.