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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: Angel's Latte
By Lyn Churchyard


Janice clicked on the link and waited for the page to open. Her password and username, JetsDeli, granted her access to the main chat room on Angel’s Latté.

She smiled when she saw who was on line. Good! God’s Girl was there, so was Poppy, Drainoman - where do these people get their names from - and, of course, Pianochick.

She snorted and rolled her eyes. Pianochick.

Pianochick was everybody’s sweetheart. Well, the guys mostly. Janice grudgingly admitted Piano was pretty. She had one of those professional portraits attached to her profile which showed off her waist-length, copper tresses to perfection. That, combined with the royal blue dress she was wearing, and you had a vision few of the men on Angel’s Latté could resist.

“Piano is monopolising the chat room as usual; just like the little prima donna she is.” Janice frowned and reprimanded herself. “Just stop that; you’re not thinking like Jesus.”

“Hi Jet!” God’s Girl greeted her with a waving-hand emoticon.

“Evening GG, how goes things?”

“Things go great thanks.”

“Jet, I’m glad you’re here, I’ve been waiting for you, to ask how the sale of the Deli went,” This from Poppy.

“It’s sold. Got enough to cover my debts and maybe take a week’s vacation in a two-star tent.”


“What’s got up her nose; as if I didn’t know?”

“Oh you know Miss Piano,” Poppy responded. “Always leaves in a huff if she’s not centre stage.”

Over the next half hour several more regulars logged in and out, but it was late and the conversation just above boring. Janice wished Drainoman would leave so she and God’s Girl could chat.

Having a conversation in a chat room without the advantage of body language and voice inflection wasn’t easy, but on Angel’s Latté a couple of people seemed to be able to pick up on how you were really feeling - God’s Girl was one of them.

“Sale didn’t go too well then?” GG sent a sad face.

“No, and now I have to find me a real job.”

“Oh you will, God will show you where He wants you to be.”

“Yes I know - the Father won’t let His child go begging for bread.”


“Dom, this is a Christian chat room. You knew that when you joined.” God’s Girl keyed.

“None of the others carry on like you two - they’re more... normal. Anyway, I’m out of here, I’ve had enough religion for one night.” Drainoman’s name disappeared from the online list.

It was just JetsDeli and God’s Girl.

“Well?” GG asked.

“It’s done.” Janice messaged, wishing for the hundredth time she and God’s Girl didn’t live so far apart.

“Me too.”

The first time GG had logged in, Janice had checked out her profile and found she was from Australia and, like Janno, was almost sixty. Their birthdays were in January, three days apart.

It didn’t take them long to realise they were kindred spirits. They shared a crazy sense of humour, and more often than not, either said the same thing at the same time, or finished each others sentences. Outside the chat room usernames had long been forgotten and it was just Janno and Anne. Emails flew back and forth and phone calls soon followed.

They shared how they had joined Angel’s Latté in the hope of finding that special someone. After all, it was a Christian singles site, and the welcome screen was awash with glowing endorsements from members who had found their soul mate.

Janno’s husband, Christopher, had died two years previously. He’d been feeling unwell, and a battery of medical tests revealed he had a virulent form of cancer. Christopher died just three short months later. Fifteen years younger than Janno, his death had shocked everyone.

Anne was divorced and had been on her own for thirty years. Her children were all married with families of their own, and she was tired of the so called freedom of single life.

But over the last couple of months, they had become increasingly disenchanted with the site and the behaviour of many of the members, which was anything but Christian. Sexual innuendo and lewd language was rife and written complaints to the site’s owners had fallen on deaf ears. Today they had both cancelled their memberships to Angel’s Latté.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/01/08
Very clever idea for this topic!

The conversation didn't really read like chat room conversation, which really has its own language. And the last several paragraphs just confused me; they seemed to be both a flashback and a flash forward, and weren't entirely supported by the rest of the story.

I really liked the personality development in the first 2/3s of this--very well done.
Laury Hubrich 02/01/08
Very good. This is up-to-date writing, using chatrooms:) I especially like this:

"Having a conversation in a chat room without the advantage of body language and voice inflection wasn’t easy, but on Angel’s Latté a couple of people seemed to be able to pick up on how you were really feeling - God’s Girl was one of them."

My Australian friend and I were just talking today on IM about how it's just not the best messaging system. It leaves room for misunderstandings sometime:)

Very good writing. Maybe you should have mentioned the women's backgrounds as you brought them up in the conversation. The way you did it was a little confusing. Keep up the writing!
Sara Harricharan 02/05/08
You made this interactive and easy to keep the reader in there with using a chatroom, some italics might've helped to make the chat seem alittle more believeable though, the back story at the end is confusing, is Janno, Janice? or am I missing a whole character completely? This was pretty good and very interesting. ^_^
K. J. Cash02/05/08
So, the chat room, Angel's Latte, turned out to be Angel's ________ toilet soup or something :0)

Good idea. Started good. Just think about the one point that you really want to make and have everything revolve around, and refer back to, and elude to that point without giving it away until you bring the thought full circle in the end. It really is a Writers' Challenge, isn't it?
Helen Murray02/07/08
Great and modern illustration of the topic with a sudden death ending! However the sudden-death ending assumed the birth of a new (and gestated) friendship life. What a great response to the topic!
Marlene Austin02/07/08
Great job with this. Just wanted to stop by and add a "thanks" for your help at the Newbie site. Look forward to reading more of your pieces. :)
Joshua Janoski02/22/08
I guess I had missed this one Lynne. I'm glad I went back and reviewed your past entries. I loved how you captured the essence of an Internet chat room with names like "Drainoman." That cracked me up! :)