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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: True Beauty
By Karin Beery
01/30/08


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Parker's eyes followed the long, thin legs as they sauntered through the office. Black pumps, gray suit, straight glossy blond hair. Professional. Beautiful.

“May I help you?” the assistant asked.

“Parker Lewis to see Celeste Manes.”

“Just a moment please. Would you like some coffee?”

Parker didn't answer. He watched the other woman as she closed her office door. He would see her daily beginning next week. His mind conjured up business meetings, lunches, dinners. A gentle touch brought him out of his dream.

“Your coffee Mr. Lewis,” the assistant smiled. “Can I get you anything else?”

“Cream,” he said, dismissing her with a wave.

The office door opened and the leggy blond returned to the reception area.

“Mr. Lewis. I'm Celeste Manes.”

Flawless skin. A brilliant smile. Parker's spirit soared.~

~”Thank you Lynette,” Parker nodded to Celeste's assistant. The petite woman smiled as she
turned to leave.

“What is this crap?” Celeste demanded, throwing her sandwich onto the table. “Call Brian.
Have him send over his special.”

“Yes Miss Manes. For you, Mr. Lewis?”

Parker looked at his sandwich. “This is fine.”

“Nonsense,” Celeste barked, shoving the food away. “The same for Parker.”

“Yes Miss Manes.” Lynette smiled and left.

Celeste sighed. “Moron.”~

~”Here's to our success,” smiled Celeste. She radiated desire in a short, black cocktail dress, stiletto heels and hair cascading down her back.

“We make a good team,” Parker agreed, sipping on his soda. He winced as Celeste downed her champagne and poured another glass. “Why don't we order dinner?” He opened his menu.

“Why don't we skip dinner?” she asked, sliding her chair closer to his. “We can go back to my place,” she whispered. Her fingers slowly trailed up his forearm.

Parker politely moved her hand back to the table. “Let's keep this professional,” he suggested.

“Let's relax,” she replied. Celeste finished her champagne. “We've been working for three weeks.”

Parker slid his chair away. “We hardly know each other,” but he knew enough.

Celeste smiled again, but Parker waved for the check. Pouting, she reached into her purse and pulled out a cigarette. “Whatever. Your loss.”~

~”Hello Lynette,” Parker said. He grabbed a tissue off her desk.

“Not feeling well today?” she asked, her hazel eyes scanning his features. “Would you like some hot tea?”

“Just the coffee,” he smiled. “What's different?” he asked. “I've never noticed your eyes. They're lovely.”

Lynette grinned. “New glasses.”

“They're very nice.”

“Lynette!” the office door flew open. “Where's that fax??”

“I'll bring it in as soon as it arrives.”

“Parker!” Celeste's voice rose with her smile. “Why don't we get started?” Parker nodded and took another tissue. He gave Lynette a small wave before going into the office.

Five minutes later, Lynette entered and left Celeste's office silently. She set the fax beside her boss and left a tray beside Parker. He smiled. A cup of coffee with a touch of cream, the box of tissues and cough drops.

“Lynette!” Celeste's voice pierced the air with a string of expletives. She turned to Parker, the fax in her hand. “It looks like we're working late.”~

~The bright afternoon sun warmed Parker's face. He sat on a park bench enjoying a weekend out of the office. The fresh air calmed him. However, his solace was interrupted by a small, whimpering child. The little girl, red eyed and tear stained, stared at him.

“Hi,” he said.

“Where's Nettie?” she sniffed.

“Nettie?”

“Lily!” a familiar voice cried. Parked watched as Lynette ran across the park and grabbed the child. “Oh, Lily!”

“Aunt Nettie!”

“Lynette?”

“Mr. Lewis!” she smiled, pulling the girl close.

“Parker, please,” he smiled back. “Are you okay?” he asked the child.

Lynette picked the girl up and sat beside him on the bench. No heels. No suit. Her ponytail danced in the breeze. The sun reddened her cheeks. Hazel eyes danced behind her glasses. Casual, but something else too.

“I'm sorry we interrupted you,” she apologized.

“Don't be.” Parker turned his attention back to the girl. “Are you okay?” he asked again.

Lily's lower lip quivered. She looked at the man nervously. “I want ice cream please.”

The adults laughed. “Well, I guess we're going then,” Lynette said.

“Please,” Parker stopped her with a hand on her arm. “Let me.”

Lynette paused. “Are you sure?”

Parker looked from Lily to Lynette. Her eyes twinkled. Stunning. “Absolutely.”


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This article has been read 345 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marlene Austin02/01/08
Sweet story. Well-developed characters. Nice job. :)
Jan Ackerson 02/01/08
I like this! Glad he could see through the glamor.

The rapid scene changes confused me a bit. I'd suggest that instead of the ~ symbol (easily missed), you try...

***

...on their own line, to signal to your reader that the scene has changed.

Nice writing style!
Laury Hubrich 02/02/08
Very good contrasting the outward beauty and inward. Nice story. Keep up your writing!
Laury