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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: Body of Art
By Brigitte Hidalgo


Hilary thumbed through the racks looking for the right design. She didn't want
anything too wimpy. She didn't like delicate flowers, or cutesy fairies. She wanted her first tattoo to make a statement. But if it was too crazy, her mom and dad would freak! Hilary thought, "I'm 18 why should I have to answer to either of them anyway?..."

"Hey, Hil", Ty broke into her internal dialogue. She smiled for reasons she was just
beginning to figure out. Tyler had been her friend since kindergarten. He was the kid down the street that she would play in the sprinklers with every summer. When they got older she was pulled in a different direction...by her mom, the "Jesus freak"!

When Hil was in 6th grade her Mom got saved. Her father left because he didn't like “rules". Since then, every other weekend was with dad. His home was chaos. People came and went in endless party mode! The other weekends were spent with mom, doing church activities. Hilary couldn't wait to have her own life!

"Hil?", Ty roused her once again. She reddened. "Oh, sorry Ty. I’m thinking about the design I want." Ty pulled up his long sleeves. "Yea, I know it's difficult to choose just one!" His arms were covered with winding serpants, skulls embedded with roses, and tribal markings. "Yea, that's what I’m talking about!" Hil sounded enthusiastic. Ty was so cool. Hilary wished she hadn't dropped out of his circle when she was twelve. But the events of that time dictated who her friends would be.

Hilary and Ty turned just in time to avoid a collision as Kayla and Jacob expertly flipped their skateboards up into the air and caught them casually. Hilary eyed all their cool tats and skater clothing. She liked the look.

"So," Kayla questioned, "What's it gonna be?" She motioned to the hanging racks of tattoo art on display. Hilary winced at the question. She wanted to fit in so badly. She
felt these were the friends that were going to stick. They were part of a tight, but misunderstood group, that had been together throughout middle school and highschool. Summer was just beginning. They had lots of time to bond before college began. The great thing was a couple of them were going to her community college and the rest weren't going at all. They’d all stay local! Plus she really liked Tyler. His last girlfriend was gothic. She was sexy in an intriguingly dark way. Hilary figured getting a tat was a step in the right direction.

"Umm...I was thinking of this..." Hilary stammered. She pointed to a bold celtic cross. A thorny rose twisted around the base of the cross. "That’s cool", Kayla approved. Hilary sighed. She had been unsure. Ty laughed, "Yea, your Mom will love that!" Hilary winced at the joke. Her mom had become a laughing stock with her old friends. It stung to hear them tease her. She didn't let on. "Oh please, don't even get me started," Hilary quipped. They laughed as Hil walked to the back for her new tattoo.

* * * * * * * * *

Summer past way too quickly, Hilary commiserated. She wiggled in the pew, trying
not to scratch her latest tattoo. It was a large cobalt blue hibiscus flower on her calf. New tats always itched for the first few days. She had not been to church in months. She felt bad after she fought with her mom last night over the newest addition to her "body of art"."Hilary I don't understand why you are mutilating yourself like this!" Her mom had questioned. "It's not mutilation Mom! It's art!" Hilary argued. She had to admit it hardly felt worthwhile since she and Tyler had broken up. She had done everything to please him. She had several tattoos now. She hung with his crowd all summer, partying in the park. It started out so great. Somewhere along the way he changed. He stopped hanging with the group. He started working at his uncle's garage and seldom had time to talk on his cell. “What a let down”, she thought, as she scratched the bright blue flower that was beginning to scab...

He didn't even see her as he walked in holding hands with Chelsea Piper. They sat
right in front of Hilary. He held a large bible and when he opened it she could clearly see highlighting on the pages. "Hey, honey", Hilary's mom whispered, "Isn't that your friend,... Ty?"

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This article has been read 588 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Crystal Dueck02/21/08
Wow, such an effort on Hillary's part to be accepted by Tyler. And in the final end he's the one with the Bible and a Christian girlfriend (I'm assuming she was a Christian). Good reminder for us to not try every desperate method to change ourselves in attempt to make others accept us! Good job!
Jan Ackerson 02/21/08
Great title! You've done a good job with the proverb, too.

A few things--it seems as if the kids are skateboarding right in the tattoo parlor...and I caught a "past" that should be "passed". Minor fixes.

I work with teens every day, and you've got them down pat.
Marlene Austin02/21/08
You designed the characters and plot well. Good job. :)
Seema Bagai 02/22/08
A good story for teens. A few tiny errors. Keep writing.
Yvonne Blake 02/22/08
Good writing. I liked your dialogue between the friends. I had a little trouble figuring out if they were in a building or just looking in the window.
Interesting ending.
Keep writing.
Catrina Bradley 02/23/08
Oh so perfectly on topic. Great story, I loved this!
Joshua Janoski02/23/08
I liked the twist at the end when she sees Ty walk into church. This would make a great story for teens. Keep up the great writing! :)
Patrick Whalen02/25/08
I really enjoy stories with a twist like this one. Writing like this will bump you out of beginners before long! Keep it up.
Celeste Ammirata02/26/08
I loved the end of this story. For all her trying to be cool and denying her faith for Ty, he ended in her church with another girl. It makes one wonder, was God putting Tyler in Hil's life to bring Tyler to Him? When Hil didn't follow God's plan. God found another way to bring Ty to Him. Great story. Keep writing.
Marlene Austin02/28/08
Congratulations, Brigitte.
Lyn Churchyard02/28/08
Aaah, the desire to be liked and accepted. We'll do almost anything and in the end lose.
Congratulation, Brigette, on your second place in Level 1 - Beginners... not a Beginner any longer - you've graduated!!
Tessy Fuller02/29/08
I really liked this story because it showed how teens try so hard to be accepted. Working with teens on a regular basis, I enjoyed how you captured this in a real-life situation.