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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

TITLE: Good night, Bad Day
By jody madsen


“Good night, Bad Day”

“Peep, squawk!” “Did I sleep too late on my favorite day?” wondered Tosha as birds startled her awake. She jumped up, promptly tripping as she realized she was still zipped in her sleeping bag. Tosha, her brother and parents were camping as usual, following summer dismissal. She clumsily sat down, knocking over the lantern left between their bags last night.
“Ouch! Huh?” Tosha heard, as Brandon rolled over, rubbing his forehead and moaning.
“Whatcha doin’?” he griped.
“I wanna get my line in before it’s too late! I overslept and the fish have already eaten and I’m missin’ my chance like last year,” she rambled, while tugging down the zipper on her sleeping bag.

“What does that have to do with the lantern clobbering me over the head?” asked Brandon.

“I fell and it tipped. Come on. Are ya comin’?” Tosha quizzed without so much as a tiny apology.

“Give me a minute,” Brandon sighed.

“Nope. I’m outa here. See ya at the dock,” said Tosha, grabbing her equipment, unzipping the tent and trotting away.

Brandon stretched, grabbed his gear and moved to the tent door. Stepping out, his foot caught the floor knocking him down, face first. Tackle and pole flew through the air spilling out all over. He scrambled to his feet.

“Man, this isn’t starting out a good day”, he complained. Quickly gathering his things he ran to the dock. Sitting down, he began readying his line. He shared with his sister about his bad day, expecting understanding.
“Oh quit complaining.” she grumbled, “Be quiet and fish.”

Brandon felt hurt, but let it go. Up and down, Brandon’s bobber suddenly dipped and bobbed! There was a strong tug and his pole bent over, nearly touching the glassy water. Both kids jumped, squealing and laughing excitedly. Brandon struggled, reeling in, slowly and steadily. He glanced at Tosha. She was suddenly grabbing her own arc shaped pole.

Brandon’s excitement soon ended, when as quickly as his pole had bent in half, it straightened. No fish. No monster fish. His heart sank. “I lost him”, he moaned.

“I’ve got a big one,” shouted Tosha, ignoring her brother’s dejection. “Get over here and help me!”

Brandon reluctantly set down his empty pole and ambled over.

“Hurry up!” Tosha shouted. “Help!”

Brandon slowly reached for the net, but just then, Tosha’s line slackened and her pole snapped straight. No fish. Gone with the worm, so to speak.

“It’s your fault! Feeling sorry for yourself instead of helping.” screamed Tosha.

“Don’t blame me! He was yours. You couldn’t even LISTEN to me. Don’t talk to me,” he choked, turning and trudging back.
“I will never talk to you again!” cried Tosha, hot tears spilling down her cheeks. She packed her gear, feeling disappointment wash through her. Back at the tent, she sprawled out to sulk.

The rest of the day was spent moping. They related their own version of the story to their parents, but ignored each other.
When the time came for the traditional campfire storytelling, Dad said, “Tonight will be a little different. My scary story will be about you.

“Why?” they both inquired.

Dad shared, “We love you very much and want to help. You are very angry with one another. So, I am reading Ephesians 4:26-27”.

“And don’t sin by letting anger gain control over you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a mighty foothold to the Devil.” New Living Translation. Dad closed the Bible.

“Oh” escaped their lips simultaneously, surprising both as understanding dawned. Tosha and Brandon gazed at each other.

Tosha, first broke the silence with a timid, “I’m sorry, Brandon. “I wasn’t understanding when you were telling me about your bad day.

“Aw, forget it. I’m sorry, too, for not being helpful. I was jealous you still had a fish when I didn’t,” said Brandon. It seemed like my bad day just wouldn’t quit.”

Mom said, “I think Dad and I feel a bit better. But do you think you need to ask Jesus for forgiveness?”

In the flickering campfire light, both children nodded. They prayed to Jesus, confessing and seeking forgiveness.

“You said you were scared for us. Are you still?” asked Brandon.

Dad answered, “No. Jesus is faithful to forgive when we ask. He is our protector and we need not fear.” And it is late and time to say good night.”
“Yeah,” Brandon chuckled. “Good night bad day, good night.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/14/09
A good story for a children's Sunday School paper.
Yvonne Blake 05/19/09
I like all the dialogue. It gives the characters more personality. Well done!