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

TITLE: Time Will Tell
By Terry Atchison


Time Will Tell

“Hon, I am so proud of you. I am sure that you will be very successful someday.” Marilyn was praising her son, Bill, about winning a scholarship to Harvard.
“It will be so nice to have a lawyer in the family. Your dad and me have been hoping for this for such a long time. Do you have any plans about what kind of work you are wanting to do once you are a lawyer?”
“Corporate lawyer, mom. I want to make a lot of money as a corporate lawyer. “
“But won't you need to move to another area to do that? Are you planning on moving to Chicago later on.?
“Mom. I will be looking for work in California. That's where it's at.”
“But I won't see much of you then.”
“Well, it won't be happening tomorrow, and you will still have Bobby here with you.” Bobby was Bill's younger brother by one year.
“I am sure that he will never leave this farmer's paradise.” That is what Bill called the area around his town of Oblong, Illinois.

Marilyn was so proud of Bill. He was a straight A student, attended church regularly, and sang in the choir. He was always volunteering for different events around town. Everyone seemed to like him for his honesty and his big heart. Friends and neighbors were always telling Marilyn how mature her boy was.

Bill's mother now thought about her other son, Bobby. He was always getting into trouble at school. The problems were usually fights with other students. Bobby was a happy kid, but he was strong minded and not scared of anyone. She couldn't complain about his grades though. He wasn't a straight A student, like his brother, but he was in the top twenty-five percent of his class at high school. She didn't know what his plans were for the future. He had mentioned one time about working for the FBI. She classed that in the same category as a kid wanting to be a fireman or a policeman. Why couldn't he be more studious and success-driven, like his older brother? She worried about his future.

Twenty years later, as she watched her TV, she saw both of her sons, for a few seconds on the screen. One of them was wearing handcuffs, and the other was escorting him into the courthouse. Her heart was broken.

Bill had become a very successful corporate lawyer out in California, just as he had told his mother that he wished to do. He had also become very greedy and had embezzled several of his clients out of millions of dollars. Bobby? Well, he ended up working as a federal marshal. Their mother watched the TV screen as Bobby escorted Bill into the courthouse for his trial. He would spend many years behind bars and his younger brother would visit his mother often, to comfort her.

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This article has been read 332 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/14/09
Good twist in the story!

Since this story spanned so many years, you had to do a lot of "telling" rather than "showing". Think about telling just one small part of the story, so that you can spend more words on character development and description.

This was quite clever--I love it when the readers' expectations are turned upside down.
Yvonne Blake 05/19/09
At first I thought it would be a modern Prodigal Son story, but it turned out much differently. I liked the dialogue. Don't forget the space between paragraphs in the dialogue too.
Keep writing.