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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Ow! (01/07/10)

By Ruth Brown


Hostility burned in her, how dare they. What have I ever done to get such a stinging review. I told the truth. Why flatter a bunch of cretins?
Coffee good and strong that's what I need. Jane pulled her ball cap low over her eyes, faded jeans, sweatshirt and Nikes completed her look. Someone here might recognize her, a chance she took only for the comfort of her favorite coffee. Pulling dark glasses from her purse she finished her deception. Brooding all night had not improved her looks or her mood. Frizzy hair poked from her cap and dark bags drooped under her eyes. She coaxed the heavy door open and headed for the counter.

Hugging the grande dark roast she sought a solitary window booth. Rifling through her bag she finally found her beloved journal and pen. Writing, her escape from reality, called her to pour her frustration onto the page...

Two young women, one with raven black hair and swollen eyes, the other a tall blonde, took the booth behind her unnoticed.

“Sniff sniff, then she told them I wasn't at my desk. She knew why I was gone. I had a good reason. She just kept saying I had left. I thought she was my friend, her red rimmed eyes filling once more. If she would have explained, I know I would still have a job.”

“You're right, Shari. She used to be the best supervisor on our floor. When her husband left her she turned bitter and mean. She doesn't care about any of us now,” the blonde twirled her hair and sighed.

“I know. You'd think being a Christian she could have handled it with God's help, I don't see it though,” she shook her head.

“Gulp, hmm it's still too hot to drink. Anyway I remember when she first came she was so kind to us. She told us she was here because this is where God wanted her to be. Tina, how could she do a complete 180 on us?”

“I don't know, Shari, I loved her, wanted to be just like her, maybe explore the Bible and learn about God. I don't see the fire or the glow anymore.”

“Yeah is that what happens when hard times come? Do they all just turn there backs on God?”

“Who needs that kind of faith?”Tina frowned and sipped her latte.

Jane lowered her head to her hands, she had heard and felt every shameful word the girls spoke. “Ow! Lord that cut me to my soul,she clutched her heart, yet it's all true. What have I become? Those are two of my employees. You brought me here this morning didn't you Lord? It was preordained to bring me face to face with my evil self. Lord I am so ashamed.”

Jane rose and fled the coffee shop never looking at the booth behind her. She was just through the door when her carefully constructed wall of bitterness and hate disintegrated and the flood of painful then cleansing tears came. She stumbled to a bench by the river walk and sat recounting the day Shari had to leave because her child had been injured at school. She had temporarily forgotten, and when the report wasn't filed, she had blamed Shari instead of stepping up as a real manager should. Oh Lord, I pray I can fix that.
No wonder I scored such a bad review and stern warning. I deserved it. I've become a blamer, not willing to acknowledge my own mistakes and laying it all on someone else. Oh Lord, Please forgive me. Jack blamed me for all his problems and I hated him for it. I am guilty of the very same thing. Please Father, I beg you to help me rectify the messes I've made.

Jane wiped her eyes, blew her nose and prayed for guidance as she jogged back, and hoped the girls were still at the coffee shop.

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This article has been read 480 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Philippa Geaney 01/14/10
OW!!!That was strong chastisement from the Lord. How comforting to think He will arrange such circumstances just to get us to wake up if and when the need arises. Good story line and well thought out.
Donna Brown01/15/10
Ow is right! You conveyed the emotion very well. I could feel the manager's humiliation.
Tina Poor01/15/10
Well, I guess it could have been me. Nice writing.
Amanda Brogan01/17/10
The title of this article caught my attention 'cause it sounds like something I would say. :) I love how you showed the hand of God in bringing the bitter employer and her victimized employees together unbenownst to them. Just like a sovereign act of God to show us our true selves and help us to change! An enjoyable and meaningful read.
Jan Ackerson 01/18/10
A very Ow! situation, indeed! Great job with the topic.

Be sure that your dialog is realistic, and it's helpful to put thoughts in italics.

I've started a class in the FaithWriters forums for Beginner and Intermediate writers. I'd love to see you there--look for "Jan's Writing Basics".

This is one that we all need to take to heart.
Colin Swann01/18/10
I've been there: mistakes and blaming! A challenging story and a conscience stirring one. Thanks. Colin
Virgil Youngblood 01/19/10
Conflict and resolution -- you have expressed it well. Good writing.
Carol Penhorwood 01/19/10
I'm impressed! Having just come from Jan's class, I was hit right away in your first paragraphs with some "salsa" words...burned, stinging, cretins, drooped, coaxed, rifling (At least, I THINK so!!)
Sarah Elisabeth 01/20/10
Whew, what a message! Excellent storyline. If only we all could over hear conversations like that.

The formatting made it a bit difficult to read in places (ie when your characters were speaking), but that is an easily corrected issue.

Right on topic with "Ow!"
Carole Robishaw 01/20/10
Good piece. I agree that this is something we can all use from time to time.
A little work on showing the actions, by being separated from the speech, not part of it, would really make this a winner.
I still struggle with the concept of showing not telling :}
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/21/10
You have a good story line and well written resolution.
The message comes through loud and clear.
Judith Wolven01/26/10
So very true, I have said things that I so regretted and wish I could turn things around. Being a Christian certainly should make you think before you speak. This is well written, and the point comes across loud and clear - Ow