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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Huh? (01/21/10)

TITLE: Turning Up the Heat
By Kristi Peifer


“Hon, the clutter out there is driving me crazy.” Annie nodded toward the garage.


“I can’t find anything!”

Since the earthquake last week, Annie had been picking up broken light bulb shards and motley automotive doodads from every square inch of the slab floor. Somewhere in this mishmash of a garage were the tubs of winter clothes, patiently waiting to be unearthed.

“Matt!” Maybe if I had a set of mag wheels and a racing spoiler he’d give me a hand, she thought with disgust.


She’d tried several times to get her husband to help her, but Matt couldn’t be bothered during NASCAR season.

“Matt, it’s supposed to freeze tomorrow. I need to get to those long johns.”

“Yeah!” he roared.

“Good, I’m glad you finally…” Annie began, only to frown moments later.

“Attaboy, Jeff!” Matt howled with delight as driver Jeff Gordon broke away from the pack.

He wasn’t even listening! Ooh, that makes me so mad! I oughta…

“Hey, Babe, would you bring me a Pepsi?”

Completely oblivious! Yeah, I’ll bring you a Pepsi, right after I shove that remote up your nose!

“Sure,” she said through clenched teeth.

Annie opened the fridge and let the crisp blast of air cool her temper. Hmm. This could work to my advantage, she thought, grabbing the cold soda. Let’s see just how selective his hearing really is.

She went back to the den with a jaunty spring in her step. This could be fun!

Annie handed the Pepsi to Matt, who was teetering on the edge of his seat in anticipation of the next lap.

“Hon, I think I’ll go to the mall while you watch the race, OK?”


“I have a credit card that is burning a hole in my purse, and I thought I might just max it out today.”

“Sure, Babe.”

Mmmmhmmm. Just as I thought. Let’s try this again.

“On second thought, maybe I’ll just stay here.” Annie paused, waiting for a reaction.

Nothing! Not even a grunt!

“Yeah, I thought I’d dye my hair green and set it on fire. You mind telling me where you keep the blowtorch?”


“The blowtorch, Matt.”

“Oh, yeah, it’s in the garage with the tools,” he said, waving her off.

Of course it’s in the garage, with all the other junk you’ve left sitting all week!

Annie left to sift through the mess in the garage. Half an hour passed before she finally emerged with the blowtorch.

“Hey, Matt!”

“Yeah?” he said, barely looking up.

“Didn’t you say you wanted one of those flaming paint jobs on the Mustang?”


“I think that can be arranged.” Her lips twisted into a mischievous grin as she bolted out the front door, firing up the blowtorch.

Matt finally awakened to the situation at hand, his eyes widening in horror. “Whaaaa—WHAT are you doing?” He darted after her, hoping to save his beloved muscle car from certain doom.

“Well, it took a blowtorch to finally light a fire under your butt!” Annie smirked, turning off the blowtorch in amusement.

Matt cleaned the garage that very afternoon. He hid the blowtorch.

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This article has been read 632 times
Member Comments
Member Date
AnneRene' Capp01/29/10
I can so relate to your fruuuuustration :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/29/10
It was a clever story. I'm sure more than one wife would like to use a blowtorch to set a fire under her husband!
Jackie Wilson01/31/10
This was a good take on the subject. Good characterizations, too. I liked the wife's spunk!
Jan Ackerson 02/01/10
Great dialog writing and pacing.

It's probably just me, but I wasn't comfortable with her methods. It's definitely funny, though!

You're a talented writer, to be sure.
Sarah Elisabeth 02/01/10
Funny! You did a very good job with this piece (although in my family, we never use that particular word ;-) Looking forward to more of your writing!
Celeste Ammirata02/01/10
Good for her, finally getting Matt's attention. What a shame it took the threat of a blow-torch to his beloved car for him to notice her. Glad she didn't really start the fire. Great dialogue. Nice job with this!
Beth LaBuff 02/01/10
What a great story! I loved seeing what was around every corner! Your ending was perfect! :)
Ruth Brown02/02/10
Great title. How many other wives try this during football season and Nascar races? Cute story.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz02/02/10
Good story. Very cleverly done.
PamFord Davis 02/03/10
Creative article!
Tessy Fuller02/03/10
My favorite line was about shoving the remote up his nose. I really got a visual on that one.
Sarah Elisabeth 02/04/10
Congrats on your placing Kristi!