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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Grrr! (01/28/10)

TITLE: Judge Erskine's Daughter
By Maria Kana Santos


Zec Stone grunted, “Grrr!”

Goaded by taunts of faint hints of perfection in human nature!

Pristine minds such as Mr. Stone’s, regarded the society of such human nature, contemptible! Condescending outburst lost his words—words copious in his mouth—articulated instead a, “Grrr!”

Letting out a series of contained annoyance, Zec folded his arms in front of him. He freed them, waved his hand in the air, and then dropped them slapping his sides. He paced to and fro. The grand parlour contained enough room for what seemed miles he’d one-man marathoned.

His long-legged treads on the azure carpet produced dust behind him. The first ray of western sun beamed gentle orange light into the French-laced curtains-- casting shadows on the Edwardian choicest furniture. He had intended to vent his vexation in the library with, “W. Cowper’s Treasury.” But as soon as he arrived, a settee in the parlour looked more settling than Cowper’s.

Hisses almost took on snaking out the coiled annoyance within him. “Grrr,” with a few jolting words beating from his heart-- rising rapidly--loud enough to echo in the room. His voice thundered like an accomplished opera singer. The vibration in his libretto bounced within the walls of the parlour. Words escaped like a well-trained steed-- mounted, galloped at a full speed.

An Englishman by decent, Zec’s agility composed a tongue of a wealth of pristine vocabulary.

“Grrr!” He let out the fourth one. Colour deepened on his cheeks.

His hearers counted.

“Looks like your visit with Judge Erskine fell to nought.” Zec’s mother did not mean to jest. She was curious to hear how it all went.

“Come sit, and regale me about any good side of your visit.”

Zec confounded even the eloquence of the prudent in the way he behaved. His mother knew him so well for twenty-seven years. She would have turned him on her knees for a life-changing spanking if he were seven. But saved her words of wisdom for later--when Zec was cool-headed.

“Zecky, did you have a lovely chat with Ruth?” Lottie’s long braids dangled as she sat on Zec’s lap.

Zec coloured and said, “I almost did.”

“She wasn’t there?” Lottie surmised innocently. Pity came over her for her oldest handsome brother.

“Lottie, you little curious munchkins,” he paused, tugged a gentle pull on his sister’s braids.

“There were others visiting.” His colour deepened. A disdainful, “Hrmph!” fastened his lips. At which Zec chose the deep sigh than another surly, “Grrr”.

“Hmmm,” acquiesced Mrs. Stone at who might be “visiting”. She was sure that Judge Erskine’s daughter could make a perfect Godly daughter-in-law. Her eyes twinkled at the prospect. Every well-to-do matchmaking mother at church thought so too, for their own sons.

“Lottie, dear, time for supper,” interrupted Mrs Stone. She stood and ventured a gentle tap on Zec’s shoulder and said, “Father just came in from his study, we must not keep him waiting.”

The following week, the church choir commenced practice for Easter. Zec straightened at his pew and threw glances towards the sopranos. His heartbeat danced with confident lift. Tenors usually sat next to the sopranos.

“I need a tenor soloist to accompany us in, “Calvary’s Mercy,” announced Mrs. Siggs. Satisfied, she liberally scanned the faces from where a good number of choristers sat.

“Ehem,” keyed-in a baritone-speaking voice from the men’s side. A marvellous tenor, an Earl-like stance possessed him-- sat straighter, yet continued looking at his music sheet. He was sure he could sing high C.

“Mr. Zecky Stone, can you do this part?” said Mrs. Siggs.

Brilliant! Zec thrilled at the choice made. But flinched at how the misfortune of a permanent, invisible pet-nametag pinned on him. Aunty Dottie Siggs had never gripped her grrr-ing nature-- so aggravating, to never dub him that!

Grrr, how insulting! A miserable pout nearly caught up. Ruth Erskine saved him with a smile.


Visiting with Judge Erskine’s daughter became frequent. Zec eyed the church “farmer-boy,” Aaron, with condescending animosity. He harrumphed crossly at such nature of a suitor. He was sure farmer-boy would never get ahead in courtship with Ruth!


Judge Erskine’s messenger bestowed from his hand an elegant silver envelop. He laid it on Zec Stone’s hand.

1, September 1877, 10:00 am.

Judge and Mrs. Erskine

Mr. and Mrs James Weaver


The honour of your presence at the marriage ceremony of

Ruth Erskine and Aaron Weaver


Receptions at Judge Erskine Estate

Special Song By:

Mr. Zechariah Stone


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Member Comments
Member Date
Marie Fink02/04/10
You have an interesting turn of phrase. At times you paint a great picture with simile and metaphor such as these: "His voice thundered like an accomplished opera singer." "The vibration in his libretto bounced within the walls of the parlour." And at other times, it's awkward and difficult to understand, as if you are using certain words for the first time with the nuance slightly off. Overall, I was compelled to read this piece a few times and gain something new each time. Keep writing.
Kate Oliver Webb 02/09/10
I admire your attempt to show your MC's haughtiness by using haughty, old-fashioned vocabulary. However, I agree with the above: the misused words overshadowed the story itself, unfortunately. You have a talent, and obviously enjoy writing. Keep working!
Lyn Churchyard02/09/10
Ahh, the male ego. Reading this was almost like watching a Jane Austen novel. The first ray of western sun I think perhaps should have been the last rays of the western sun as you mentioned supper being ready shortly afterwards.
One or two slight changes in phraseology would really make this shine.
I enjoyed your entry very much, you captured your MC's pomposity beautifully. Well done.
Tessy Fuller02/12/10
I really liked the overall storyline but I also was a bit overwhelmed with the amount of detail thrown into each and every line. I can see that you have a great talent though. It was just very unique and I felt myself going back to a different time.