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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Eek! (02/25/10)

TITLE: Me: A Natural Disaster
By Daniel Kane


This is the final straw. I will accept I'm responsible for some things, but this is the limit. It's not my fault!

Perhaps I should explain what's going on.

In my life I have been called many names. The Monkey. The Great Tree-Climber. The Pest. The Clown. All these and more have been stuck onto me. And though I don't mind most of them, some I'm not so crazy about. Things like Natural Disaster. Butterfingers. Ham-Handed. Unfortunately for me, I was given these names for the simple reason that glass and pottery objects have a tendency to disintegrate when I step into the room.

The first such disaster I can remember happened when I was only about five years old. I was staying in a little cottage, and being my silly self was playing around near a window. Big mistake. The smashing of glass and my anguished cries brought Mum on the scene soon enough. She plastered my arm up and comforted me, and in just a few minutes I was romping about again. To show I was sorry I had to pay a token amount of money to the cottage owners. The scar on my elbow that originated from that incident has remained with me all my life, as a constant reminder for me to keep away from breakable objects.

I guess that scar did a good job, since I don't recall any other window incidents. That's not to say that I didn't have my share of going into the road and trying to bowl the batter out in cricket. It's just that the ball always guided itself to a nearby tree, the duck-pond, or perhaps the occasional chimney. I have, however, experienced an annoyingly large number of shattered bowls, plates, mugs, and so on. I'm carrying a mug of tea to dad when "Whoops!” it plunges to the ground. I'm taking a pile of dirty soup bowls to be washed up when “Yikes!” they do an impromptu free-fall to the concrete floor below, forcing me to waste an hour or so pain-painstakingly picking up every ten-million slivers of pottery. I've experienced enough other such incidents to be very careful around breakable utensils, in particular those horrible things known as grenades.

That's just my name for those clear cups that some people drink from and call “glasses”. I know better. I can't count how many 'grenades' have shattered simply as a result of being in my vicinity. You'd think that I would get used to these explosions, but every time it happens it finds a way to shock me. Of course, I steer well clear of such dangers to human health, but for some reason other people feel that a table with 'grenades' on it is traditional. Silly, I call it. No sooner have I picked up the dreadful items than they spring from my grasp and, with a look of sheer ecstasy on their glassy faces, take a lethal leap into freedom. Aaaaghh!

Naturally, I have learned what to do on such an occasion: keep bare feet out of the room, get a broom, and sweep the whole blast area. Then, once absolutely certain that no shards are lying in wait, ready to slide out of some corner just in time to be trodden on, dump the whole lot in a bag and stick it somewhere safe. Over the years, as I become more careful, such incidents are becoming less frequent.

But now it seems that I've back-slidden. It was just as surprising to me as it was to everybody else, so why are they complaining so much? It was rather shocking, I suppose, but even so. I mean, how was I to know that you don't try your hand at ten-pin bowling next to the Hall of Mirrors?

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This article has been read 246 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 03/05/10
Outstanding voice--very well-written piece.

The only teeny thing I'm wishing for is something more to anchor this in time and place.

But seriously? I love this. So very well done.
AnneRene' Capp03/08/10
Loved your ending. Made me lol :)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/09/10
This was amusing. I found myself chuckling at some of your descriptions. I, too am a klutz and understand your story a bit too well.