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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bon Voyage (09/05/05)

TITLE: Good-bye
By Jessica Schmit
09/07/05


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“One more picture with your mother!” Kim’s dad excitedly shouted to her above the roar of the busy crowd at the airport terminal.

“Dad, please. It’s not like I’m dying or anything. Enough pictures.”

“One month is a long time honey. Any time a daughter of mine is gone longer than a week it’s picture worthy.”

Flash.

“How embarrassing,” Kim muttered under her breath.

“Now did you remember to bring your toothbrush?”

“Yes mom. I brought my toothbrush, toothpaste and the whole medicine cabinet is in my bag. Loosen up, it’s just one month. I will come home.”

“I can’t believe you’re already sixteen. The years have just flown by. I remember when you’re mother had to do this penguin walk because she was so pregnant…”

“Oh, dad please don’t demonstrate again. The last time someone thought you were having a seizure.”

“You’re going to love the program hon. The dance schedule will be grueling, but you’l1 learn so much. I’m so glad you have this opportunity.

“Thanks mom, I know I’ll have a terrific time. Oh, please don’ cry.”

“I can’t help it. The house is going to feel so empty with you gone. “

“I have to agree with your mother. We’re really going to miss you sweetie, but we’re so proud of you. Here, I have a gift for you.”

“Dad, you didn’t have to gee me anything.”

Kim carefully unwrapped the satin pink paper and opening the little green velet box. Sitting exquisitely on a little white pillow was a sterling sliver set of ballet shoes which hung delinquently from a silver chain.

“Oh dad, it’s gorgeous.”

“Now, you have to remember us while you’re dancing you’re days away down there.”

“How could I forget you two…I think I just heard my flight number being called. Well mom, dad, this is it. I love both of you so much! And don’t worry, I’ll call and write and do all the good daughter things.”

Kim gave her parents one last big hug and headed through the secretly gate, stopping and waving one last time at her forlorn parents. Two sets of hands waved back.

“How are we going to handle her leaving for college?”

“I don’t know Sheila. I don’t want to think about it. Come on. Let’s go home.”



Kim made herself as comfortable as could on. Airplanes always made her a little nervous. She pulled out her journal and begin documenting her new journey. She glanced up and made eye contact with another passenger who looked like he shared her fear of flying. His dark eyes pierced into hers. She quickly looked away. The stewardess came offering refreshments. She gratefully accepted a cup of water and tried to focus on her writing. Her parents wanted to hear every moment about her trip.

She brushed her fingers against her new gift around her neck. As quirky as her dad was, she loved and admired him more that any other guy she’d ever known.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

“Greg!” Sheila’s voice rang out in terror. “Come here. Oh God, no, please no…”
Sheila stared at the television in utter shock as her eyes tried to process all the information she was seeing.

She was staring at a frantic reporter who was anxiously reporting facts about a terrorist attack. The camera cut to two burning buildings-the Twin Towers had been hit.

“Kim…That’s Kim’s flight.” Sheila crumbled to the ground. Shock prevented her tears from flowing, her words from speaking.


This story is dedicated to all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 09/12/05
Oh, so sad! Really points out the fleeting quality of life, and our need to be ready. Adding descriptions of action to some of your lines of dialog will help the reader to keep track of who is speaking. Thanks for this timely story.
B Brenton09/13/05
Forgive me if I'm wrong - but isn't this one of those stories without a Christian angle? It wouldn't have hurt to throw in something about faith or love from our creator as well. Or if it's from a non-Christians point of view, put a disclaimer.
Otherwise... a little overdone but you know, sad and all...
sandra snider09/14/05
watch use of you're and your. Your mother, not you're mother. (you're is a shortened version of you are.) I think there were a couple of incorrect uses of you're in this article. Do a spell check before posting; a little sloppy with grammar. My first thought when I finished reading the story was I wondered if this was fact or fiction. Maybe it's just me, but it's frustrating to me as a reader if I don't know if something is fact or fiction. If this was a true story, perhaps a little addendum at the end could explain that. I loved the part of daddy walking like a penguin and people thought he was having a seizure! Nice little humor, there.
sandra snider09/14/05
Iforgot to mention:
gee me anything. secretly gate. don' These are areas that need to be cleaned up.
Linda Watson Owen09/16/05
You did a wonderful job with the dialogue in this. I really liked your characters. The end was a shocker--just as it would have been in real life. Really good job! (delinquently-delicately?)
Deborah Porter 09/21/05
Amber, this was a very good story and as I was acting as a Level 1 judge for this particular Challenge, I can tell you that it was really only some of the grammatical things that let your story down. In fact, I made a note on my rating sheet to make a point of encouraging you.

If you can find someone to proof-read your work before you submit it, that would be great. Quite often our brains trip over the errors in our own work, while it's still fresh. We know what it should say, so the brain fills in the gap. That's why we can go back to something we wrote weeks later and see a whole lot of mistakes that we didn't notice the first time around. That's where a fresh pair of eyes can be a wonderful blessing.

Now just on another point, one of the comments was that you didn't come from a Christian angle - but the commenter doesn't quite understand what that challenge requirement is asking for. Entries don't have to mention God, Christ or the bible in any way. But they should reflect a Christian view of life. In other words, the heroes or main characters shouldn't be seen as doing the wrong thing and getting away with it. Your story presented a loving family that was devastated by the events of that terrible day. So please, if you were at all concerned that you may have done the wrong thing, please put your mind at rest - and please, most importantly, keep writing! Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Christine Rhee09/23/05
Your dialogue is great. I agree that intermittent description of what's happening would be helpful. Good twist at the end--it's something all of us can relate to, I think.
Kenny Blade11/15/05
Amber, you just proved again that you are tapping into what I truly believe is a real gift. Don't let the grammar stuff get you down - it's obvious you "brain-write" as i call it. When you get an idea and get started, it starts pouring out faster than you can keep up. I have a hole on my keyboard where my spell check is... please keep writing as I really enjoy your work. ( By the way, I finally got the nerve to send something in to the writer's challenge to. Muncher