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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Editor (05/27/10)

TITLE: Ultimately Edited
By Cindy Carver


Curled up on the couch with a glass of wine, Jane was enjoying a well deserved evening off. She got up to refill her glass.

“Shoot,” Jane grabbed her keys and headed for the door. As she opened the car door she weaved a little and fell into the seat. A fleeting thought that she shouldn’t be driving but she shrugged it off. It was only five miles to the local store, and she really would like another glass of wine. She had picked out two movies, and was only halfway through the first. Yes, another glass of wine would be perfect.

Just after she drove around a sharp corner, her vision blurred, then her head hurt, and she felt warmth on the side of her face traveling down her neck and arm. She tried to clear her vision, but all she saw was a spider web, which made no sense, so she tried to shake it off, but she couldn’t move. She blinked, and saw it wasn’t a spider web but her windshield was shattered, hanging together in little shards.

“Jane, you need to make a few changes,” she heard, as she blinked again. “Just a word here and there and your story will be altogether different. I think you will like it. First start with, ‘I have a problem’, then change this one to ‘no’, and I’ll erase that line. It will be better, trust me.”

Jane stared at her hand with the keys dangling from her pinky where she had been playing with them, then at the empty wine bottle, then at the phone. She blinked and picked up the phone, dropping her keys next to the empty wine bottle.

“Marsha? Hi, Jane, yeah, I know it’s late, but I needed someone to talk to.”

“I have a problem”

“No, I’m not hurt.”

“I was about to go out.”

“ Yeah, I’ve been drinking…yes, I know not to drink and drive. Just say ‘no’ right…but I think I have a…, a drinking problem.”

“I would like it if you came over.”

“Marsha, thanks.”

“I’m so glad you came over.” Jane said as she opened the front door. Her friend stood in the glow of the porch light looking at her.

“You know I’m here for you, anytime, day or night.” Marsha reached up and placed her hand on Jane’s shoulder. “That’s what friends are for, right? Before we talk, I’ve got to show you the most amazing thing I saw when I drove up. I know it won’t be there tomorrow, otherwise I wouldn’t bother, but I just thought it was amazing.”

“Sure Marsha…I’m just glad you’re here.” They stepped off the porch. “Should I grab a flashlight?”

“No, just wait there. Yeah, right in front of your car. I don’t see it now. I’ll just turn my headlights on.” Marsha turned on her headlights.

Jane started crying.

“What’s wrong Jane? I’m sorry, I thought it was beautiful.”

“Oh, it is.” They both looked at Jane’s windshield, and in front of the steering wheel was the most amazing spider web-- iridescent in the headlights.

“I have a story to tell you.” Jane said, still staring at the spider web.

“I think I almost died. It’s like someone edited the bad parts out and helped me say a few things I wouldn’t have said on my own. It’s changed my life. It’s better than I could have done alone. …and I know I’m not alone, I have you, and…well, come on in. I’ll make some tea and tell you my story. I know I sound crazy.” Jane looked at her friend. “Maybe I am going crazy. Why don’t you turn your headlights off and we’ll go in. I think it will make more sense after I tell you my story. “

Marsha stepped toward her car, “Jane, what’s happening? Look.” They both looked back at Jane’s car. The spider web was gone--vanished. They both stepped closer, but it was gone. They reached out their hands to touch the windshield, nothing, not a vestige of the beautiful web that was on it.

Then they both noticed steam rising off the car’s hood.

Marsha touched the hood. “It’s warm. I thought you didn’t go anywhere.”

“I’m really not sure anymore.” Jane looked at her friend.”I think I’ve just been given another chance.”

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This article has been read 355 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharon Eastman06/04/10
Creatively and interestingly written story. You tied an important issue with the topic. I enjoyed it.
Maria Egilsson06/04/10
Engaging story with a timely message. Reading the story I noticed a lot of comma and re-working some of the sentences would make this even more powerful. Very good job.
Dusti (Bramlage) Zarse06/04/10
What a mighty God we serve!
Mildred Sheldon06/06/10
What a beautiful story and your title was frosting on the cake. Superbly written. Thank you and God bless.
Nancy Sullivan 06/07/10
This is an important message for so many, and it is so well written. Good job.
Karlene Jacobsen06/07/10
Good premise here. Great subject matter. I felt a bit lost when reading. Perhaps a little more showing of what Jane sees (scenery, engage all the senses) will help engage the reader.
Jan Ackerson 06/08/10
Lots of great suspense and tension in this story--well done!

Other than the title, I really don't see a connection to the topic of 'editor'. The stretch of dialogue in the middle was confusing--perhaps separating Jane's speech snippets with ellipses rather than quotation marks would make it clearer that the reader is only hearing her part of the conversation.

I applaud you for tackling a difficult and important issue, and in an unflinching manner.