Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)
TITLE: Replacing What I Can
By Elizabeth Cain
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A few minutes later Mom did finally come, and she soon learned about the incident. On the way home she scolded me for being so rambunctious around fragile objects—and indoors nonetheless. I could only tell her that I was sorry. And I really was. But sorry couldn’t replace the broken vase.
Fifteen minutes later we were home. My little sister, Abby, greeted us eagerly. I guess she missed me last night. I didn’t feel much like talking, though. So my sister talked for both of us. She asked for details of what Kendra and I did last night. When I told her all there was to tell, Abby started talking about the children’s writing contest I’d entered in. She seemed convinced I’d win, but I’m not too sure. Of course I’d like to win, but I’ve won anything in my life. Least of all money. And first place got one hundred and fifty dollars! In my twelve year old mind that was a fortune. I’d be able to buy that fancy painting kit I’d been saving up for, and have plenty left over for other supplies. My skills with a paintbrush were none too shabby. In fact, many of my paintings were hanging on my room. And all my friends adored my handiwork, but my old paints were nearly gone. I needed a new set if I was going to paint more masterpieces.
The next morning, as I ate breakfast, Mom handed me a rather large envelope. It looked very professional, and I opened it very, very carefully. The printing company had replied about the short story I’d entered. My jaw dropped; I could hardly believe what I was reading. I’d placed third! My Mom was real happy for me, and my sister was so ecstatic you’d have thought she’d won.
I strutted merrily through the craft store, twenty-five dollars richer. Soon I located the kit, and I proudly presented it to Mom. The kit cost thirty-five dollars, but the combination of my savings and the contest money totaled to almost fifty dollars. The kit was as good as mine. With the broadest smile I’d ever had in my life, Mom and I headed for the checkout.
As we waited in line I noticed a rack that held a variety of unpainted vases. I remembered the patterns of the old vase, so perhaps I could decorate one of those plain vases with my new set of paints and give it to my Aunt to replace the one I’d broken. I hurried over to the rack and found one that looked almost exactly like the other one. My heart sank as I looked at the price tag. The vase was Forty-eight dollars. There was no way I’d be able to buy both. Maybe I could paint my aunt a picture instead. I glanced down at kit, and then up at the vase. Aunt Rebecca hadn’t demanded I replace the broken vase, and I really wanted those paints. Running my hand over the kit, I imagined the feel of the brushes in my hand and the flow of the paint on paper. I turned back to Mom, my decision made.
My sister greeted Mom and I enthusiastically as we stepped inside. Her huge eyes locked on the large bag I was carrying, and I let her see its contents. A simple, white vase would soon be decorated with the bits of paints I had left. I can’t replace all that was lost of my Grandmother’s vase, but I can replace at least part of it. And so I will.
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