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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Feel (emotions) (08/26/10)

TITLE: A Typical Day for Mr. Happy
By Holly Hoell
08/31/10


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Dale’s alarm went off for the third time. He smacked the off button as his mind filled with dread imagining the impending day of work. Grumbling he crawled out of bed; pushing onward to avoid another browbeating from his boss. He took five steps on his soft bedroom carpet, squish; something cold and slimy oozed up between his toes. Perfect, the dog vomited on the carpet!

Doing the best he could, Dale scooped up most of the vomit with paper towels and newspaper. He heard his wife roll over in bed as he was leaving the room. It must be nice to sleep until 7AM each morning. He set up the coffee maker. A cup of coffee and a shower, that’s what I need!

He stepped into the shower; it felt good. He lifted his head and let the water pour over his face. Suddenly, the water dropped down to a slow drizzle. Angrily he began to reason what was taking place. Mid grumble, he realized the new lawn sprinklers had come on. Who set those sprinklers to go off at this time? When I set them up, they weren’t like that! He finished showering, dried off, and quickly got dressed. Putting on his shoes, he noticed his socks didn’t match -- who would notice anyway.

Grabbing a mug, he lifted the carafe. It seemed light and he realized that all the water was still in the filter section. Stupid coffee maker! He fiddled with it until it drained into the carafe. After pouring a cup, he took a large swig of coffee and grimaced. It was very strong and gritty. He could hear his wife, Janice, singing in the shower. How is she so happy in the morning?

He gave his wife a kiss goodbye, told her about the vomit, and headed out into the ocean of commuters. After numerous dirty looks and many near encounters with road rage, Dale arrived at his office. He punched in and realized he was a minute late. Turning to go to his desk, he almost bumped into his boss, Mr. Bleary.

“Do we need to have another talk about being on time Dale? We have a big shipment to complete by the end of the day. I may need you to stay late tonight.”

“Mr. Bleary, I cannot stay late tonight. I have plans with my wife. I will work through my lunch period if that will help.”

“Fine Dale,” he replied, “but remember, performance reviews are coming up in a few months. I need to know that I can count on you to step up when asked.”

Dale worked very hard all day, barely taking time to wolf down a sandwich. He drove home in bumper-to-bumper traffic and was exhausted when he arrived. Janice had a nice dinner ready for him, which he happily devoured. “It is about time to go,” she said with a sweet smile on her face.

“What if we rent a movie and watch it instead of going out?” he asked.

“Honey, I really want to go to this with you. The Christmas play is only once a year.”

Reluctantly, he drove to the church. They found a seat, but a woman with colossal hair sat in front of him. The pungent odor of perfume permeated the already stuffy sanctuary. “The things I do for my wife; she is so lucky to have me!” This thought made him smile as he looked at her. She smiled back, He is doing good. He’s so blessed that I pray for him every day! The woman in front of Dale left to visit the bathroom. Two girls behind him said in chorus “wow I can see”.

By the end of the play, tears were pouring down Janice’s face. She felt like her heart would burst! The presence of God was so thick in the room that you would have to be dead not to feel it. She looked over at her husband and noticed he had a blank look on his face.

How is this possible? She wanted to pinch him but refrained. How does he not get it! On their way out, he breathed a sigh of relief that the ordeal was over. Still, she seemed a little agitated. He put his arm around her and said, “That was nice, I am glad we went.” They hugged and went home both satisfied that their mate was happy.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/04/10
This was an interesting POV. You did a great job of describing how many marriages are on the inside.
Author Unknown09/04/10
your title drew me in. I stayed with it because of the snarky 'tude of mr. happy. (I know it too well.) I like the dark humor of it-- not sure if that's the best way to say it- it's funny but it's also brooding.. anyhow.

things to watch for (because you'll be moving up soon, imo)- you shouldn't jump POV's within the same piece w/o separating out the scenes with dashes or extra spaces-- I think in one paragraph, we were inside both the MC's head & his wife's. And just general punctuation/grammar mechanics that kind of thing. (you know like the millions I'm breaking here)

keep writing, you won't be in beginner's long :)