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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Once in a Blue Moon (01/06/11)

TITLE: The Gift
By Megan Sayer
01/08/11


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The staccato click of Pam’s heels on the lino echoed too loudly in the emptiness of her spirit. Angie’s letter sat unopened on the kitchen table where Reg sat with a mug of tea resting in his chipped and stained hands. His eyes were hooded under drooping brows. Pam couldn’t tell what he was thinking. Click click click. Pam tripped across to take his dirty plate. Click click. She ran the water in the sink for the second time that morning and washed it, wiping her hands on her striped apron. The sun shone in the kitchen window, already hot and accusing.

They don’t care. Pam’s lipsticked smile twisted into a grimace as she caught sight of the letter again. She shifted her body sideways, trying to block it out of her vision. Reg stood up and brushed the toast crumbs off his old painting jumper onto the floor. He stood back, hands clasped, as Pam bustled over to sweep them. He opened his mouth as if to say something then closed it quickly, reached for his cigarettes and shuffled out the back door. Pam sighed, straightened Reg’s chair and set the table ready with the lunch dishes before washing up his mug.

Pam picked up the letter again, hesitated, then propped it up on the bench near the toaster. She was still standing staring at it when Reg returned some minutes later. His lined face wore an uncertain smile and he looked down at the floor as he handed her freshly picked bunch of his prized peony roses. ‘For you, Love”.
The tears burned in Pam’s eyes. “What? What’s this for?”
“For you, Love”, Reg repeated stoically. “I ah…don’t tell you enough I guess, but today’s as good a day as any for a once-in-a-blue-moon”.
Pam looked up into the blue eyes she’d rarely taken the time to see any more. Reg smiled at her.
“Put the kettle on Love, let’s open that letter”.


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This article has been read 237 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Nichole Hall01/13/11
I really want to know what's in that letter!!! Did I totally miss who it was from?!

I liked how you used small details to bring attention the piece. The clicking of the shoes, the red lipstick...etc.

It seemed to me that you've only given us a glimpse as to what is really going on in this relationship. The way you described their body language and hesitant dialogue made me think they didn't get along very well. And maybe somehow this letter would either bring them together or tear them apart. Not sure if that's what you meant, but that's what I got from it :)
Nichole Hall01/13/11
I think I made up the 'red' lipstick, but that's what I pictured...so I went with it. Sorry!
Nancy Bucca 01/13/11
You draw the kind of word pictures that really tug at the heart. The fact he brought her flowers at the end made me want to cry.
I love the message behind it.
How true that those blue moon times shine the brightest in our times of greatest fear - or sorrow - or whatever feelings provoked by the sight of that letter.
Lillian Rhoades 01/13/11
ur title suggests you wanted the reader to focus on Reg's 'once in a blue moon" gift (sorry if'm wrong).

Instead, I was forced to focus on what Reg said at the end. "Let's open that letter." Leaving the reader in suspense works well sometimes, but I'm not sure in this case. There were two themes here - the gift and the letter. Which one was the take away "power point?"

Loved your descriptive writing and realistic dialogue.
Lillian Rhoades 01/13/11
Let's do this again.:-)


Your title suggests you wanted the reader to focus on Reg's "once in a blue moon" gift (sorry if I'm wrong).

Instead, I was forced to focus on what Reg said at the end. "Let's open that letter." Leaving the reader in suspense works well sometimes, but I'm not sure in this case. There were two themes here - the gift and the letter. Which one was the take away "power point?"
Nanci Rubin01/14/11
Wonderful imagery that sets the 'scene'. A good dose of tension between the woman and man and a nice touch at the end by his bringing her flowers. Good job. Think the letter did require them both to be there...
Verna Mull01/15/11
This left me with a lot of questions, which has some merit too, I guess. I'd have liked a little more information of just what was going on.