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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Century or Centuries (02/17/11)

TITLE: Nightfall
By Megan Starbuck
02/19/11


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Only one lamp lit the whole house. I sat beside it with boxes scattered all around. I wanted to wind down after the long day's unpacking.

I had found the journal in a far corner of the small, musty attic while putting my winter items in storage. Climbing down the ladder with it tucked beneath my arm, I considered whether it was wrong to read it.

The previous owner, a widow, had died about a year earlier. I supposed if it were hers, she wouldn't mind my reading it. So, there, nestled on my couch, I opened the old, brown journal.

The first page held a masculine handwriting in which these words were written:

Martha,
Record only what you want to remember.
Love, Pa

The widow's name had been Anne, but I was still compelled to read on. I hoped and imagined that Martha wouldn't mind.

I gently turned the crisp, yellowed page.

The next was dated Feb. 18, 1911 and had a few brown spots dotting it.

As I read entry after entry, laughter excaped my lips and even a lump crept to my throat at one point. I saw what it was like for Martha and her family and neighbors to live at that time.

Although in many ways I was reading about a different world, I also felt the commonality between our lives in experiencing joys and pains.

Suddenly I didn't feel so alone.

Hours passed before I finally closed the book. I sat for a moment reflecting on all I'd just read. Then I moved across the room and stepped onto the porch to look at the stars.
Returning inside, I locked the door and trudged to bed with a yawn. Before closing my eyes, I pulled out my own journal and wrote the date at the top.

Feb. 19, 2011

I've often wondered how much--or even if--the way I live my life today would matter in a hundred years. In some seemingly small way, I think it will.


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This article has been read 237 times
Member Comments
Member Date
diana kay02/25/11
interesting.... i like the way the character made the journal her own, there were some unanswered questions in my mind that left me a little puzzled.
Helen Curtis02/25/11
I really enjoyed this story, and only wish that there was a bigger word count to expand it further. A really great concept that was enjoyable to read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/27/11
I liked how reading one diary inspired the mc to write in her own. You showed her love of reading and theist for knowledge. I think your story would have been even better if you had shown the reader some of the diary entries. But you created a charming character and did a nice job with the topic.
Bonnie Bowden 02/28/11
The main character was very likeable. I'm glad you showed the reader how important journaling is.
Charla Diehl 03/02/11
This was a nice slice of life in the day of the MC. I too, would have enjoyed a more detailed glimpse into what was contained in the diaries. All in all, good job--definitely keep writing, and journaling.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/03/11
Congratulations on ranking 11th in level 1!