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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Time-consuming (02/24/11)

TITLE: The Shawl
By Sharon Eastman


Little four-year-old Hali slammed the door and ran into her grandmother’s house. She jumped onto the traditional flowered sofa and sat next to her cuddly Grandma, Patty. “What are you up to, Pumpkin?” asked Patty. “Shouldn’t you be outside on this sunny day?”

“I came in because all the other kids had to go in. They were swinging, but I can’t do it.” Tiny droplets filled her blue eyes.

“Pumpkin, I’ll teach you how to swing. You pump and I’ll push. See, it’s easy once you get the hang of it.”

“But you’re busy with something. What is it?” Hali’s long blonde locks shimmered as she talked.

“It’s called crocheting. It’s fun and relaxing to me.”

“Cro-chet-ing. How do you do it, and what are you making?”

“First of all, see this tool. It’s called a crochet hook. I join loops together, and they make a pattern.” Patty pushed her glasses closer to her eyes.

“Loops! It looks like lace.”

“Yes, the loops form a pretty pattern, Pumpkin.” Hali’s interest and curiosity surprised Patty.

“What are you making, Grandma?”

“I’m making a shawl for cousin, Erin’s wedding trousseau.”

“Now, Grandma, what’s a trousseau?”

“My, you’re full of questions today. A trousseau is a set of clothing worn on a honeymoon.”

“Well, what you’ve done sure is pretty.” She caressed the yarn while saying, “I like the pink with the white.”

“Yes, it took me a while to find the pattern and colors. I think they’re pretty, too.”

“It’s pretty, but it doesn’t look like a shawl yet. My mommy has one, and it’s big and long.”

“Pumpkin, it will be big and long in about two months – just in time for the wedding. It just takes time, that’s all.”

Patty laid down her crocheting and wrapped her arms around Hali. As she kissed her, she said, “You’re very pretty, too, Pumpkin.” Their cuddling was interrupted by the ringing of the phone. Patty answered it and was surprised to hear her gossipy sister-in-law, Donna, on the line.

“Hi, Patty, Have you heard the latest?” There was no “how are you;” she went straight for the dirt.

“No, Donna, I haven’t.

“Erin and Justin might call their wedding off!”

“Oh, no! I’m in the middle of making a gift. What happened?”

“Justin’s not sure if he wants to be a Christian and live the Christian life.”
“That’s terrible! Erin has been so devoted to Christ all her life. And, she comes from a Christian home.”

“Now that’s something I didn’t know. I knew she went to church, but I didn’t think she was a goody two shoes.”

“Being a Christian is not being a goody two shoes. It’s about having your sins forgiven and having a relationship with Christ.”

“Don’t preach to me. I went to church Sunday, too. In fact that’s where I met Sandy, Erin’s neighbor, who told me about this.”

Patty pictured the two of them talking, gloating over the sad news. “Well, it’s best if they break up now instead of living a miserable life or having a painful divorce later.”

Donna added, “All Justin wants to do is party and blow money. He’s not interested in the Bible or church anymore.”

“Didn’t Erin know this before everything went so far? She knows from scripture not to be unequally yoked.”

“I heard Justin hid his true self. He was so in love with Erin. He tried being a Christian, but he deceived everyone – just like Satan.”

“Donna, I must go now. Hali, my granddaughter is here.”

“Okay, Patty, I thought you might like that tidbit of information.”
“I hate to hear about someone’s misery. But, I need to know. They’ll be in my prayers. Good bye,” and a distressed Patty hung up the phone.

Hali looked at her grandma and saw the painful look in her eyes. “What’s the matter, Grandma? You look sad.”

“I’m a little upset, Pumpkin. Aunt Donna said, “reported,” that Erin and Justin were having problems. They might call off the wedding.”


“Because Justin doesn’t love Jesus as much as Erin does.”

“Oh, that is sad! What are you going to do with the shawl now?”

“Give it to you when you grow up – for your honeymoon trousseau,” Patty said as a smile crossed her face. “I’ll probably be done with it by then.”

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This article has been read 560 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mary Toll03/04/11
This piece was tight, and you did an awesome job using dialogue to progress your story. The gossiping was a nice touch too, for added grief to a real Christian life situation.
Bonnie Bowden 03/04/11
It is sad, how some people thrive on the unhappiness of others.

I bet the shawl was beautiful.
diana kay03/05/11
clever story and so many levels, the lovely relationship between grandma and child and the crochet and the gossip all time consuming in their own way.
Rachel Phelps03/06/11
I love your concept here. Some of the dialogue felt a little stilted - try reading it out loud to see if it flows like a normal conversation. Really great idea for this topic.
Bryan Rudolph03/13/11
Ok, . . . no descriptives, no strong characterization, no moving storyboard . . . but, the dialogue brought me there, and made me listen, and come away from it all, with heart comforted by the visit. Oh, you know how to write alright . . . most certainly, you do. Keeping the dialogue, but adding more adjectives and adverbs . . . you know what I am saying . . . is going to put color to the canvass, and bring out brightly, the outline your dialogue has so deftly drawn.