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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Fruit (10/10/05)

TITLE: One for me, One for Nelly
By Jillian Hill


Sandy stood in front of the window watching the hustle and bustle of life pass by. Turning back to her store she smiled as the quiet enveloped her. No matter what the pace outside, in her world it was slow and comfortable just the way she liked it.

Hearing the bell ring as the door opened, Sandy hurried to the counter to be ready for her customer. The smile she had ready faded when she saw Walt Hampton standing patiently in the fruit aisle examining the apples. ‘Oh bother’ she thought to herself. Every day he would come in look the apples over and then he would pick two to buy. Each day he would say the same thing “One for me, one for Nelly”. Then he would wink and turn away.

Sandy promised herself each day she would not blush, but each time she failed miserably. Imagine a 70-year old woman blushing like a schoolgirl. Besides Walt was apparently a married man otherwise who was Nelly? As he walked to the counter Sandy steadied herself to meet his crystal blue eyes.

“Morning, Ms. Sandy. One for me, One for Nelly.” Walt winked at her. Sandy felt her face get hot as she hurried to give him change.

“Thank you for coming in Walt.” She mumbled as he turned away. ‘Good heavens, Lord I am too old for this nonsense. I have done well with just you for the last 50 years. I don’t need to be falling in love at my age. It is just not good for my heart, you know.’

Walt slowly walked down the street smiling. He liked Ms. Sandy. Pretty as a picture she was. If only he could think of something clever to say. “Lord, I’m lonely and I believe Ms. Sandy is a God fearing woman. Please open the door if this is the woman for me.”

On Sunday Sandy sat reverently on the fifth pew from the front waiting for the children’s program to begin. “Excuse me, may I sit next to you?” Sandy turned at the voice. Walt Hampton stood smiling at her in his Sunday finest. She scooted over to allow him room.

“I did not know you attended church here, “ she remarked.

“I attend down the street. The Newmans are my neighbors and their son Jimmy begged me to come today. So here I am.”

Sandy smiled, “Nelly did not come with you today?”

Walt chuckled and shook his head. “No. She normally does not attend church with me.”

“Has it always been that way?” Sandy questioned.

“Yes, I believe me and everyone else would remember if she came to church.” He started laughing.

Sandy was embarrassed “I am not sure what is so funny, Mr. Hampton.”

“Nelly in church.” Tears rolled down his face as he laughed harder. People turned to look at him. Sandy turned red all over.

“Really, Mr. Hampton you are a grown man.” Trying to compose himself Walt grabbed her hand.

“My dear Ms. Sandy I do believe it is time for you to meet Nelly.”

After the service Sandy stood in front of the pasture watching an old brown and white cow eat the apple Walt had insisted they stop and get. “This is Nelly?”

Walt grinned. “Yes ma’am. As you can see she would be memorable in church on Sunday.”

Sandy realized how silly her questions sounded earlier. She started chuckling at the thought of Nelly in church. Soon they were both laughing so hard they were holding their sides. Gaining her composure Sandy looked at Walt and tossed him an apple. “One for me, one for you, and one for Nelly.”

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This article has been read 1043 times
Member Comments
Member Date
D. Phenes10/17/05
I loved this story... It made me forget the topic until the end on there is one FRUIT for me, and one for NElly..
Yolanda Baker10/17/05
lovely story. romance should never die no matter what age!
Cassie Memmer10/18/05
Very cute. I thought it was going to be an old horse. Good job!
Garnet Miller 10/19/05
What an endearing story. I liked it!
Laurie Glass 10/20/05
I love this story - charming. I think it's among the best entries for Level 1 this week.
terri tiffany10/21/05
I love it. The characterswere so cute and real!They could be in a longer story by the great way you made me 'see' them!
janet rubin10/24/05
This was sweet, funny and so well-written. It definately deserves its place in the winner's circle. Sincere congratulations!
Donnah Cole10/24/05
Aaaahhh! How sweet! You captured well one's desire to be loved -- it doesn't pass with age! Congratulations!
Sally Hanan10/24/05
You should submit this to Mature Living magazine.
Deborah Porter 10/24/05
Jillian, congratulations on your 1st place in the Level 1 awards, and more importantly, on your 2nd place in the Editors' Choice. This was a treat of a read - quite delightful. Well done!

Now, take a deep breath, pack your bags and move on up to Level 2.

Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Karen Treharne10/27/05
Congratulations, Jillian. A sound beginning, a compelling middle, and a wonderfully funny end. All is in the hands of God - even at 70. You did a marvelous job very deserving of 2nd place. May God continue to bless your writing as you honor Him. Yours in His name, Karen
B Brenton10/28/05
Very humorous. A tad predictable (but I thought it was gonna be a horse!) Good job!
Deborah Porter 01/19/06
Hi Jillian.

I'm just preparing the winning entries for the latest FaithWriters' book and have just reached this delightful story. It really is a treat.

I do need a couple of things from you though.

First of all, I need a three to four sentence biography note, written in the third person. If you aren't sure what to say, it might be worth having a look at FaithWriters' Magazine (www.faithwritersmagazine.com) and check out any of the author bio notes at the end of the articles. It might help.

Once you've done that, just send an email to me at debporter@breathfreshair.org. I also need to send the edited version through to you - so will send it by reply. There is a little point of view problem with this story that needed to be fixed, and I want you to see what I mean before it goes ahead. It's basically the fact that we are in Sally's head for most of the story, but skipped briefly into Walt's mind about a third of the way through. So if you could send that email through to me, I'll explain more.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)