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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

TITLE: Trapped in Elementary School
By Betty Farrow


"Who said chivalry is dead?" I asked myself, trying not to think of the consequences this night could bring. Laughing inwardly at the situation, my mind was also whirling with possibilities that could prove to be more than embarrassing. I snapped back to hear what Mrs. Thomas was saying, “Don’t look, Mr. Jones.”

The last thing I wanted to do at that moment was look!

It had been a successful night. The sweet strands of music presented by the students still echoed in my ears. My part of the recital program had gone off without a hitch; my students had performed superbly. Success had been sweet, accolades rewarding, and I was ready to go home to my wife. Maybe that’s why I was not thinking about locked doors when Mrs. Thomas and I scurried down the hall to our cars parked at the back of the school.

Playfully, I pushed the back door open, made a bow at the waist, and with an exaggerated sweep of my arm, motioned for Mrs. Thomas to exit first. We were both laughing as we stepped out into the fenced-in play area that led to our vehicles, unaware that they locked the playground at night. Our cars were separated from us by a six foot fence topped with barbed wire and a locked gate. Shrugging our shoulders, we headed back to the door to walk around the school.

School doors are required to have crash bars for safety reasons. We had no trouble getting outside, getting back in was another matter. After banging on the door and yelling for a few minutes, we realized everyone was gone. We were trapped. Not being one to let a full dress suit stop me, I turned and told Mrs. Thomas that we would have to scale the fence.

“I’m in a dress, Mr. Jones,” she replied. “No way can I can go over that fence.”

Gazing at her well-groomed figure, I noted the short straight skirt and high heels. I also recalled meeting her big husband, and hastily assured her we could do this. I scaled the fence without any trouble, carefully swung my leg over the top, and made my way to ground on the other side.

“See, you can do it,” I encouraged. “Throw your stuff over to me, and I’ll walk over to my truck while you climb over.”

Having no other choice, Mrs. Thomas followed my lead. I stood a discreet distance from where she was scaling the fence busying myself at my truck. My heart sank when I heard her moan, “Oh no, I’m stuck!” Her clothing had caught on the barbed wire and she couldn’t get loose.

I told her to hang on, that I would come and help her.

“No, Mr. Jones.”

She was still worried about her dignity. I told her to keep talking, and I would back over to the fence and she could put her foot on my shoulder, stand up and release whatever was caught. I felt her right foot on my shoulder. It worked. But when she swung the other leg over the fence, “rip.” My heart sunk. I didn’t want to know what ripped.

I’m a white teacher in the ‘hood helping a black woman in torn clothes climb over a locked fence late at night. Just then my cell phone rang. I pulled it open to hear my wife exclaim, “Hi honey, what are you doing? Are you almost home?”

The police didn’t come, the newspaper reporters missed the event, and fortunately, not a citizen with a cell phone was around to record our escapade for the latest U-tube hit. But Mrs. Thomas and I were the hit of the teacher’s lounge the next day as we related the circumstances surrounding our night.

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This article has been read 325 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Author Unknown08/25/11
What a fun story :). Well done telling the story. Maybe watch the explaining- slip in the things the reader needs to know through subtle hints or dialogue. (like the doors locking automatically-- they tug at the door and one remembers, "they lock automatically" stuff like that) Whatever you can do to lessen the distance between the reader and the story helps. And the only other critique I have is that the ending felt a little abrupt. But, this is beginners and even the "masters" have trouble with that.

Good work. I enjoyed this.
Mary Toll08/25/11
I enjoyed your humorous adventure. I was impressed by your moment-by-moment descriptive chain of events. I appreciated your careful and humorous way this awkward incident provided reguarding adult content. It was refreshing.
Janice Fitzpatrick08/25/11
Yes, this is one of my favorites so far.:)Well done! I liked your sensitivity to what could have been a sensationalized story. Your characters were believable too. I know first hand, how embarrassing this could be, as a similar incident happened to me so many years ago. Unfortunately I had no one there to help me once I got my cuffed shorts caught on a barbed wire fence and then lost my balance-three times!! Yeooooooow!! Needless to say I had deep puncture wounds and needed some medical attention. Oh yes and a new pair of shorts.:)Live and learn!:)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/25/11
This is wonderful. You had me laughing throughout and it was a grerat picture in my head. I only have two tiny editing notes, make sure you start a new paragraph when a new person is thinking aloud or talking and you spelled Youtube wrong (although that might be okay because of licensing legalities) Great job and wonderful sense of humor. You really nailed the topic.
C D Swanson 08/26/11
Hahahahahha...I am laughing hysterically over this entry. I adored this one,it was filled with humor while keeping in line with the topic.

Good story, and nice job with the descriptive piece of it. God Bless~
Juliette Chamberlain-Bond08/28/11
It sounded a little like pride coming before a fall.
Doesn't that just happen such a lot in life.
This story certainly had the ring of truth about it, in which case I bet that you now check the 'exit' arrangements!

An enjoyable read.