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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Commitment (01/05/12)

TITLE: Perfect Ending to a Perfect Day
By Michele Fleming


She stood staring at her reflection as emotion threatened to overtake her. Lacey could not believe that today was the day…the day she was going to marry the love of her life. She had waited for so long and had made so many plans since the day Blake had asked her to be his wife. They had been trying to marry for three years now, the Army always getting in the way.

It seemed every time they would have things ready for “the big day”, the Army would decide it was time for Blake to ship out to some God forsaken part of the world. They would have to postpone and begin making changes once again. This time was going to be different, however. This time, nothing was going to stand in the way. Not even the thousands of miles, that separated them.

Stationed in Germany, Blake wasn’t scheduled to come home for another ten months and they just couldn’t wait that long. Lacey didn’t have another ten months. She was devastated to learn a few short weeks ago that she had stage-four breast cancer. The cancer had already spread to nearby organs and the doctors were calling her situation terminal.

After a few days of tears and calling out to God, Lacey broke down and called Blake. As soon as her words sank in, he took a deep breath and spoke.

“Marry me, Lacey.” He said as he gripped the receiver, in an attempt to steady the shaking of his hand.

“Blake, you don’t want to marry me now. What kind of marriage would that be? Besides, you are four thousand miles away!” Lacey replied, sounding utterly defeated.

“Babe, I know in my heart that this is a commitment that God wants us to make. We will make it work. You know it as well as I do that this is what God wants. It’s what he has always wanted—for us to be together.”

Through her sobs, Lacey agreed and they get to work making plans. After getting friends and family involved…and the US Army, they manage to set up a ceremony via Skype.

Lacey was still overwhelmed that Blake would want to marry her even though he knew there was no hope for a future together. But here she was, getting ready to walk down the aisle to marry the man that had been there for her years. Now, in her darkest hour, he is reaching across the European continent and the vast expanse of the Atlantic, to be there for her once again.

Lacey took a deep breath, beating back her nerves to a more manageable level, and took one last, long look at her reflection. The dress was perfect, her hair was perfect and walking to the window, she declared the day was perfect as well.

“Knock, knock” Lucy’s father said as he entered the room. “It’s time, honey.”

Lacey made her way from the room and she and her father walked arm-in-arm toward the sanctuary. Stopping outside the door, her father takes one last look at her, tears filling his eyes. Just then, the music began to play and the doors to the sanctuary swung open.

Lacey and her father began their trek down the aisle. Decorated so beautifully, the church overflowed with their family and friends, but Lacey saw nothing. Focused only on the computer perched on the table near the alter, she made her way toward the handsome and smiling face of her husband to be.

Decked out in his Army best, Blake watched as Lacey made her long walk, a brilliant smile never leaving his face. The ceremony began, but Lacey and Blake seemed to be oblivious to it all, never taking their eyes from one another…each reaching out occasionally to touch the screen before them.

“Signifying the commitment of one to another, we will now witness the giving and receiving of rings.”

Suddenly, the computer screen went blank.

“What happened?” Lacey asked, panic filling her voice.

She stood back as different ones worked trying to regain the signal. As she watched them, she caught movement out of the corner of her eye and turned to see Blake walking up the aisle toward her. She covered her mouth with her hand and let out a loud sob.

“You didn’t really think I wouldn’t be here did you?” Blake teased as he took her in his arms.

The day was indeed, perfect!

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This article has been read 385 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Judy Sauer 01/12/12
What a heaert warming story. I was very engaged with the dialogue. Chills tingled through me - and that's a good sign.
Kristine Baker01/12/12
Great story. I was brought into these lives and now I wonder how Lacey is doing.

Good writing!
Terry R A Eissfeldt 01/13/12
Very real to the moment scenario. Nice writing. Watch tense shifts (they always get me too)
Lillian Rhoades 01/13/12
I'd like to start where your story ends. Your story had a perfect ending! Blake represented the true meaning of commitment. Yes, I agree. you need to watch out for tense changes. For ex: "swung opened,"
Lillian Rhoades 01/13/12
I clicked too soon.:-) Watch out for sentence fragments and misplaced or unnecessary comma usage. I'm guilty as well.:-) For ex:

(Not even the thousands of miles, that separated them.)

The above is not a complete sentence, and there's no need for a comma after miles.
A very heartwarming story that needs a sequel.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/13/12
This is really sweet. I could picture it all. The beginning drew me in with the first sentence.

One thing I might suggest is too use more descriptive words. Really focus on showing the reader instead of telling. For example when describing how she looked you used the word perfect. Just by adding some details you can paint a picture for the reader. For example:
Her auburn hair was pulled back with tendrils framing her face while showcasing her cheekbones.

I did notice you did more showing as the story went on. Keep working at it, show vs tell is something most writers struggle with.

Though the ending was a tad predictable, I still think you did an outstanding job. Having the computer screen go black really highlighted the conflict. Outstanding job of incorporating the topic without being just another romance.
Nancy Bucca01/13/12
My favorite part of this was the ending. You did a beautiful job.
Jenna Dawn01/18/12
This is a lovely story. I, for one, was surprised and delighted by the ending. However, once the screen went blank, I figured it out, but still call it a surprise ending. ;)

I agree with the comma usage. There are way more than necessary.

When you use an ellipse ( . . . ) you need a space before, after and in between each dot (this is something I just learned!). And you might want to research the appropriate use of the ellipse just to make sure you are using them correctly. I think a comma would have worked fine in a few instances, or rewording might have been better. Try not to over use them (I love the ellipse, by the way!)

A few comments about the following section: “Marry me, Lacey.” He said as he gripped the receiver, in an attempt to steady the shaking of his hand.

There should be a comma after Lacey if you are continuing the sentence with "he said". However, a word of warning, while phrases like "he said", "she replied" or even "he bellowed" are common in good writing and accepted by many editors, faithwriter judges seem to prefer the omission of them. Simply stating the action of the speaker works in many cases. ("Come with me." Jason took her hand and drew her toward him.) However, I can't suggest an action for Blake in this scenario, because doing so changes the point of view. The rest of the story is told from Lacey's point of view up until Blake "took in a deep break and spoke".

You can tell this section from Lacey's point of view. Her experience in calling him, what she says to him between sobs, what she hears him say or do and how she responds. Keep the point of view on her and what she sees, hears, thinks, feels, etc.

You wrote a lovely story and I enjoyed reading it. Keep writing!

C D Swanson 01/19/12
Congratulations on your HR placement! God Bless~