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

TITLE: The toast
By Geoffrey johnstone


How hard can it be?

The best man has three things to say. He must first toast the bridesmaids. He can then tell a funny story that extols the virtues of the bridegroom. Finally, he leads the assembled guests in wishing the happy couple a successful marriage.

We have rules. Rules that are suppose to protect us against embarrassing mistakes. Unfortunately somebody forgot to tell my best friend, Scott.


Perhaps it was the occasion. Perhaps it was the place. The rose garden was in full bloom under the Australian sun and love was in the air. Whatever it was it had turned a very sensible school teacher into an emotional wreck.

“Mate!” I replied nervously giving him the thumbs up sign.

Scott gathered his thoughts and reviewed his notes.


This time he held his arms open as if to embrace the whole world. Then he wiped his eyes with the back of his hand.


There are times when true friends can hold a conversation using only a single word.

Suddenly he found his theme. “You know Peter and Sue love each other so much I wouldn’t be surprised if they have a baby.”

From the corner of my eye I saw my 21 year old son lift his glass and cheer. Beside him my 17 year old daughter looked a picture of misery.

“He can’t.”

There was no mistaking the voice of my elderly mother. She had called me the night before to ask me one last time to call off the wedding.

“There’s a documentary on tonight about Russian mail order brides, my love.”

“Mum, she’s from Scotland.”

“It’s the same place, Peter.”

Scott watched as my mother cut the air with her fingers in a scissor like motion.

“Mate?” The best man's face appeared stricken with grief.

“Mate.” I shrugged my shoulders with resignation.

The next few moments were the longest 15 seconds of my life. My best friend slowly examined the faces in front of him until he found my beautiful bride. Susan returned his gaze with a polite smile that never wavered.

“Mate.” Scott was obviously searching for the right words. What he said next will go down in history.

“If there’s anything I can do to help – just call me.”

And that’s why my mother fainted at the wedding.

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This article has been read 452 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Theresa Santy 01/19/12
Laugh-Out-Loud funny! I have
nothing else to say except if this is a true story-- congratulations and I'm so sorry.

Great application of the theme.

Well done.

C D Swanson 01/20/12
This was so funny! I loved it. Great job of bringing the characters to life...It was well written and held my attention throughout.
Great job! God Bless~
Michele Fleming 01/20/12
Funny stuff!
Jenna Dawn01/20/12
Humorously embarrassing!

I have to say, I had a little bit of a time following who was speaking. Like the very first line of dialogue, "Maaate!" It is completely unknown who is saying that until a paragraph goes by and the narrator replies to him.

Also, it took me a while to figure out the narrator was the groom. Had I known, the first half of the story would have made a lot more sense. Don't forget that while you have the whole picture in your mind, the reader doesn't know anything that you don't reveal. Some readers might have assumed he was the groom, but maybe I'm just slow!

Don't forget to capitalize the main words in your title. It should be "The Toast". And one last thing. Don't be in a rush to get your story in. If you write it early in the week, let it sit a day or two and then reread it. You'll likely find ways to improve it. I reread, edit, revise and improve my story many times before entry.

Your story fit the topic perfectly. Nice job with your embarrassingly funny entry. ;)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/22/12
I enjoyed the beginning, it drew me in as I could picture humor was about to come.

I'm not sure if my brain was tired but I sensed there was a big punchline that went way over my head. But after reading it a third time it slowly crept in my mind that Mom fainted because the best man had offered his help in the baby-making details?

Even if I did miss a punchline, the picture you painted and the parts I did understand were great and you covered the topic in a fun way.
Linda Goergen01/23/12
This was so funny! If it’s a true story, I give not only you, but your bride credit for enduring the embarrassment from your best friend and your mother. Hopefully the marriage is a happy one! Well done.
diana kay01/25/12
i got confused with the "mate" as to who was who as well and maybe being a Brit I lost a bit of the twists and turns in the humour. I did like a few of the jokes though.... personally i would of liked a little more descriptive flesh on the bare bones of the dialogue.
C D Swanson 01/26/12
Congrats! God Bless~