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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

TITLE: Creepy Guy
By Darleen Coon


“What a perfect Spring day to have lunch in the park,” Emily sighed with longing while looking out her office window.

So at noon, she grabbed her sandwich, drink, and Kindle and practically skipped the block to the park.

Choosing a bench in the sun, she plopped down and picked up her Kindle. She unwrapped her sandwich and began to read while she nibbled on her turkey sandwich.

She didn’t notice anything out of ordinary until she started on her second half of sandwich.

Unexplicently, she felt goose bumps rise on her arms. She began to look around and saw a man sitting on another bench about 50 feet away. He was staring at her.

“Oh, man, this guy is really creeping me out,” she mumbled to herself.

She finally decided to just ignore him and continue with her lunch. When she got to the final crumbs of her sandwich, she threw them to the nearby squirrels.

Every nice day, Emily continued to go to the park to eat her lunch. Each time, however, the creepy guy was there staring.

One day Emily had decided to read her Bible instead of her usual romance novel. She was reading Matthew 25:35 “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in.”

At that point, she glanced over at “creepy guy” and realized that he did not have evil in his stare, but hunger. Immediately, she had compassion for him and determined to help somehow.

The next day, Emily walked boldly over to “creepy guy’s” park bench and handed him a sandwich “I seemed to have packed more than I can eat, could you help me out?” She asked him, while handing him a thick sandwich.

She then continued to her bench, sat down, ate and read like normal.

One day as she walked to his bench to give him a sandwich, he spoke to her in a deep baritone voice saying, “Thank you so very much, would you please join me?” he plead.

Emily looked around, just to make sure there were plenty of “witnesses” in case anything “creepy” happened to her. There were several people sitting on benches and a police man talking with a vender within sight, so she felt pretty comfortable saying, “I’d be happy to join you.”

He started off saying, “I want to thank you so much for all of the sandwiches. It has really made me feel like someone actually cares about what happens to me.”

His eyes got a faraway look in them as he continued, “A long time ago, I had a wife and a little girl who cared about me.”

He reached his grimy hand up to stroke his scraggly beard. “I was too busy, with my job, making money, and traveling to enjoy my loving family.”
He gulped and his eyes got strangely bright, “Then it was too late. In an instant, they were gone.”

He blinked away the tears, “Two years ago, I was on a business trip, when I got a call from the state police. They told me my wife and daughter had been killed in a car crash. They had been driving home from her parent’s home, down a steep, windy road, when her brakes failed. She was unable to control the car and it went careening off of the cliff.”

Emily had tears rolling down her cheeks, as he finished his sad story. “She had asked me to check the brakes before I left. I told her I would put the car in the garage when I got back,” he gasped.

“I went off the deep end, so to speak,” he grimaced.

“I quit my job, sold the house, gave all of my money to charity, and started living on the streets, because I didn’t feel like I deserved any of it after what I did,” he confessed with his head hung.

In a moment of boldness, Emily reached out and patted his hand. “God loves you,” she whispered.

With that, she got up and left.

She did not see him again until one day at work. She looked up to see a dark haired, clean shaven, man with sparkling eyes. He held out his hand to shake hers, “Hi, I’m Clint Summers, the new VP, pleased to meet you!” he said with a grin and a wink.

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This article has been read 219 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 11/02/12
This is a great story, with strong descriptions and suspense, and a good dramatic twist at the end. However you undid the close ever so slightly by mentioning that she 'did not see him again until one day at work' before..."
Please pardon my boldness, but it may carry more impact as - "It was months later when she met the new company VP, who shook her hand with a firm warmth, as he took in the surroundings and quietly observed: 'and this job sure beats sitting on a park bench...'"
This is not criticism for criticism's sake, because you have great potential in developing your writing gift as a blessing to others.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/03/12
This is a sweet story. You grabbed my attention with the creepy man and I was eager to keep reading.

I noticed some tiny errors like Unexplicently instead of inexplicably plead instead of pleaded. These might be caught by a challenge buddy. (If you need help finding one send me a PM) I also saw you used taglines like he said or she whispered. That would be a great place to use that space to show the reader what the emotional state or personality of the character. For example in this sentence: “Oh, man, this guy is really creeping me out,” she mumbled to herself.
just by changing the tagline to something like: Her eyes darted around the park as she licked her lips. It still shows who is speaking but also shows the reader she is anxious.

There were other parts in the story where you did an excellent job of showing. The part with her almost skipping brought a great picture to her mind. I think you covered the topic in an interesting way while still delivering an important message. This piece was a pleasure to read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/03/12
I try not to read other comments before I comment but when I saw Noel's I have to agree with him. I almost mentioned the ending too. What he was saying and gave an example of is what I was trying to say too, just go a bit further with your showing and this great story will soon be an outstanding one. I agree that you do have a great deal of potential. It's difficult to perfect a piece in a mere week but you have a great start and I am eager to read more of your work and watch your writing evolve. :)
Marie Hearty 11/03/12
I loved the suspense in your story and the great message. Good job.

God Bless!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/08/12
Congratulations for ranking 7th in level one!