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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Key (02/14/13)

TITLE: He Probably Saw Our Shoes!
By Gail Burks


Tim and Rudy hid behind the hedges just in time to witness Mr. Jensen walk out of his door onto the weathered gray-colored porch. Nearing eighty years old, he tried to zip up the fur-lined parka, but his arthritic hands weren't able. Instead, he wrapped the coat around his body and hobbled down the stairs.

Tim and Rudy, both twelve, were trying not to giggle. Frequently, they watched him walk the few blocks to the grocery store and back.

“He still walks when there is snow on the ground. Can you believe that?”

Rudy replied, “My question is, what does he buy at the store every day?” rolling his eyes.

As Jensen faded from sight, both boys decided try to look through the frosted window on the side of the house. They've tried before, but could never see inside.

But, that particular day, as the snowflakes fell, the boys were emboldened.

“Maybe, the back door is open. Let's try.” Rudy urged his friend.

“We can't do that! Suppose someone's home?”

“He lives alone, my mom said.”

Walking back toward the front, Rudy remembered seeing Jensen lift up that flower pot one time. “Let's look under that,” pointing to the corner.

Galloping up the front stairs, Tim wondered why all of a sudden, there were no cars, no people, and a white cloud seemed to envelope the house.

“I-I-I don't know about this. If we're caught, we're toast.”

“Stop worrying, Tim. Check out the flowerpot.”

The boys looked at the antique, earth-toned pot, containing cold, matted dirt and a few dead stems. A rocking chair sat adjacent to it.

As the snow dusted the porch, ever so slightly, Tim realized their movements would leave tracks. Jensen would certainly know someone had been on the porch.

“We're screwed. Our footprints will show.”

“Come on, Tim. He won't notice. He's old.”

Tim tried to lift the pot, but the woolen gloves made it difficult to grasp.

“Give me a hand.”

They squatted, gently tilting the object. Then, they noticed something shiny.

“Is that what I think it is? Rudy exclaimed. “Let's try it.”

“This isn 't a good idea. We just can't go into someone's home like that. That's breaking in.”

“Not if you have a key, it isn't.”

So, the boys walked to the front door and glanced down the street. No sign of Jensen.

“All we'll do is open the door and look fast. I bet you a Snickers bar the place looks like a dump,” Rudy feeling confident.

As Tim placed the key in the door lock, he noticed the door was new. That's interesting, he thought.

Tim opened the door slowly. “Wow. This place looks like a magazine!”.

Rudy, checking his watch said, “Hey, we've got 5 minutes. Hurry up.”

Entering the home, they decided to remove their shoes.

Looking around, they were awestruck. The décor was warm and inviting -- earth tones, artwork, Italian leather sofa, custom draperies, and thick, cream colored, plush carpeting.

As they moved toward the kitchen, they noticed a 3-pc dinette, marble countertops, and new appliances. The kitchen beautiful and immaculate.

“This is so amazing. I never would have thought his house was so cool.” Rudy was beside himself.

With mouths open wide in amazement, they eyed the huge bookcase, wall mounted TV, including a PlayStation , and an end table with a glass chess set.

All of a sudden, they heard the front door open.

“Oh, no,” Tim whispered. “What do we do?”

“Sneak out. When he goes upstairs, we'll run out the front.”

“Yeah, but he saw our shoes.” Tim sighed.

“Hello-o—o, who's there?”

Tim and Rudy stepped out in view of Mr. Jensen.

“Uh-h-h, it's Tim and Rudy. From down the street.”

“I thought I saw you earlier. Do you have my key?”

“Yes, sir.” said Tim opening his hand. “We're very sorry. Are you calling the police?”

“No. But, YOU will call your parents. They'll have to come and get you.”

“Yes, sir.”

“In the meantime, would you like some cocoa?”

“Sure, thanks,” Tim spoke up quickly. Rudy sat motionless.

“I have some cookies, too.”


“You know, boys, I prayed for a chance to talk to someone today
about Jesus. The Lord has answered my prayers.”

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This article has been read 293 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Loni Bowden-Horn 02/23/13
Just the title of the story, "He Probably Saw Our Shoes!" drew me in to want to read the piece.

How we live and act as Christians tells more about us than what we say.

I could see this as a script for a Christian movie.
C D Swanson 02/23/13
This was a clever and interesting read. Nicely done, I imagine the boys will develop a nice relationship with their 90 yr old neighbor and mostly with Jesus.

God bless~
Dave Walker 02/25/13
A great title. I was drawn into the story from the start. The dialogue portrayed the character of the speakers and the story had pace.
I really enjoyed it.
Bonnie Bowden 02/25/13
Good catchy title! I thoroughly enjoyed the tale of these two boy's adventures.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/25/13
I love this tale of the mischievous boys and the kind old man. You really grabbed my attention right away. The opening paragraph created a great setting for the story.

I did notice some tiny errors like this like: Rudy replied, “My question is, what does he buy at the store every day?” rolling his eyes.
Instead of breaking the action up in two parts and splitting the sentence, you could just say Rudy rolled his eyes. That shows the reader who is speaking and that he is mocking his friend just a bit. I also noticed in this line it felt like it was backwards and would flow better like this: "Mom says he lives alone." It feels more natural to have the Mom says part first.

I think you did a splendid job of writing on topic. I found this a delightful story and would be great for a Sunday School take home sheet or lesson. You show so much without coming off as preachy. The ending was divine(literally:))
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/28/13
Congratulations for ranking 7th in level one!