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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Expose (08/22/13)

TITLE: Pond Weed
By P. J. Baker


”I was naked, and you clothed me.” (Mat 25 v 36 KJV)

“Here he is!” Charlie ran to tell Ned that Graham had arrived. Graham was cool and Graham was fast, the fastest runner they knew. He was so fast everyone called him Graham the Greyhound. Within a second Graham joined them, while his mom got her bag from the car.

“Why don’t you boys go swimming in the lake? We’ll be sitting here in the café, so shout if you get into trouble.” Charlie’s mom smiled and waved them off. Bet they’ll just be talking about boring adult things, thought Charlie.

They ran to the lake shore. “Err…we’ve no trunks,” said Charlie nervously.

“Skinny dipping it is! Last one in’s a loser!” Ned tore off his clothes and raced to the water, closely followed by Graham, then Charlie.

The boys splashed around for a while playing tag and sharks.

“Hey Graham, check this out!” Ned dived under and did a handstand on the lake bed. Suddenly, he jumped up from the water and onto Charlie, pulling him under. Charlie wriggled away, and surfaced coughing up water.

“Show-off!” he spat.

“Race you to the shore!” Ned and Graham swam off, while Charlie regained his breath. “Thanks guys,” he muttered. He swam underwater, holding his breath and practised his underwater somersault.

“Charlie!” Ned waved from the café. “We’re going home soon!”

Better make this fast, Charlie thought, swimming to the shore. He looked for his clothes, but couldn’t see them anywhere.

“They’re over there!” Graham pointed to a tree behind the café where his clothes were hanging in the branches. Ned was doubled over with laughter.

Charlie’s heart started beating quickly, and his muscled tensed. How could Ned embarrass him like this? In front of our moms, in front of Graham. His fists closed tight. I’ll show him what I think, he thought.

He breathed deeply, and tried to calm his mind. A little behind him was a tree, close to the shore. He stood up, turned his back to the café and sidestepped quickly until he was behind the tree trunk. He grabbed a large leaf growing nearby and held it over his privates.

His cheeks flushed as he thought of anyone seeing him like this. “I’m gonna get him, I’m really gonna show him,” he muttered. He moved from tree to tree, running so he couldn’t be seen. When he got to the edge of the wood, there was only open space between him and his clothes.

“Ha ha ha! Slow coach!” Ned laughed from the café.

I really hate him. Charlie took some deep breaths, and tried to think of a plan. He peered around to see his clothes.

Someone was in the tree, picking his clothes off the branches!

“Hey, don’t you dare take my clothes, scumbag!” Charlie shouted at the figure. The thought of travelling back naked in the car with Ned and their moms was unbearable. “SCUMBAG!”

The figure jumped from the tree, and started running backwards towards Charlie. When he was on the edge of the wood, he threw the rolled up clothes over his head, Charlie jumped and caught them. It was Graham!

“Couldn’t believe what Ned did, so unfair. Here, have a candy.”

Charlie grabbed the candy and hurriedly put his clothes on. “Yeah, I’m pretty mad at him.”

“If you show you’re mad at him, he’ll think he’s won.” Graham leaned over and whispered in Charlie’s ear. Charlie giggled. “You’re on!” he said.

Graham and Charlie raced to the café and met with the others. Ned slapped Charlie on the back, “no hard feelings, right?” Charlie pulled away. “Don’t ever do that again,” he said.

As the moms drained their coffee cups, the boys got ready to go. Ned sat on the floor to put his sneakers on. He stood up, wobbled, “ERGGHH!”

He pulled off his sneakers, put his hand inside and pulled out a long smelly piece of pond weed.

Graham giggled. Charlie chuckled. People close by noticed and they laughed too. Ned went red in the face then threw the weed back into the lake.

“Even now?” he sheepishly asked Charlie.

“Even! Friends again?” Charlie offered his hand, but Ned hugged him close.

Ned played many more jokes on Charlie, but never jokes that made him mad.

Well, not that mad.

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This article has been read 87 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Wilma Schlegel 08/29/13
Funny, funny, funny and well- written.
CD Swanson 08/30/13
This was a well written and entertaining delight.

The ending was classic!

Great job. God bless~
Larry Whittington09/01/13
That was country swimming many long years ago. (And sometimes there was a Ned.)

I missed how Charlie got the moss from the lake and how it got into Ned's shoes. I may need to read it slower next time. Disconnects in a story may cause readers to lose interest. Be careful.

Virgil Youngblood 09/03/13
Ahhh -- this brings back memories of a remote country pond and the worse sunburn I ever had. Thanks for jogging my memory with a delightful read.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/05/13
This is a really cute story. Boys can be boys and you really showcased that here. Your characters were delightful and it drew me into the story.

There are a few tiny technical things that might have helped this be an even stronger story. Remember if you someone different speaks, thinks or even does something, you should start a new paragraph. Also you may want to consider putting the thoughts in italics as that will help it stand out. If you're not sure how to format it, check out the FAQ on the forums and there is a section that explains how to do italics, underlining, and things like that.

I think you nailed the topic. Though this sounds terrible, you also may want to consider moving the Bible verse to the end because some people will see a story that starts with Scripture and skip over it. It's a sad reality and I'd hate to have someone miss this delightful story and the powerful message. At first, I thought putting seaweed in his shoes is not a big enough payback for someone stealing clothes, but then I realized how important it is to forgive another. It's a subtle message, but ones kids will pick up easily and be able to relate to it as well as adults. Sometimes a practical joke and payback can turn into something horrible. You did a fine job with this one.

Congratulations for ranking 7th in your level! (The highest rankings can be found on the forums)