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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Chillax (04/03/14)

TITLE: That Little Old County Store
By Richard Hicks


All was calm and bright on this starless night. Franklin Moss, the big milkman, was known as “Frankie” to all his customers. He awoke early this particular morning and felt prompted in his heart to begin his route earlier than normal instead of having a more lengthy quiet time with God, as was his normal pattern. He then spoke his prayers in silence as He put on his work uniform, and proceeded to pack his lunch. Then locking the front door of his house, Frank stepped up into his truck. It weighed one ton and was solid white, with the words “Moss Dairy Co.” written in big black letters along its side. Frank on occasion did deliver to farm houses as well as local stores out in the country but on this day he wanted to get his bigger orders out of the way early. He had a lunch date and wanted to be on time.

Frank was humming as he was driving down the old road--the first stop on his route was Quick Stop Food Mart, a 24 hour convenience store. It was an older store out on county road 42. This morning would serve to be a very different morning for Frank. As he pulled up to a parking space in the wee morning hours all the lights were off but a dim light inside the store.

“I wonder what is going on here; this store never closes its doors,” Frank muttered. He decided to try and go inside so he approached the door, finding it unlocked; it looked completely deserted.

“Hello is anyone here?” yelled Frank. Feeling compelled he walked further into the store not knowing what to expect. No one was at the register. As he walked down past the aisles, he heard a faint cry for help. He got to the third aisle and saw Judy, the store manager, lying on the floor.

“Judy, Are you okay? Can you hear me?” spoke the concerned milkman.

“Yes Frankie, my water broke and the baby is coming. There is no time to waste; you must deliver my baby,” Judy said, very insistently.

“I thought your maternity leave had started already so why are you even here?” Frank attempted to change the subject, still in a state of shock.

“The assistant manager called and had an emergency; I had no choice but to come in as there was no one else to call.” Judy spoke in a very agitated way at Frank.

“Stop stalling Frank, the baby, is coming, Judy finally yelled. Quick, go to the cabinet in the laundry room and get some towels.”

“W-w-what do I do? I’ve never done this before Judy?” She let out a very loud scream and pointed to the laundry room. Frank moved hurriedly to the cabinet in a rushed frenzy. He couldn’t think straight and was panicking. The only thing that kept going through Frank’s mind was what if he did something wrong, especially something that might endanger the baby?

“Judy, we need to call an ambulance. I don’t know what I’m doing.” Frank’s nerves were wracked.

“Chill out Frankie; just relax. Get in position to catch my baby,” exhorted Judy!

This big burly milkman, Franklin Moss, witnessed the birth of little Miranda into his own hands. He had never witnessed the miracle of birth like he did on that morning.

Finally, after realizing that they were in love, Frankie and Judy got married a year after Miranda was born. Then Frank began to raise her as his very own daughter.

Many years had passed by, and he would still be a complete basket-case anytime he was needed in a decision that required his immediate attention. Miranda was no longer a baby; she had grown into a beautiful and mature woman. This just happened to be her wedding day, and her dad Frank, was walking her down the aisle.

“Miranda, what If I trip and fall on your dress?” said Frank.

“Dad, you always do just fine, just chillax and everything will go as planned.” She kissed her dad on the cheek as he remembered that day many years ago when Miranda was born in that little old country store. Frank smiled as He proudly walked her down the aisle with a thankful heart.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sheldon Bass 04/11/14
This is a wonderful story and well told. Can't wait for your next one.

A suggestion: Your opening is a little too drab. You could begin with the conflict. Perhaps the faint voice pleading for help. Something that will grab the reader right away. You can fill in the back story later.

Keep on submitting entries!

C D Swanson 04/11/14
Oh I loved this from beginning to end! My kind of story. I loved the characters, the calm to the hysteria, and then the calm again. It was an adorable ending.

Great job. You have a natural talent for story telling.

God bless~
Joe Moreland04/14/14
I agree with the previous person's comments about the opening. As a matter of fact, I think you could cut the entire first paragraph and that would help free up enough words to transition more smoothly from a panicky delivery into the love story. Just my two cents.

Aside from that, and an out of place present-tense reference, it's a good story that I really enjoyed. I like the character of Frank and your narrative and descriptions are excellent.
Larry Whittington04/14/14
Writing is all about creating situations as well as characters. You have done that very well.

If this piece would be planned as a short story, you could start out with the wedding scene but while he was walking Miranda down the isle he could remember back in time to where it had all started. You could fill in many stages of Miranda's life - both good and bad.

Frankie could then be brought back to the present when the preacher has to ask a second time, "and who gives this woman to be married".

Good work.

See what else it might become as a practice.
Toni Hammer04/14/14
Beautiful and intense story. I love how it unfolded from a normal day to anything but. Quite a creative take on the topic.

One red ink comment is to go through your entry with a fine tooth comb and remove any excess words. For instance in this sentence "Frank was humming as he was driving down the old road..." you could just as easily say "Frank was humming as he drove..." which not only tightens the story, but gives you an extra word to play with if needed. It's a lesson I learned last quarter and has helped me immensely.

Great story.