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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Craft (as in handcraft) (02/08/07)

TITLE: Daddy's promise
By Dennis Fletcher
02/10/07


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Tommy sat there, waiting for his dad to come home. He had everything prepared, the work table was clean, the tools were laid out and he had all of his chores done for the night. He was ready to build this project together with his dad, just like his dad had told him he would. This was going to be a great night, he thought, all I have to do is wait.

His mom came down to the basement to let him know that his dad may be a little late, as traffic seemed to be unusually heavy. She let him know that his daddy was looking forward to this and couldn’t wait to get home. She told him that she thought his daddy was more excited about this than he was.

He patiently waited at the worktable, fidgeting with the saw, rolling the screwdrivers around a bit, playing with the small paintbrushes. He picked up the directions once again, he wanted to be sure to let his daddy see how smart he was and that he could do this. He was excited and ready to build, he just had to wait.

Around dinner time, his mother called him to the table. He reluctantly went up, not very hungry. He sat through the meal, realizing that his daddy still hadn’t come in. He was disappointed, but pushed the feeling aside. His daddy had promised to be here. He wanted this time with his daddy, he just had to wait.

After dinner, he helped his mom clean up and went back down to the work table. He perched himself upon the stool, hands on his cheeks, elbows on the table and looked everything over. It wasn’t to awful late, he thought to himself. Daddy promised he would be here to build this with me, so I know he will be here. I just have to wait.

Several hours later, he was awakened by a familiar voice. In his groggy state, he had a hard time figuring out who was talking to him. Suddenly, realization hit him and he snapped out of his sleep in an excited burst of energy.

“Daddy, your home. Can we work on it now?” He asked, joy filling his eyes.

“Hmm, it is rather late son, but if you are able to stay awake a little longer, maybe we can get a little bit done.” His daddy said to him.

Looking over the table, he said, “I see you’ve got everything laid out, so let’s see if we can get everything put together.” With that, he looked down at Tommy and smiled.

For hours they worked on the little birdhouse, cutting, painting, sanding and nailing until at last, it was finished. It was amazing to look at, the father’s skilled woodworking and the son’s love and want to learn from his daddy. Anyone who looked upon these two would see the love between them and the pride they each felt for the other.

Suddenly, he was woken up, his mother’s voice whispering in his ear. He could hear a bit of sadness, as though she had been crying.

“What’s wrong, mamma?” He asked, still sleepy.

“It’s your daddy, son. He won’t be coming home tonight. He was in a bad accident and rushed to the hospital. They say he will be fine, but he needs to spend some time there. He has been unconscious and they need him to wake up before he can come home.” She again broke into tears. “I’m sorry he couldn’t keep his promise to you, son, but he really didn’t do it on purpose"

He looked over to the table, and the birdhouse that stood there, finished. It was perfectly sanded, cut, painted and nailed together, just like he knew it would be. He smiled and looked back at his mommy.

“Don’t worry, mamma, he kept his promise. He helped me put it together, tonight. Look, it’s done.” With that, he showed his mother the birdhouse.

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she looked at the little project, done in such a way that her husband would have had to be the one to do it. On the side, painted at the bottom was a little fence with flowers behind it, and her husband’s initials. She knew he somehow had kept his promise. She wanted so badly to ask him about it, all she had to do was wait.


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This article has been read 543 times
Member Comments
Member Date
dub W02/21/07
Fairly well written; practice plot development and theme, you have a wonderful concept, with work it could go far.
Jan Ackerson 02/21/07
I could definitely feel this poor little boy's disappointment--good job of characterization.

Watch out for your/you're. And I was confused at the end; how did the dad help him if he was in the hospital? Made me a little bit uneasy.

I also really liked their tender relationship in the scene where they build the birdhouse. Nicely done.
Sara Harricharan 02/21/07
This was pretty interesting! A little spooky for the ending, but I liked the characters, especially the little boy. One tip that might have helped-italics for the boy's thoughts. Just my opinion though-thanks for sharing! ^_^
Joanne Sher 02/21/07
A great little story! I enjoyed it. Might liven up the beginning a bit if you did direct quotes of the conversation. Great read!
Julie Arduini02/21/07
The ending wasn't what I envisioned but well done just the same. The beginning I thought was especially strong, I could so picture the items laid out and the little boy all ready to go to work. Keep writing!
Clyde Blakely05/14/07
I like the story. Too bad this doesn't happen and we live in this world, for now. Good writing. God bless and keep writing.