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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Embarrassed (07/19/07)

TITLE: The Powerful Odor of Mendacity
By Dee Yoder


One morning, Peach and Kinsey took me downtown. My sister and her friend never went

anywhere with me, so right away I was wondering what was up. We rode the bus to the

Square and hopped off at Reed’s Department Store. The sun was shining so brightly, I

got an instant headache, and my headband made it worse. It was stabbing into my scalp

with its tiny teeth like I had a hungry piranha stuck up there. Mr. Rivers swung open the

door and held it as Peach sashayed through like she was Princess Grace. I mumbled my

thanks and followed them inside.

“Hey, Peach, look at that,” Kinsey pointed at a skinny mannequin. “Pink from head to toe!”

“Law, Kinsey, I saw a girl wearing that same outfit on American Bandstand last week!” They giggled.

I rolled my eyes. Man! I could have been down at the creek with David and Royce

Withers catching crawdads and, instead, here I was, burning daylight with these two


”C’mon, you guys. Why’d I have to come? Let’s go get what we came for!”

“Stop whining, Annie. Heaven knows we wouldn’t have brought you if Mom wasn’t sick.”

“Why’d Mom want me to come with you two turds?”

“Ugh! You’re so disgusting!”

Peach flipped her hair and swayed her skinny hips off toward the Lingerie Department.

My sister looked at me like she was staring at an ugly bug. I couldn’t help but be

impressed by the way she could curl her lip up so far.

“Come on,” she finally sighed.

She led the way to Peach, who was fingering a pink, lacy slip.

“Do you see them?” asked Kinsey.

“What?” Peach answered dreamily. She acted like she was in love with that slip.

“You know, them. It.”

Peach met Kinsey’s eyes, and they looked at me and smirked. My headache started

beating my brains out. Uh oh.

“There’s a powerful odor of mendacity in this room!” I shouted.

“Shh! You weirdo! Don’t yell like that! What’d you say?”


“Shut UP” Kinsey whispered between clinched teeth.

She pulled me over into the aisle with the brassieres. At least, that’s what the sign said:


Peach strolled over and said, “You just like to use big words because you think it

makes you look smart. I bet you don’t even know what that means. Where’d you even

hear a word like that?”


“What movie?”

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

Peach raised her eyebrows to Kinsey and said, “Law, law.”

My sister whipped out her snotty face. “ Mom would never let you watch a movie like

that! Where’d you see such a thing?”

“The Withers and me hid in the bushes over at the Twi-Light Drive-In”

“I’m telling Mom!”

“Like I care.”

I started back toward the front of the store, but Kinsey pulled me to a stop. She and

Peach circled me like two ranch hands trying to rope a mustang. The next thing I knew,

they were holding up those BRASSIERES and trying to measure the stupid things against

my chest! My head swam, my cheeks turned hot as coals, and I started fighting them off

with both fists. I heard a confusing mix of voices as Kinsey and Peach tugged and

wrapped those awful bands around me, until finally, they stopped, exhausted.

“We’re getting this one,” said Kinsey with tightly pursed lips.

I watched as the two girls hurried to the counter and paid for that thing. Kinsey

motioned for me to follow and we left the store and got back on the bus. Shame melted

me to the seat. The bag carrying the monster underwear seemed to me like it was


“Mom, we’re home!” Kinsey threw the bag on the chair, and she and Peach took

off upstairs. She turned once and gave me a look of near pity.

I shuffled into the den, where Mom was lying on the sofa. She opened her arms, and I

knelt into them, face hidden.

“I’m sorry I couldn’t go, Honey.”

“It was awful!” I cried.

I could feel her stroking my hair.

“Annie, everybody has to grow up. It’s the way God planned it.”

She leaned over and whispered in my ear, “The Bible says, ‘I praise you because I am

fearfully and wonderfully made.’* Someday, you’ll know God did a beautiful job

making you into a woman.”

“I’ll never wear it! Never!” I said fiercely. Mom just smiled and kept


*Psalm 139:14 (NIV)

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This article has been read 1394 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Martha Ford07/26/07
You captured that defining moment when all of us girls had to grow up. Your word choices were rich, beautiful and unique. The characters demanded our attention. Congratulation!
Verna Cole Mitchell 07/26/07
The characterization and descriptions in this delightful "slice" of growing up are perfect.
Elizabeth Baize07/26/07
Your characterization was incredible! I like the way you incorporated the Bible verse which gave the entry a soothing ending after the intense occurrence.

Cheri Hardaway 07/26/07
This was such a fun read. Poor Annie... not quite ready to grow up. Your characters were well developed, and I could just see Annie kneeling into her mom's embrace when she returned home. Nice use of scripture, and I learned a new word I'd never known before! Nice work. Blessings, Cheri
Joanne Sher 07/26/07
Amazing characterization and descriptions! You definitely captured this moment in all its "glory."
Janice Cartwright07/26/07
Oh shining! This is wonderful - the voice felt similar to Harper Lee's in "To Kill a Mockingbird," my all time favorite. Great, great job~
Catrina Bradley 07/26/07
I'm grinning ear to ear. De-lightful! I couldn’t help but be impressed by the way she could curl her lip up so far. made me laugh out loud. This is perfect: Shame melted me to the seat. What a word picture! The voice is spot-on for the age of your MC. Loved the humor. Great writing!
Kristen Hester07/27/07
Your characterization is great in this story. Those were simpler times when such things embarrassed girls. No longer. Now they show straps...on purpose! Law!

Good job. I enjoyed it. You won't be in intermediate for long.
william price07/30/07
Dee, I really liked your story. I'm a fan of dialogue and characterization. Superb on both counts. Great message and use of scripture. God bless.
Terry R A Eissfeldt 07/30/07
You brought me back to that moment- I was such a tomboy and can totally relate!
Loren T. Lowery07/30/07
Annie reminded me of Scout in "To Kill a Mockingbird"
The voice seemed authentic and the atmosphere perfect.
Wonderful job on this "embarrassing" subject matter.
Patty Wysong07/30/07
This is wonderful! You really captured the girls, especially the tomboy. Very Good!!! :-)
Sharlyn Guthrie07/30/07
Excellent writing once again from a rising star!
Elizabeth Burton07/31/07
Oh how I remember the humiliation of being a pre-teen! It had to have been two years straight that I refused to wear white for fear somebody might see, haha! Believe me, it's much worse when you develop "early," lol. I love the writing and the characters--I just wish I could have learned more about why her mom couldn't go with her. It sounded like there was an important story there, too. Great job!
Jan Ackerson 07/31/07
This is masterful in setting and characterization--simply excellent.
Joy Faire Stewart08/01/07
Fantastic job capturing the personality of the MC. Excellent writing.
Sara Harricharan 08/01/07
LOL! Aw, I feel bad for Annie...having it to happen that way. Embarassing and confusing! You certainly nailed that and with a cartload of emotion to match. Good job.
Dara Sorensen08/01/07
Great job with the characterization of the young tomboy and her older sister and friend. ^_^
Betty Castleberry08/01/07
Law, this is perfect! Wonderful vooice. Reminds me of when I used to go shopping with my sister and her friend. Very entertaining.
Janice Cartwright08/02/07
Girl are you ever versatile; you can write anything! I knew this would place first!! Knew it, knew it, knew it! Congratulations of first place!
Rita Garcia08/02/07
Congrats on a great win!

Love the title! Love the story!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/02/07
Congratulations...again! You're a winner!
Sara Harricharan 08/02/07
***Congrats Dee!*** ^_^
Beth LaBuff 08/02/07
Dee--Congrats...AGAIN!! This is "sweet". You are so good with the language.
Sharlyn Guthrie08/02/07
Way to go!
Seema Bagai 08/02/07
Congratulations on the win!
Linda Watson Owen08/02/07
A BIG congratulations on such a well deserved win, Dee! What a great story! You really captured THE experience delightfully!
Jacquelyn Horne09/07/07
This is embarrassing, but very funny too. Oh how hard it is to "grow up". I read this awhile back, but realized I forgot to comment. Good article.
Laury Hubrich 04/26/08
Oh Dee! This is too funny. I remember my mom fitting a bra on me -- right in front of the whole world. Mortifying! And I remember doing that to my daughter, too. LOL! No wonder she hates to shop for clothes now! Thanks for sharing this! Too too funny!