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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: The Dance
By Jeanette Oestermyer


The Dance

“But Mom,” Lisa cried, “I can’t go to the dance. No one will dance with me.”

“You need to get out with other young people and have fun,” Mom protested. “You are a pretty girl.”

”No I’m not and you know it – I have a lot of freckles, my nose is too big and my hair is a dull reddish color.”

“You’re only 14, and have a lot of growing up to do. Besides, your freckles are attractive, your nose is not big and your hair is a lovely auburn color. And, there will be a lot of girls going together because the boys are too young to drive.”

Lisa stomped upstairs to her room in tears and threw herself on the bed. Why did God make me so ugly, she thought. I am angry with God and with my Mom and Dad for having me. Why didn’t they pray for a pretty daughter.

“Lisa, you have a phone call from Angie,” Mom called from downstairs.

Lisa came running down the stairs and picked up. “Hi Angie,” what’s goin’ on.”

“I was wondering if we are going to the mixer dance Saturday night?”

“I suppose I could go, but I don’t think anyone will ask me to dance – I am too ugly and plain.”

“Lisa, I have told you over and over – you are not ugly. Beauty comes from within, not only on the surface. You are pretty and you also have a great personality.”

“I guess I will go, and my Mom will take us if that’s okay.”

“Sure, you better pick me up at about 6:30.”

Saturday finally arrived, and Lisa and Angie walked into the gymnasium at their middle school. There was a group of boys on one side of the room, and a line of girls on the other side

“Oh wow,” Angie said. “There’s Mark Sanders – doesn’t he look neat? I’m going to smile at him so maybe he’ll come over and talk to us”

“I think he’s positively the cutest boy in the school,” Lisa said. “But he will never even talk to me, let alone dance with me.”

“Don’t be so sure, here he comes.”

“Hi Angie, hi Lisa,” Mark said, his eyes on Lisa. “Would you dance with me, Lisa,” he asked. “I have been wanting to meet you at school, but never could get up the courage.”

“It seems you could get any girl in school if you wanted to,” Lisa said.

“Yeah, but you are pretty and you have such a nice smile. I love your shiny auburn hair and hazel-colored eyes, and I haven’t mentioned your personality. Anyway, now I have meant you.”

Lisa couldn’t believe her ears, and she no longer felt like a plain and ugly person. She smiled at Mark and was sure she followed his leading her dance steps perfectly.

“You are a real good dancer,” Lisa said.

“Thanks a lot – so, let’s dance the night away,” Mark said. “We do dance smoothly together, just as if we have been practicing.”

Mark and Lisa danced most of the evening. Mark asked Angie to dance once, but then he and Lisa were back together. Angie was busy dancing with a boy she had known for some time.

When the dance ended, Mark walked Lisa to her mom’s car. They were holding hands, and before Lisa got into the car, Mark gave her hand a tight squeeze.

Lisa was chattering all the way home. “I guess I must not be as ugly as I thought,” she said. Mark danced with me all evening, and he told me how pretty I was.

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This article has been read 776 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Murray08/09/07
I always love delightful little romances.
Joy Faire Stewart08/12/07
This is so true how some teens view themselves. I was pleased there was a happy ending for Lisa.
Rachel Burkum08/15/07
Very cute. I'm sure many have been in Lisa's shoes!

Some spots could be ironed out with a little less "telling," and a bit of smoothing on the dialogue could make a big difference.

Great job...I'm glad for the happy ending. :)
Dee Yoder 08/21/07
This is a heart warming story. I'm glad the ending turned out so nice for the young teen. It's such an awkward time for many kids this age.