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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Charade (08/14/08)

TITLE: Raining on the Devil’s Charade
By Barbara Gilmer
08/16/08


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The month still had three weeks to go and Star had five dollars to her name. That would barely get her a gallon of gas at the current prices and she knew exactly how much it cost to drive to work for sixteen more days. The start-up costs for her new apartment had run much higher than she anticipated. Not wanting to appear dependent she had refused help from her parents. She wondered again why she had accepted a job so far from home and particularly one that paid monthly.

At least it was Saturday and she could sleep in until ten. She curled up in her fancy new blanket and wished once more for the soft quilt she left across what was now the spare room at home.

Sleep fled and hysteria took a firm hold of her mind. Surely God wasn’t punishing her for leaving the safety of her family and a secure job in her home town. The rent was too high for her monthly income but she took the apartment because the neighborhood was better than the one close to the school. Within a month of moving in, she found the true cost with a fee assessed by the Renters Association for water, trash and use of the pool, which was now closed by the way she thought wryly. To be late paying it was considered a default and would raise her rent again to include the fee in twelve payments.

The car that had served her faithfully through college had a strange knock and she was frightened every time she had to drive to work on the freeway. What she would do if she had car trouble with no cell phone she had no clue so she left every day an hour early to make in case she had to walk. That meant of course that she was not getting enough sleep and the class she taught in specialized in special needs students. You did not fall asleep in that classroom.

A loud bang on the door jerked her out of her waking nightmare of thought. It was a delivery man with a large box from her parents.

Inside it was the comfy quilt she had just been longing for and a letter from her Mother.

Dear Star

I think you really should have taken this with you so I am sending it. Maybe you will need it this winter. When I left home for college all the new things I had to face were overwhelming and I and sure the enemy has not changed his tactics. He will point out every negative thing you are facing and blur every wonderful experience you could be having in the adventure of your life. I have been praying for you asking that you don’t fear the devil’s charade.

He has been around for a long time but his lies are always the same; a charade to convince you that the Father doesn’t care for you. God loves you as His child, just like your Dad and I do only far more than we are capable of giving.

Dad says to tell you when your car starts making that little knock, check the oil. It will be a quart low. Be sure to get plenty of rest dear and know always that we both love you.

Mom and Dad

Star shook the quilt out and wrapped up in it. As she did, a check fell out for the more than enough for her Renters Association fee. “Ha!” Star yelled, “No more charades for me! God loves me and I am going to play something I like instead of your games!” She gave the box a little proxy kick, curled up in her quilt and went to sleep.

charade

a piece of ridiculous pretence which is so obvious that it does not deceive anyone


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This article has been read 406 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Helen Murray08/21/08
You took us through a range of emotions here, and showed that Love never fails. A beautiful story.
Heather Sargent08/21/08
This was a beautiful story! There was only one thing I noticed, looks like there was a word missing in the mom's letter. 'Was' should be in there when she's talking about the devil's charade.

By the way, great title! I liked this story.
Jan Ackerson 08/22/08
Great title, and sweet story.

I don't think you need the definition at the end: people generally know what "charade" means, and it's a bit anticlimactic after the ending of your story.

I had two daughters in this same situation, so I related to the mom in your story!
Marlene Austin08/22/08
Nice story which many can relate to. Thanks for sharing. :)
William Stevenson08/25/08
I like your story and your title draws us in. Keep it up.
Lisa Keck08/26/08
I chose to read this because of the title. I like how the story unfolded but was disappointed to find Star thinking God was punishing her since I've always felt working with special needs kids was a sort of calling. Still you resolved it in a beautiful way.
Patty Wysong08/26/08
There is nothing like that special quilt to help face new challenges! Good job.
Eric Coggins08/27/08
You seemed to capture the mood of the situation very well. I could feel the burden of the college student away from home. I was also attracted by the title. There were a couple run-on sentences but as a whole it was well written.