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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Beginning and End (04/16/09)

TITLE: Saturday
By Adele O'Reilly


(The Board Room -33rd floor of the Caris International Building- late Saturday night. Sitting at a conference table are Board members Drew, John and Tom. John has a legal pad in front of him and he is scribbling notes. All are dressed in rumpled suits that have been worn for several days in a row—ties are gone, shirts are unbuttoned. Pete enters the room-shuts door behind him quickly)

Drew: (to Pete) Who’s out there?

Pete: No one. They’ve all left.

Tom: You sure?

Pete: Yeah, I’m sure. (pauses, looks around room) Did you hear?

John: What?

Pete: Suicide.

Tom: Yeah, we heard.

Drew: Good riddance.

Tom: Got off easy if you ask me.

Pete (looking at John, speaks to Drew) What’s he doing?

Drew: Writing notes about this whole debacle.

John: (looking at legal pad) It just doesn’t make any sense.

Pete: (tries to take pad away from John) Are you crazy? Do you want them to use that against you?

John: Leave me alone! I have to sort this out—for my sake.

Pete: John, it’s not safe. You need to shred that.

John: I’m not afraid of them, unlike some people here.

Pete: What’s that supposed to mean?

Drew: Not now, John.

John: I saw it all on CNN.

Pete: (dismissing him with a wave of his hand) They spliced that whole report together…

Tom: Oh, please, Pete. Do you honestly expect us to believe that? That reporter asked you three times! And you still denied your involvement in all this.

Pete: (shouting) What did you expect me to do? Tell the truth, and get hauled away in handcuffs? Be tried and convicted before I have a chance to say goodbye?

Drew: (getting in between them) Guys, cut it out. We have to regroup here, before the opening bell on Monday. What’s our strategy going forward?

Pete: Strategy? How about turn tail and run! (grabs newspaper off table) Do you see what they’re saying? (reads copy) “In the beginning, this company’s bright star signaled a paradigm shift in the corporate model of business. But in the end, corruption and greed have destroyed the dream of thousands of investors.” Or how about this jewel (picks up a magazine, reading)”If not for the heroic whistleblower, Jude Santini, Caris International might have continued for years bilking millions of people and causing worldwide economic collapse.”

Tom: Too bad the hero hung himself. Nice, quick death-- unlike our CEO.

John: Shut up!

Drew: John…

John: This can’t be how it all ends! We didn’t do anything illegal, least of all him!

Tom: Face it, John. We’re all screwed. You know, I had my doubts about this all along. It was too good to be true. All that talk about shaking things up, getting away from how the rest of the world did it.

John: I can’t get it out of my head. The last thing he said to me at dinner was this was the end of the beginning. What do you think he meant by that?

Pete: Who knows? He was always talking in riddles. Half the time he had to stop and explain something he said.

John: It’s like he expected all of this to happen.

Drew: No one could have predicted how catastrophically this all ended.

John: I should have---I was the guy’s best friend.

Drew: John, stop beating yourself up. We’re all feeling guilty over this.

Pete: Tom, how’s Mary holding up?

Tom: Not good. She’s planning on going to the grave early in the morning.

John: (looking at his watch) It is early morning.

Pete: That’s a bad idea. I bet the media is camped out there right now, just waiting to harass us all.

Drew: (gathering his things together) Well I don’t know about you guys, but I’m done here. I can’t just sit around and wait to see if I’m the next guy arrested. You coming, John?

John: (sitting back down at table) I’m not going anywhere. You guys go ahead. I need to go through his papers one more time. Maybe I missed something.

(Mary bursting through the door)

Mary: He’s gone!

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This article has been read 548 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharon Laughter04/23/09
THIS WAS EXCELLENT! The kind of story you read again and get what you didn't get (but suspected) the first time. I absolutely LOVED it all and the last sentence was the cherry on top!
LauraLee Shaw04/23/09
Okay, I can't believe you got me. Wow. An EXcellent approach to the topic, perfectly outside-the-box and in it too. I'm not saying anymore, cuz I don't want to spoil the surprise for the next reader. Superb.
Seema Bagai 04/23/09
Excellent! One of the best pieces I've read in a while.
Judy Webb04/23/09
Very clever. A good read.
Karuna Barla04/24/09
This was brilliant. Very very creative.
Beckie Stewart04/24/09
Okay. That was not what I expected. Good job.
Patricia Herchenroether04/26/09
Really creative! And I didn't pick up on it until the names started to mesh. Very good!
Joanney Uthe04/27/09
Very creative and well-written take on the topic. I found myself stopping half way through to associate the names with the "full" name of each character. Great job.
Jan Ackerson 04/28/09
Gerald Shuler 04/28/09
Wonderful approach to this story! You are a very talented writer.
Deborah Porter 05/06/09
Hi Adele. I’m running a little late this week, but just wanted to leave a quick note to let you know your entry, Saturday, actually did very well in the Beginning and End Challenge. Although you didn't receive an award, you made it into the Highest Rankings for Level 2, placing 8th in that Level.

If you'd like to check the highest rankings for yourself, you can find them here:

The highest rankings are posted every Thursday evening on the Message Boards.

Again, well done. You deserve a pat on the back. :-)

Hope to see you at the FaithWriters' Conference in August.

With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)