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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)

TITLE: A Friend Like Buddy
By Kimberly Russell


A frustrated Shonnie whooshed like a deflated balloon. Maybe this trip wasn't such a good idea after all.

"Okay, you guys. Now we are REALLY going to get this show on the road.''

Grumpily she pulled out of the driveway for the second time that day. Running simple errands had turned into a fiasco with uncooperative children, lost car keys, and backtracking for a forgotten checkbook. Almost convinced to abandon the whole notion, she ultimately decided to move ahead as her 'to-do' list was endless. Might as well just get it done, she thought.

She smiled tenderly, glancing in the rearview mirror. Only on the road for fifteen minutes and the baby was already asleep, head lolling like a rag doll.

Six-year-old Evan was involved with one of his super hero action figures, privately conversing in serious tones. Noticing her reflection, he leaned forward, urgency written on his face.

"Mommy, we forgot to pray."

Shonnie absent mindedly fiddled with the radio. She was not interested in another delay.

"We need to get going, sweetie. Can you pray for us while I drive?"

"Well, I guess me and Buddy could do that..." he said, sounding unconvinced. Shonnie quickly dismissed the idea of pulling over.

"I'm sure you and Buddy will do just fine."

Evan's reference to his 'imaginary friend' disturbed her. Sure, it was a phase but Evan made 'Buddy' seem so real, it was often cause for concern. Shonnie hummed along with the radio and decided she would think about Buddy some other time.

Meanwhile, Evan and Buddy were deep in conversation.


Shonnie was pleased with the results of their mission. All the errands were completed and now she could relax on the drive home. She reached down to grab her sunglasses and not finding them in the usual place, began rummaging in the console. Her eyes squinted against the glare as her vision spotted and silver reflections sliced her view. Finally refocusing, she realized that the flashing metallic was actually a motorcycle turning left into the path of an oncoming car. In a split second, reality melted into horror.

Slamming on the brakes, a scream ripped from her throat. She watched in disbelief as the rider was struck, went airborne in slow motion, and landed on the pavement with a muffled thump. Lying motionless, he looked like a broken toy.

Dialing 911 gave Shonnie a task to help quell the hysteria that threatened to erupt. She knew the kids would be frightened if she fell apart so she needed to keep it together for their sake. Her pounding heart was on the verge of imploding.

Breathe deep, Shon, get a grip, you can do this, she rasped.

Her feeble attempts were completely lost on Evan. Riveted to the scene, he whispered intensely.


Evan gazed at the breathtaking view, captivated-he never tired of it. God had greatly blessed him over the years with a wonderful career, financial success, and a group of associates that held integrity in high esteem. His corner office offered not only the latest technological wonders but more importantly, an amazing slice of nature that had become his own personal sanctuary. Bird houses, ornamental bushes, even an occasional deer. He often found himself drawn to the expansive windows, drinking in God's creation...and praying.

For as long as he could remember, Evan felt compelled to pray. He had always sensed the presence of the Lord and knew without a doubt that Jesus was not just a savior, but also his best friend. Evan talked to Him about everything and it had become a calling. He often found himself interceding on behalf of others, begging His divine intervention...



Forty-three year old motorcycle driver James Sours of Angola sustained minimal injuries after turning into the path of an oncoming car at the entrance to I-69 near the Pokagon exit Saturday afternoon.

An eyewitness said that Sours apparently did not see the southbound vehicle and was struck broadside, throwing him fifty feet.

The motorcycle was a total loss. Crews worked for over two hours clearing debris that scattered from the impact.

Miraculously, Sours sustained only broken bones and a concussion. He was treated at Cameron Memorial Hospital and released.

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This article has been read 683 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Faire Stewart09/11/09
This reminded me of my mom who always said a prayer before she started the car. I'm glad you added the footnote, and I enjoyed your writing.
Carol Slider 09/13/09
This is a very compelling story! Children are amazingly sensitive to the divine... more, I think, than we realize. Well done.
Chely Roach09/13/09
The core of this story is very good...the imagery of the accident got my pulse up a bit, and Evan touched me. My only suggestion would be to work on the flow of this so that the jumps from the past and then back to the present aren't so abrupt. You did a great job of creating characters that involved the reader, and introducing the conflict that kept me reading. Nicely done.
Jan Ackerson 09/13/09
Great story--Evan's a wonderful little guy.

I'd have omitted the flash forward to grown-up Evan, and expanded the characterization of yound Evan, as he's really the star of the story.

Love the title!
Catrina Bradley 09/13/09
Great characterization and scene setting. You drew me into the story and made me feel for the mom and the son. I agree with Chely - the time shifts threw me a bit. I might consider moving the news bit above the "future" paragraph, too.
Catrina Bradley 09/13/09
I forgot to say - it was apparent to me who "Buddy" really was. ;) The invisible friend was a nice touch.
Sarah Elisabeth 09/13/09
I really related to the first few paragraphs, even though I'm not a mom...everyone has those days when you just want to get on the road! lol

I would work on the flow of the story a bit. I found myself having to read some lines more than once.

I liked how you showed a clip of Evan grown up, that he continued in his prayer life and stayed close to his "Buddy" :-) Could use some rearrangement though to help the flow.

Great message!
Karie McCaffity09/14/09
The tyranny of the urgent meets childlike faith. Great reminder gently given.
Mildred Sheldon09/14/09
Loved this story. It was a little rough in spots but all in all Evan was such an engaging child. We all need a friend like Buddy. Thank you.
Marita Thelander 09/16/09
Good job, Kim. The accident scene in particular had me gripped to see it to the the end.
c clemons09/17/09
Liked the title, needs a little work but I'm sure that you can do that, just ask your Buddy where it needs smoothing out and I'm sure He'll help you :)