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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Search Engine (10/06/11)

TITLE: Remembering My Granny
By annie keys


Sliding down into the seat, I felt the rhythm of the rails counting off the miles beneath the train. The sun was just peeking up over the eastern sky; streaks of azure, crimson and gold glowing like party lights, chasing the night away.I couldn’t believe that she was gone! My beloved Granny was dead.

Closing my eyes, I remembered sitting beside granny, on this very train. When I was a child, in the summertime, I would spend a whole month at Granny’s house. She’d come to get me on the train then we’d ride back to the city together.Comforting myself with memories of times we’d shared, I turned to face the glowing sunrise.

Once, as we rode to granny’s house, I couldn’t have been any more than 5 years old, we’d watched the sunrise together. I’d asked her how you could tell a sunrise from a sunset, because the colors were always the same.

Granny threw her head back, laughed that marvelous laugh and said, “Honey, if you just woke up and started the day, it’s a sunrise. If you’re done with dinner and sitting on the back step thinking about the day you just had, it’s a sunset.” Such grandma wisdom always amazed me. Grief washed over me like waves thundering on the seashore. I turned my face away from the window, letting the tears cool the emotional heat in my face.

I remembered when granny got her first computer, about five years ago. We opened the box together. Then, I set it up for her, got her connected to the internet and committed myself to a weekend of bringing my granny into the techno age.

Granny loved research; she had a stack of “look it up” books. When I introduced Granny to search engine technology she was stunned! All that information floating around out there, waiting for her to call it down into her computer; she couldn’t believe it! Then, and this was SO like granny, she turned, looked me in the eyeballs and said, “Kinda like the world’s version of a Bible I guess.”

Confused, I asked her what she meant. She said, “God’s Word has the answer for every question about living. Everything I need to know, right here, written for me to use as reference for everyday life. How to handle being mad, what to do when I want to be bad; all right here, in God’s search engine”. The Bible as life’s search engine, only my Granny could come up with something like THAT!

A tear escaped down my face as the grief washed over me in waves. I always knew I was her favorite, even though she swore she loved all of her grandchildren the same. We had a connection, a kindred heart, she always called it. She said it was because we were so much alike.

When I was a little kid, granny taught my Children’s Church class. She did outrageous things like wear two totally different socks; one red sock and the other one a purple and pink striped sock. We kids would howl with laughter and she acted like she had no idea what we were laughing about!

When one of us would point out the odd socks, she’d look down, as if shocked and clap her hand over her mouth. She’d let out a squeal and proclaim, “On NO, I did it AGAIN!” Every kid in the class would be laughing till they could laugh no more! Then, and this was SO like Granny, she’d turn and say, “Kind of like God’s children, we’re all different but we’re all special!” My Granny could find God in any circumstance; whether tragedy or victory, sad or hilarious, Granny could make it point to Jesus.

As the train pulled into the station, my heart ached in the knowledge that Granny was not there to yank me up and kiss me all over my face and hug me tight. I tried to hold the tears back; my heart ached to hear her laugh-- one more-- time.

Later, at her house, her beloved Bible lay on her nightstand. Memories of recent evenings spent over coffee, sharing how God’s search engine, the Bible, helped us in everyday life made me smile.

When I opened it, I found a picture of myself, anointed with tears that she had cried over me as she prayed. Holding her Bible tenderly against my breast, I hurried to catch the evening train.


word count: 748

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jenna Dawn10/20/11
This is a really sweet and very well written story. I love how the story of the narrator on the train is interwoven with memories of Granny. You brought the characters to life. I want to meet Granny! And the way you worked the topic into the story was very creative.

Two tiny things: Sometimes you capitalized Granny and sometimes you didn't. Since Granny is her "name" it should be capitalized. The only time it might not need to be capitalized is when referring to her as "my granny", (like my grandma, my mom or my dad). I'm referring to this sentence: "My Granny could find God in any circumstance ... " But even then, I think the way it is intended is to be her name, like a wife referring to "my Johnny". Therefore, it is my opinion that it should be capitalized in that instance as well. I hope that makes sense!

You used the phrase "and this was SO like granny" twice. I liked it the first time. The second was a bit redundant.

Overall, this was a great story. Creative and very well written. I'm guessing it will rate high with the judges.
Keith Murrill10/20/11
I got so caught up in the descriptive detail that I forgot I was reading a contest entry. It sounded like a story out of a personal journal more than a fictional story. I even caught myself thinking about my own late grandmother. Many of these articles make me think, few make me feel. Well done.
C D Swanson 10/21/11
Beautifully written and a poignant entry. I thought of my own precious grandmother the whole time I was reading it through my teary eyes.

Nice job-you caught hold of my heart strings, and you managed to pull on them for the entire story, and still doing it well after the story was done. Love when our Lord is exalted and mentioned, so extra points for that alone!

God Bless you~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/21/11
This is really lovely. I could empathize with the MC. Make sure you capitalize Granny when using it as a name. You did a nice job wearing the topic in.
Jan Ackerson 10/22/11
I'd consider this one strong on criterion #2 (unique, fresh, memorable). None of the other stories I've read dealt with the topic in this way. Well done!

Consider working a bit more on #3 (craft). For example, from this story, I don't really feel as if I know your granny--include a few more anecdotes, to make her real and alive to your readers.

You were also strong on #4 (start). You definitely hooked this reader!
Linda Goergen10/23/11
Oh, I loved this and was shocked at the end to see it was fiction! It seemed so real...reminded me of and brought back memories of my own late grandmother! This was so well written and I loved Granny's faith and wisdom! Just a terrific job on this! I thoroughly enjoyed the read!
Wilma Schlegel10/28/11
So realistic, so believable. Even now that I see it was fiction, I want to comfort you with the knowledge that you'll see your Granny again!
And - you've created a character that I want to emulate.
Mildred Sheldon10/31/11
A story of fiction, but one that touches the heart. You did a fantastic job on covering the subject. You were right on target and you held my attention from beginning to end.
Colin Swann11/01/11
A lovely, interesting and easy-readable story. I'm glad you pointed out it was fiction - I thought it must be true. Well done!
Jenna Dawn11/03/11
Congrats Annie! I feared you might beat me out and you did. ;)

Off to Advanced level you go!