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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Holiday (04/05/12)

TITLE: She Smiled
By Sandra Hartman


I woke with a start and lay there listening. What was that bad dream I had? I ried to catch snippets of if but couldn't. I sat up and wondered what day it was. I looked toward the wall where I usually kep my calendar and realized I'd taken it down. I stood up and shuffled into my living romm. It was filled with boxes. That's right!! I'm planning to move. A sizzle, sizzle, pop sounded from somewhere outside and I made my way to the window. On the lawn were picnic tables surrounded by people chowing down. my neighbors had gills going on my patio. Too Weird!! What day is this? Where did I put that calendar 'Hmmmmmmmm" let's see that box--no that box? That's when I heard the sound of shouting from my back yard drowned out by the start of an electric saw. Now what! I zizagged to the window pulled back the curtain. The backyard was filled with men in hard hats sawing and nailing and building a structure? The people moving into my house must sure be in a hurry I though as I wondered once again the location of that calendar. There was a knock on my back door and I opened it and stared into thin air until I felt a light tapping on my shin. A white bunny was holding a basket of brightly colored eggs was trying to get my attention. "I brought these for you." he said and turned and hopped away. I could only stare in amazement and before I could turn around a lare brown bird flew into my kitchen. A turkey! Where did htat come from? It was gobbling and strutting and checking out my boxes. I really have to find that calendar. There must have been some invitation that I had missed or --I peeked into one of the boxes where I thought it might be and was amazed to find it full of --fireworks? A large bang caused me to jump and the trukey to fly up on my head. "Down! Down!" I yelled swatting vigorously at it. It went to rest on top of the fridge. I was going to have to get that thing out of here! AFter I find that calendar! I sat down the basket of eggs admireing their beautiful colors--Wow!! Some were studded with gems! How Cool! I went over to the dining room and something rustled under my foot. I looked down to find a floor filled with colorful wrapping paper. It was like a great rainbow spread out in and around my boxes. The turnkey landed in the middle of it and started throwing bows and ribbon around. "SHoo! Shoo!" I shouted and it went to perch on the dining room table. Big and fat and plump. Now hwere is that calendar? There! That box in the corner. I opened it and red heart balloons shot out and up to the ceiling. Too wierd!! I saw the trukey eyeing these curiously and warned,"Don't you dare!" I peeked onto my front porch and there was the Manger scene from Christmas--I thought I packed that--ther was the Cross with He is Risen printed over it!! again--thought I packed that--Just then a bunch of people of all colors and shapes and sizes jumped up from my shrubbery and shouted, "Happy NewYear!!" They were tootin gpaper horns and throwing confetti at me. It was New Year's? But no--that not right--it looks like summer outside with all thsoe people picnicking on my lawn. "Come join us!" the crowd called and pulled me out in to the sunshine to sit at a special tabel with a beautiful rainbow tablecloth. Then they betgan to piel colorful gifts in front of me some large and some small. THen they borugh me a humongous piece of chocolate cake wiht chocolate ice cream and cheered Happy Birthday! All I could do was smile.

The hospital room was stark and white and cold and the machines beeped endlessly counting out the end of life. THe family gathered round the freail from on the bed all looked on in wonderment as she began to smile and smile and smilea and then she toiok her last breath and sighed deeply as she stepped into eternity. She was finally on Holiday!!
note: this does not depict any real person

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This article has been read 338 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 04/13/12
This was a good imaginative story...I liked the way the MC transferred over to "Eternity" as she smiled and took her last breath. All the fanfare prior to her demise was clever and interesting the way it was presented. Good story.

God Bless~
Donna Wilcher04/17/12
Wow...do you have an imagination! I really enjoyed the turkey fiasco! I could see him gobbling and jumping around with your MC trying to get it under control! Funny!

There were quit a few spelling errors throughout, but nothing a good "spell-checker" program wouldn't catch.

Your ending took me by complete surprise! Good job!

Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/17/12
This is positively brilliant. I thought it was super clever to worry about the calendar while reminiscing about the different holidays and the significance of them to the MC.

I'm sure by now, you have spotted the many typos and have groaned about them. It's always a good idea to have another set of eyes to proof your work. You could find a challenge critique group of a challenge buddy on the message boards to help you with that fine tuning. Also, you will want to break a short story into short paragraphs double-spacing between them to give the reader that important white space. Hitting preview before submit will help you see what your piece will look like when it is submitted. A secret to prevent you from accidentally hitting submit before preview is leave the title and level spot blank until you have previewed it several times.

I think the ending was brilliant. I figured the MC would be dreaming and you took me by surprise to have her dying in the hospital. What a beautiful message to show the reader that though death can be difficult and scary it can also be wonderful and a release. I also like the real message of if we have invited Jesus into our hearts our final days on earth are really an incredible holiday and holy day. When better to celebrate but when we know we will be meeting Jesus in heaven soon. Great job!
Geoffrey johnstone04/17/12
You certainly have a gift for writing. If you work with other writers your obvious gift will grow.

It doesn't matter how often I check my words someone else always finds a typo. Don't be afraid to get some feedback.