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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Savory to the Taste (07/26/12)

TITLE: Inhale a Delectable Texture
By Hugh Houchin


Sitting alone at the back of the church, I realized my appetite for the day needed a boost. This tux and all its paraphernalia aggravated me. A tie and vest, suspenders, and a dinner jacket, with a doily, handkerchief, or whatever in the front pocket, all added to my discomfort. Crap, itís August and anything more than jean shorts and a pullover is unnecessary, even for my youngest daughterís wedding.

Iím watching photos of her and my almost official new son-in-law. The sequenced pictures flash across the screen, from their respective childhoods to engagement photos. I watch the panorama, alone with my thoughts. Twenty-plus years ago her mother and I separated, and later divorced; thus my daily contact with our children ceased, for a time. As a result, Iíve never seen many of the pictures of her.

Two times I watched the photogenic succession unfold before me, and, along with a welling tear or twenty, sampled the succulent memories that her grade school photos evoked. Afterwards, I blinked, leaned back and stretched out my arms, to spur my return to reality. While doing so, I scrutinized the wedding entourage at the front of the church. They saturated the space between the first pew and the lectern, with humanity. The homing devices below my eyebrows rested on my other three daughters and son, who were huddled in that saturated space.

Her sisters had that ďI canít bear itĒ look. I noticed earlier that it began with their calves, which were taut from wearing long and spindly high-heeled shoes. Now, the culture of distress wandered above their waists, where it seemed like every third move they made included pulling up the top of their strapless gowns. Who knows, maybe the tops threatened to slip and expose a breast or two; I donít know. Nevertheless, whether the problem is not enough breast or too much gown, itís beyond me, but Iím not going to ask. Some things itís best to not verbally regurgitate.

In addition, my son appeared uncomfortable in his tux, which is good because misery loves company. In silence, I thanked the Lord for the five morsels of joy He gave the mother of my children and I.

I decided to join them, when movement in that area caught my attention. I looked up, and my eyes captured the substance of a scrumptious delicacy that would bring a sensitive seasoning to any buffet. Yes, the one my children call Mom joined the group. I watched as she shared with them, maybe passing tidbits of mutual interest about the day. Her quintessence joy wafted a wave of emotion that floated to the back of the church, and enveloped me.

I looked at her, as a connoisseur contemplates a palate, and wondered... No, itís best I don't follow that inclination. Nonetheless, the needed boost to my appetite made her appearance.

Our marriage is the greatest failure in my life, and I am to blame for its demise. However, over the years, neither of us remarried, and weíve remained friendly. My question is that even though the main course dried out, from lack of attention; does that mean taste buds dry out too?

If only sheíd let me dine at her table.

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This article has been read 348 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 08/03/12
This was a powerful story with so many emotions throughout. Wow. Good job and well done. Thank you.

God bless~
Helen Curtis08/04/12
Wow, you have a remarkable way of describing the scene at hand.

May I speak honestly? Well, I will; and if I speak out of turn, please pm me and tell me so :-)

I found myself at odds with this for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I'm not sure about the word "Crap." It kind of fits the character, but it did jar a little. Don't get me wrong, I'm not part of a censorship movement or anything; I just think it jarred me - maybe that's a good thing, in the sense that it grabbed my attention? But I felt it stopped the flow a little. Just my thoughts; others may have no issue whatsoever with this word, but I thought I'd mention it.

I love the descriptions you use from the father's perspective; my question is, would a man, especially a father, be paying attention to calves and high heels (would they even know that wearing heels is so excruciatingly painful?!); dresses that may expose a breast or two - hmmm, it just didn't feel natural to read that. Again, I don't know that a man would notice this, and a father would not be likely to be quite so blase about it, even if estranged for so long. I hope I've explained myself well enough?

What I did really really love was your overall picture of the scene as a banquet kind of scenario. The way the dad's eyes (great description!) fell onto his ex-wife, and the analysis of their failed marriage, was so clever and so very well thought out. The last line was full of sadness and yet also hope; perhaps there was hope for them yet, and I desperately wanted to read more! I want to know what happens to them; does she take him back, is there some 'taste' still there?!?!

I pray that my comments have come across in love, and not critically. Personally, I love your style and look forward to identifying who 'you' are! Well done, God bless. Helen
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 08/05/12
This is an interesting POV. I thought it clever that you began with the wedding and ended with the MC reevaluating his own life.

It may have been a tad week on topic though I did see it as a bit of a metaphor. Perhaps if you had infused those thoughts throughout the story, it might be easier to see the topic. Also you said He gave the mother of my children and I. It should be as me. A good test is to remove the other person because you wouldn't say He gave I.

You had some creative takes here and it did make me stop and see the influence I've had on my kids. My oldest is getting married soon and I could really relate to the MC. Good job.
Mildred Sheldon08/08/12
A very interesting take on the subject. Thank you for sharing and God bless.