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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

TITLE: The Nerve of Some People
By Laura Manley


Emily pounded her open hands against the steering wheel when she realized someone had stolen her parking place. “That’s it!” She slammed her foot onto the gas pedal and raced off in a huff. Emily’s hair flew in her face from the open window as she frantically searched for a new spot. She finally found one six blocks away. After parking, she stepped out and slammed the door.

As she stepped off the curb, Emily twisted her ankle but that didn’t deter her. She was on a mission. Down the street she ran – click clack, click-clack. “The nerve of some people.” When she reached her building, Emily jerked the door open – nearly knocking it off its hinges.

“Aren’t we in a hurry?” The receptionist raised her eyebrows as she peered at Emily over her glasses.

“Some idiot parked in my space. Doesn’t anybody read signs anymore?” Emily hobbled passed the front desk as she snatched her messages from the receptionist’s hand. She stopped in front of her secretary’s desk

“No one teaches manners anymore. That’s been my parking space for six years. The gall of some people.”

Emily knew better than to slam her office door. Once inside, she ripped her shoes off and threw them at the wall. Emily pressed a button to summon Gracie.

“Gracie, bring your pad and pencil in.”

Gracie responded quickly with Emily’s morning coffee and sat down.

“Thank you, Gracie.” Emily paced in her bare feet while spewing built-up anger as she dictated her memo. When she finished, she slumped into her office chair, grabbed a mirror out of her desk drawer, only to find her hair a tangled mess.

“Now, I want that memo to go to everyone and I want it ready in thirty minutes. Understood?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Emily scowled whenever Gracie called her that; it was something you would call someone her mother’s age, but certainly not her.

“Get a draft of that for me right away.” She waved her hand.

As Gracie rushed out of Emily’s office, she brushed past Mr. Stratton. Just as he and another man entered, Emily was tucking her blouse into her skirt. She sighed when she remembered that her shoes were across the room, so she hid her feet under her desk. “Good morning, Mr. Stratton.” Emily’s voice squeaked an octave higher as she eyed the handsome stranger.

“Good morning, Emily. I’d like you to meet Jake Winters, our new company auditor.”

As she batted her eyelashes, Emily extended her hand and invited the men to sit. While they chatted about business, she shuffled papers on her desk as her eyes flitted to Jake’s bare ring finger. The meeting was too short for Emily’s liking.

Gracie brought in the memo. “It looks fine, Gracie. I want all personnel to get a copy of it. By the way, I’m taking the rest of the day off. My ankle is the size of an elephant’s.

The next morning, Emily awoke to a soft breeze and a sliver of light coming from her bedroom window. As she sauntered off to take her shower, she realized her foot didn’t hurt. She dressed in record time and scurried out the door.

“Ah-hah!” Emily spotted a car ready to park in her assigned spot. “Yoo-hoo!” Emily yelled out her opened window, waving her arms frantically. After double-parking, she jumped out of her car and ran up to the darkened window. Peering into the car, she cranked her arm to get the driver to roll it down.

As the window lowered, Emily could feel the vein in her forehead pulsating. “How selfish can one…oh dear.” Emily’s cheeks flushed as she turned away.

“Is this your parking space, Emily?” Jake got out of the car and walked over to her, but Emily refused to turn around. She could feel the warmth of the flush working its way into her neck.

Jake managed to get in front of her and gently cupped her chin in his hand. “No big deal. I haven’t been assigned a spot yet, so I took this one. How about I treat you to lunch to make up for my ‘selfish behavior’?”

Emily’s luscious lips parted into a smile as they discussed their lunch plans.

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Member Comments
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/02/12
This is a grand story. You grabbed my attention right away by showing the conflict in the first paragraph.

Just some tiny red ink--an em dash (which differs from an en dash because it is longer, more the width of an m while an en is the length of an n) like the one I just used is meant to indicate added emphasis, an interruption or an abrupt change of thought. Your use of it is justified but you put spaces before and after and there should not be spaces. It is two hyphens typed together. (Just thought I'd share that info because punctuation rules are fascinating:) Also you forgot your end quote after elephant's foot.

Now those are tiny errors and ones anyone can make now and again. It certainly didn't distract from your delightful story. I'm not a big romance fan but you did a nice job of pulling me into the flirting. Though the ending was a tad predictable, it still left me satisfied and smiling.

I love how you incorporated the topic, it is something many can relate to. As the holidays draw nearer more and more people will become frustrated about parking space thieves. When it happens to me, I'll stop and remember your story and wonder how God will use that inconvenience in a way that is unexpected. I truly enjoy your piece.
Marie Hearty 11/03/12
What a good story. I enjoyed reading it. I liked what you did with Emily's character and how you described her frustration.
I look forward to reading more from you.

God bless!
lynn gipson 11/08/12
This is GOOD. You are an excellent writer! I loved this story....

God BLess