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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Flat (01/03/13)

TITLE: The Earth is Round
By Margo McKenzie


The sun was shining with possibilities while Johanna was sitting in Starbucks drinking her mocha latte. Then Sonny walked in. Tall and handsome as ever. And, yes, he sat down right next to her after his order was complete. They chatted for one hour, more time than they ever talked way back in high school. She had finally gotten his attention. Ten years later. She offered truth between sips of coffee and he? Well, he mixed truth with fantasy, sprinkled with downright lies.

And she was smitten, dazzled by his eyes, his lies and his laughter, so she went with him to continue the conversation. She was excited to see the place where he watched TV and cooked his dinner. He led her into another room to see the place where he lay his head, and he forced her. She tried frantically to resist, longing for just the charm and chatter at Starbucks. But it was too late. Finished, he let her go. She composed herself and her clothes through the anguish and tears, opened the door and she ran and ran and ran and ended up at the beach to find what she had known, that Hurricane Sandy had completely changed its décor. Instead of climbing the twelve steps to the boardwalk and then walking down the steps to the beach, the sands were open access and she walked right to the shoreline standing back just far enough so the waters would not wet her sneakers, and she looked out to that point where the earth and the sea meet, and a flat line peered back at her.

Her thoughts were scrambling. How could this have happened to her? Had her life come to this? How could he? How could she have let it happen? Where were You, my Protector? I trusted You. Now what? The flat line seemed larger than ever. She wondered if she had already reached hers. Had Sonny caused her to reach the border of her existence, the limit of her life? Were there no more steps for her to travel? Had she reached a cliff ? Was this her falling off? Because of Sonny, the flat line raised puzzling questions.

Her mind settled with thoughts of Magellan. In a world of flat--line cliff believers, he clasped onto other thoughts: No, the earth is not flat, the earth is round, and I will prove it.

So she would benefit from the rememberance of another’s conviction. The world that the Creator had made allowed its inhabitants to continue their steps. If we would get there, the planet would not limit. And so she would not allow Sonny to limit her nor would she limit herself. Magellan had never reached the horizon and neither would she. She would continue her journey starting with doctor and then D.A. And after that return to unfolding the possibilities of her life.

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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/11/13
This is a powerful story on a difficult topic. I could relate to the MC's pain.

I noticed a tiny error. Instead of a hyphen, you used an em dash. A hyphen is used to join two words together like Flat-lined while an em dash represents a sudden interruption.

Those are little things though and doesn't subtract from the powerful story. I think you used the topic in a clever and fresh way. The characters felt real and I could feel the pain pour off the page. There is so much wisdom in this piece. Though it is a difficult topic to think about it's a reality for far too many people. Getting stories out there will help people learn how to heal. Nicely done.
Theresa Santy 01/14/13
This is one of my favorite 'flat' entries. I loved the style. What is that? It's like a poem, but without poetic prose. You wrote deeply, but without explicit details. You said so much and yet said so little. You engaged me as a reader, inviting me to think and feel.

If only Hollywood producers could learn a lesson or two from you.
C D Swanson 01/14/13
This sobering piece about a horrific subject was moving and well written. It was done in a tasteful way, and managed to bring home the feelings and internal dialogue of the MC with clarity...Excellent piece of writing.

God bless~