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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Click (04/18/13)

TITLE: Click It or Ticket
By Rita Minner



“Yes… I understand…thank-you.”


It sounds like someone else spoke those words. The voice is distant, separate from herself, subdued, yet composed. “Thank You?” Grace thought absently, “Why do we say “Thank-You” even when the message is horrific?”

As if in slow motion, she sets the receiver back into the cradle. She determines not to disintegrate into tears. “I’ll go to pieces later.” but that click pummels fear through her maternal core.

Aimee, her 25 year old daughter lays in the university trauma center.

“…collided with another vehicle…no seatbelts” the voice conveyed from the other end of the phone. “She’s critical but we stabilized her on the vent.”

“What does that mean?” Grace wondered. “Is she not breathing on her own?”

“Upon initial examination the C-5 and C-6 vertebrae appear crushed. We’ll need you to come in…complete the paperwork…Ma’am? Are you there? Do you understand?”

“Yes… I understand…thank-you.”


Grace replays the conversation in her mind, hearing the finality of that “click” over and over. She stands, hand still clutched on the receiver; processing all the words but at the same while, contriving. “If I could somehow move backward and never answer the phone, she imagines, it will reverse this melodrama. Surely this is somebody else’s nightmare! I’ll wake up any minute!” The whole thing feels surreal. Grace releases her white-knuckled grip on the phone. ”There’s no fixing this one,” she thought. “No matter how much we may try to intervene, Aimee got herself into something neither of her parents can reverse.”

Shifting into automatic, Grace snatches her purse and keys off the foyer table. She exits the front door and as it locks behind her with another resounding “click”, Grace realizes life will never be the same. “Will Aimee come home in a wheelchair or will she never come home?”
“Where is God in all of this?” she asks.

As Grace steers onto the ramp toward the hospital parking garage, she sees a huge billboard looming overhead. A rather imposing figure of a state policeman with a Smokey-the-Bear type hat perched on his head, peers down at her. With arms folded across his chest, his austere expression communicates watchful, omnipresence. Large, emboldened, brassy-red letters, command, “CLICK IT OR TICKET!”

It wouldn’t have taken Aimee a moment of time or energy to fasten her seatbelt. It might have saved her from this. Grace maneuvers into a parking space, turns off the ignition and sobs remembering the finality of the “click” after the phone conversation, the locking “click” of the door and closure of life as they knew it. “But God, she whispers, You are the God of Salvation, offering hope and mercy. You offer everyone grace, though many refuse to ‘click it’ even when it comes to their eternal security. Salvation is free but it’s up to each individual to take the responsibility to ask You into their life.”

Struggling for composure, Grace slides out of the car, bracing for whatever she will soon see. “I need You, she prays, Help me now. Please help me now and help others to see eternity as it is; real and forever, death or life. Open their eyes to choose life before it’s too late.”

Grace approaches the emergency room doors and they instantly click open. She passes through and without a shade of doubt, He walks right there beside her.

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This article has been read 241 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Brenda Rice 04/29/13
You drew me in right away and I was on the edge of my chair as I finished reading your entry.

Well written and touching.
Joanne Sher 04/30/13
What an engaging story with a powerful message. Thank you for sharing it.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/30/13
It's a really nice job on this piece. I think you need a nice job of building the suspense and creating a good characters.

I was confused in the beginning because I thought the title was in quotations and was part of the initial conversation and I couldn't quite put that in and it wasn't until the end that I realized it was the title and not the initial conversation. Instead of using taglines like she said, try using this place to show the character's emotions like this: "What does that mean?" Grace buried her face in her hands.
Hopefully, not only does it show who is speaking, but it also paints a picture for the reader.

You do a great job of building the suspense. Your story was on topic in a couple of different and important ways. You also included a great message too without coming off as preachy. All in all a good story from beginning to end.
Judith Gayle Smith05/01/13
Your last sentence - love it! This is such a well written entry, and heart-grabbing throughout

Praise YHWH! Throw a Brick for CLICK!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/02/13
Congratulations on placing 1st in your level and 26 overall! (The highest rankings can be found on the message boards at http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=36971&sid=fc51905b09e1c3a6153917b33a0614a4 )
Welcome to level three with your sizzle story! :)
Bea Edwards 05/03/13
Wonderfully written. You made it effortless to place myself in the MC's position.
Well done and congratualtions on your winning entry.
Judith Gayle Smith05/03/13
Claudia Thomason05/03/13
Gripping and heart touching. Good job of telling this story. Congratulations on placing first in your level.