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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sizzle (05/02/13)

TITLE: "Honey, I think the Barbecue is on fire."
By Francie Snell
05/08/13


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It was a blissful scene. My husband Paul sat relaxing on the couch after a long day, petting our loving cat who purred a love song of contentment. The room was cozy with the sound of the wood stove softly ticking. It was a reminder of the great peace God had given us, a moment I dared not interrupt.

Relishing the moment I thought,"No, I couldn’t ask Paul, not now. I can operate the barbecue on my own...it isn’t rocket science."

“You just sit there and relax while I make dinner. How about steak and salad?” I soothingly suggested.

“Yeah, that sounds great.”

“How about the t-bones in the freezer?” I offered.

“Yeah, those would be good”, he said with a glaze of ecstasy in his eyes.

“T-bones it is.”

With his vote of confidence, I gallantly set off with a purpose to prepare a meal fit for a King.I placed the frozen meat in the microwave and set it for defrost, then started outside to the barbecue, about 15 feet away.

With a drum roll playing in my mind, I opened the lid. With a quick click of a button, I started the first burner, the second, then on to the third. Lastly, the fourth burner was lit. I closed the lid feeling victorious.

Stepping back inside I proudly announced, “Fire’s started. All four burners right?”

“Yep, all four.”

“Ok, all set. I’ll give it a few minutes to get going.”

“Ok” he said, still petting the cat.

I was in my glory. Everything was under my control with Paul not having to move a muscle.

I washed the lettuce thinking of the delectable additions I could throw into the mix. DING, the steaks were defrosted. I generously sprinkled our signature seasoning on them, and then carefully carried them out to the barbecue. It was hot and ready. I strategically placed them on the grill, shut the lid, and then stepped back inside the warm kitchen.

“Ten minutes, right?”

“Yeah, give them that on both sides and that should be good.”

I set the timer then began preparing the salad. "Olives, croutons, cheese, cucumbers…Hmmm let’s see what else we have" I wondered peering into the refrigerator.

While preparing the salad, DING , the timer went off. It was time to turn the steaks. I walked out and turned the steaks, then back inside and set the timer for another 10 minutes.

Now, for the salad dressing…

“Hey Paul, what kind of dressing would you like on the salad?”

“Ranch. You know I always like Ranch”

“Yeah, I know,” I said with a sigh.

I went to the refrigerator again, this time to retrieve the Ranch Dressing. When opening the door I noticed a dancing light off to my left. It was a great flame arising, shooting out of the barbecue, lighting up the night sky... pulling my thoughts away from Ranch Dressing.

I was concerned but thought, "This is no big deal, I’ll just shut off the gas and it will be out in no time...Paul will never have to know."

I secretly hurried out to the grill and turned off the gas then waited, and waited. However, the flames grew higher, towering above me, defiantly refusing to subside.

"Hmmm" I thought,"Maybe I should let Paul in on this." Keeping my cool, I casually walked back in the house, and with a smile calmly announced, “Honey, I think the barbecue is on fire.”

“What?” He scowled with alarm.

“You might want to check out the grill?” I hinted in a higher note.

Paul jumped up, flinging the cat from his lap. In a twinkling of an eye, our cat was airborne, then gracefully landing on the other end of the couch.

Paul raced to the window, then to the kitchen sink and started filling a large glass with water.

“Is water safe to use?” I asked as Paul flew by me, glass in hand, and out to the barbecue. I was close behind and arrived at his side as he doused the flames.

The fire was out.

“Oh well, so much for the steaks,” he said as we stood together in our sorrow.

I expected the worst as he slowly lifted the lid, however, to our surprise we found the steaks sizzled to perfection.

Once again I realized, God makes all things work together for good to those who love Him...even dinner.


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This article has been read 270 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mary Knoll Santos05/10/13
This is entertaining! Thanks. Yey! The t-bones didn't burn. God rewarded your pure heart with an enjoyable meal. :-) Good writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/11/13
This is a charming story. You managed to make cooking dinner suspenseful and entertaining. Only someone with a natural talent could do that as well as you did.

The biggest suggestion I could give would be to do more showing and less telling. One way to do that is to get rid of the passive verbs like was and is etc. Another way would be to use narrative lines instead of taglines like he said. For example: I glanced to the left and felt my heart pound as flames from the grill shot up to the sky. "Honey, the grill's on fire!"
Hopefully that shows how to get rid of the pesky passive and the tagline.

Overall you did a great job. It was on topic, fun,and had a great message. Nicely done.
Brenda Rice 05/14/13
I enjoyed the way you set the scene and the tone of the entry. I like humor, too. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/16/13
Congratulations I am so happy for you! One of the coolest things about FW is watching authors blossom. Listening to the message God puts on your heart, noting feedback and persevering allow good writers turn into fantastic writers. Congratulations on your EC! I'll look for your ding-dong story in level three!
Marsha Barrow05/16/13
I enjoyed your story. Congratulations on placing first.
Mary Knoll Santos05/16/13
Congratulations on your win. The LORD bless you with many more success in your writing jouney. Thank you so much or blessing me with your kind and gracious comment on my sizzle entry.
Peace and love to you and your family. :-)
Sandra Wells05/16/13
Congratulations Francie!! You did a great job, now you get to move up to level 3! Again great job!
Vince Martella05/16/13
Congrats on your first place win. Your story kept me entertained. You did a good job building suspense. Well done.
Judith Gayle Smith05/16/13
lOVE this! You always have such tasty entrees/entries! Congratulations!
Bea Edwards 05/20/13
Delightful story. I really enjoyed the way you described your MC's desire to minister to her husband with a scrumptious meal. Congratulations on your win.
Bea Edwards 05/20/13
Delightful story. I really enjoyed the way you described your MC's desire to minister to her husband with a scrumptious meal. Congratulations on your win.