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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Bookends (01/30/14)

TITLE: Devine Intervention
By Michele Fleming


Mandi wandered Studdard’s Antiques, browsing all the handcrafted items on display. The ones with rich, ornate details were her favorite. Rounding the corner at the end of the aisle, she ran smack-dab into someone.

“Oh, my!” She reached to help steady the elderly gentleman. “I am so sorry. I should have been paying closer attention.”

“Oh, it’s alright.” He assured her after regaining his balance. He then gave her a warm smile that spread to his crystal blue eyes, causing them to appear to twinkle.

“Is this shop yours?”

“Yes, ma’am, Harvey Studdard at your service.” He extended his right hand in greeting.

Mandi happily shook his hand. “It’s wonderful to meet you. My name is Mandi.”

“The pleasure is all mine, Mandi. May I help you find something?”

“Oh, I’m not looking for anything in particular. I just love looking and collecting.”

“What sort of things do you like?”

“I like it all, but pieces with detailed carvings are my passion.”

His eyes lit up at this statement.

“In that case, I have something I would like to show you.”

Mandi followed him to a row of shelves in the back of the store, where he pointed to a beautiful, hand-carved, wooden angel.

“It’s beautiful!” Mandi took it from the shelf and caressed the smooth, walnut wood.

The intricate details of the angel’s wings were breathtaking.

“It is a bookend.” Mr. Studdard clarified.

“Oh, really? Where is its mate?” Mandi began to scan the shelves.

“See, this here bookend is special. It has a legend that goes along with it.”

“Ok, I’ll bite. What’s the story?”

“Well, legend has it, this bookend has divine powers.”

“Devine, as from God?”

“Exactly.” Mr. Studdard smiled. “Supposedly, whoever owns this bookend will find their own mate by finding its mate.”

Mandi laughed.

“You don’t believe me?”

“No, I believe that is the legend. It just seems a little farfetched, don’t you think?”

“How do you think I found my wife?” It was now his turn to laugh. “You just look at it a little longer. If you decide to buy it, I will assure you that you will be most happy with your purchase.”

With that, he turned and walked away. Mandi looked back at the wooden angel in her hand.

It really was a beautiful piece. She tipped it over to read the price tag on the bottom and found it to be a reasonable price. Finally, she decided that she would get the piece even though she did not have the mate to it.

Mandi made her purchase and then made her way out of the store and to her car. As she drove, she kept glancing over in the passenger seat at the angel.

“Divine powers.” Mandi chuckled. “If only it was true, then I could meet the man of my dreams.” She wistfully mocked.

Two months later, she decided to take the angel to the antique show in town to get it appraised. It probably wasn’t worth anything, but who knows, right?

When it was Mandi’s turn, an older woman led her into a room and told her that an appraiser would be with her shortly. She decided to browse the collection of antiques strewn about the room while she waited.

“Hello, my name is Mark. How may I help you today?” The deep and rich voice startled her.

Mandi turned and found herself stricken speechless by the handsome face before her.

Finally, she found her voice. “Hello, I am . . . Mandi.”

“Mandi, do you . . . have . . . Something to be appraised?” Was he as flustered as she was?

“Uh . . . Yes. I have this angel.” Clumsily, she unwrapped the piece. Mark gasped.

“Is something wrong?” She worried.

“Uh, no, nothing is wrong. Where did you get this, if I may ask?”

“Studdard’s Antiques. It’s a small shop here in town.”

“Yes, I know the place well.”

“You do?”

“Yes. Tell me, did you meet Harvey Studdard while you were there?”

“I did! Odd little fellow, but very likable. How do you know him?"

Mark smiled, causing her heart to run wild. “He sold me the mate to this bookend two months ago.”

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This article has been read 189 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 02/06/14
Awww. I am a fan of romance and happy ending, and this well written piece had both.

I loved it. Great story!

Is this true?

God bless~
Larry Whittington02/09/14
This is a nice series of dialog interspersed with short MC statements.

The ending is left to the imagination of the readers.

Good work.
Toni Hammer02/11/14
I absolutely loved this. The ending gave me the biggest smile. I will read this again and again. Superb.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/12/14
This is great! You had me hooked right away. I kind of saw the ending coming, but thought it was still a wonderful delight. You also do some great showing. I especially like the mood you set with the description of the old man's eyes. That's a great compliment from me because often I think people can go overboard describing things that aren't vital to the storyline, but this set the mood and I loved it! I can see that you probably struggled with making it all fit in under 750 words, but you did a fine job. It's not easy to decide where to clip words when you've gove over. The ending felt a tiny bit rushed and maybe you could have balanced it a tad more, but overall you really did a splendid job. I liked your great use of the topic too. Well done.

On the message boards Jan's Writing Basics is going over some of the criteria the judges use. It's great for all levels of writers and you might want to pop in and check it out. Last week she discussed atmosphere and this week is crafting.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/13/14
Congratulations on ranking 7th in your level. The highest rankings can be found on the message boards.