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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Help (02/20/06)

TITLE: The Truth is in the Jellybeans
By Jhenna  


“Should we wake him?”

“Of course, that’s why we’re here.”

“Someone poke him.”

It’s been said a man’s life flashes before his eyes when he’s about to die but nobody ever said anything about animated jellybeans.

“Wake up!”

Charlie felt a tiny prod against his sun-weathered cheek. He grumbled something unintelligible and rolled over so that his face was pressed into the cooler surface of the rubber raft. “Go away.”

“Sorry, we can’t do that.”

He felt them hop upon his side, and roll lazily along his backbone until they reached the base of his neck. Three little plops quickly followed as they landed neatly into the raft. He could imagine them lined in front of his face but refused to open his eyes to confirm his suspicious.

‘Charlie, please wake up so we can talk.” Blue was always so polite.

Rubbing his eyes, Charlie rolled over, draping his arms across the back of the raft. He blinked at the three jellybeans looking up at him. “Hullo.”

Red executed a tiny hop, setting himself upon Charlie’s chest. “It’s about darn time.”

“Be nice” Yellow followed, giving the other a disapproving nudge. “He’s been through quite a bit

Blue chose to position itself upon the edge of the raft, an odd rolling movement bringing it to rest only a few inches from the man’s face.

The jellybean stared sternly at him. “You fell asleep before we could finish our conversation.”

Charlie rubbed a hand over his stubbly chin. “Talking candy is a little too weird.” He peered through slightly parted fingers, “…even for me.”

“We are all you have right now.” Blue wiggled its bottom end as if to get more confortable.

“Don’t I know it.” Charlie laughed; a flick of his arm indicated the ocean around them. “There’s nothing for miles.” He paused, his next words only a whisper, “I’m going to die out here.”

We're not here to talk about death." Red jumped up and down on his chest, the abrupt movement causing the man to blink in surprise.

“Oh, I’m sorry.” Charlie made an attempt to squelch his own sarcasm. “What are you here to talk about?”

“We were discussing something before you fell asleep,” Yellow piped in. “Don’t you remember?”

“Ah yes,” Charlie smiled slowly. “No good deed goes unpunished.”

All three beans frowned simultaneously.

“It’s all in how you look at it.” Blue was speaking again, “You see-“

“No.. no.. “Charlie interrupted, shifting for a better view of the calmer jellybean. “Let’s review my life’s experiences, shall we?”

“Very well.” The bean seemed unaffected.

“What happened when I stopped my truck at an intersection to help that guy in a wheelchair across the street?”

“You got a ticket for obstructing traffic.” Red bobbed back and forth with a movement resembling a nod.

“Yeah!” Charlie jabbed a finger toward the jellybean. “How fair was that?.”

“It wasn’t” It was Yellow’s turn.

“Then there's all the time I put into helping the new guy at work. He was a scared little mouse and I gave him the skills and confidence he needed.”

“I know some mice that might take exception to that comparison.” Red wiggled a bit.

Charlie sat up abruptly, sending both Red and Yellow flying into the bottom of the boat. “They promoted him and he hasn’t spoken two words to me since.”

“That happens. You can’t control how a person is going to react to you.” It was the calm voice of Blue.

The other two jellybeans hopped upon the ledge beside their companion.

“Let’s not forget my absolute favorite,” Charlie was ranting now, arms flailing. “I’m outside my apartment and notice an elderly woman struggling with her groceries. Naturally, I walked over and offered some help.

“She chased you for a block while beating you with her purse.” Blue’s tone was resigned.

Both Yellow and Red giggled, their bodies quivering slightly.

Blue shushed them with a quick glance, “What people do with your kindness isn’t your concern.”

“Kay…” Charlie squinted at the preaching candy, “Then what’s the point?”

"It’s your warmth and compassion that’s been noticed.”

“By whom?” Charlie shrugged.

“You know Who.” All three jellybeans spoke in unison.

“He has your back.” Blue had to speak against the whirling blades of an approaching helicopter. “Especially when it seems like nobody else does.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Teri Wilson02/27/06
Cute. Loved the jellybeans! Exceptionally creative writing.
Debbie Sickler02/27/06
This is a really cute and creative idea. It reminded me of the movie "Castaway" where Tom Hanks talks to the volleyball. There were quite a few typos, but the writing itself was good. As I read, I wondered if he was going to get mad and eat one of his companions! hehe
Caitlynn Lowe02/27/06
That was absolutely wonderful! Very creative! Who ever knew jellybeans could be so wise? I'll have to take another look the next time I run across a few...hehe.
Jan Ackerson 02/28/06
Wow...just wow. This one takes the "creativity" prize, no doubt about it. Send it off to Jelly Bellies, see what they think. Truly awesome.
Sandra Petersen 03/01/06
This was very clever from the title to the ending! I have to admit, though, that if I were stranded on a rubber raft in the middle of nowhere waiting to die, I would eat the jellybeans one at a time!
Most of your typos involved missing punctuation in the quotations and 'Suspicious' was supposed to be 'suspicions.' I also had a hard time understanding the last statement Blue made, "He has your back."
I was intrigued that you tried to give each jellybean a personality: Blue, calm; Red, impulsive tendency to temper; Yellow, urging Red to be nice. Good message! Good work!
Cheryl Harrison03/02/06
Wonderfully done...message and all! Good job.
Jessica Schmit03/03/06
This is one of my favorite stroies this week .It's one that you can't simply forget. You did a fabulous job of writing, so creative and a great messege. Awsome
The Tornyn03/03/06
GREAT JOB!! I love your odd sense of humor! Who cares about a few typo's!! This was masterfully written!
T. F. Chezum03/03/06
Very clever and very well written. Good job.
david grant03/03/06
Dog-goneit! Why didn't I think of talking jellybeans!
One of the best I've read this week. Glad its in the intermediate challenge and not the advanced. I still may have a chance!

Originality is what makes a writer want to be read.

Great Job!

Karen Rice03/05/06
Eyeing the tropical flavored jellybeans sitting by the computer...'ohgads, now how am I gonna ever eat them again?'

Shari Armstrong 03/05/06
Very cute - well done! :)
Andre Kingston03/09/06
Thank you for this bit of fun. I like that the reaction of others is not the right measure. You did well giving the jellybeans realistic(?) movements and personalities, if that is possible. lol.

I, too, found that ending a bit out of touch with the rest of the story. The 'He's got your back' line is just not in character for any of the jellybeans as you created them. It just feels wrong. If you changed it to something like "He is watching out for you" or "He will reward you accordingly" or something like that, it would work better.

Thank you for this fun writing.