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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Lifeguard (11/09/06)

TITLE: Hey, Grandma
By Steve Clark
11/09/06


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Hey, Grandma.

*****

Yeah, schoolís okay. I got a B in math, but English isnít so good.

*****

No. Iím okay. I stay out of trouble. But, sometimes Mrs. Wigglebaum has to punish other kids. One time, you know... she put this boy in the corner chair, and I was like, Iím glad itís not me.

And, then, last Saturday, you know... Daddy drove us to the pool. There was a man there sitting in a high chair next to the edge. The rest of us were swimming and he just sat there watching us. I thought he was being punished, you know. So, I asked him what he did to be punished. He said he was the lifeguard and was there to protect us. I said, ďOh.Ē

Later on, I was going after the ball and got near the part where it begins to get deeper, you know? I became kind of floaty and couldnít stop going into the deeper part. I tried bouncing to keep breathing, but it kept getting deeper. I couldnít touch bottom anymore and I couldnít breathe. I was afraid I might drown.

*****

You okay, Grandma?

*****

No. Iím fine, now.

*****

I donít know. I guess he was reading or something.

*****

So, anyhow, there I was, almost drowning to death and suddenly someone grabbed me and carried me up. It was the lifeguard.

*****

Yeah.

*****

He took me back to the shallow end. He smiled and told me to stay where I was safe. He was very nice.

Then the next day, at Sunday School, they told us about how Jesus watches over us and I got a picture in my head of him sitting in a high chair watching over me like a lifeguard.

The next day at recess, I sort of saw him in a really big chair watching us play. He was smiling, too. I had fun and wasnít worried about getting hurt, or the mean kids, or anything.

*****

Yeah. It was really cool.

*****

Okay. Whatever. Then, on Tuesday night, Daddy was opening the mail at the kitchen table. Mom was doing dishes and they were talking about money. Daddy was writing in that little book, you know? And then I saw Jesus sitting in a high chair in the corner, behind Daddy. He smiled at me again and then watched what Daddy was doing.

*****

No. It was like he was being a lifeguard for Daddy, too.

*****

Yeah. And then we were at the mall yesterday. Mom and me.

*****

Yeah, it was after school. I needed some new sneakers and Mom said she wanted some earrings. Anyhow... Mom was trying on sunglasses at one of those things in the middle of the walking area.

*****

Okay. Whatever. And there was another one of those... keyosts... nearby that had stuffed animals. I went over there and started looking around, you know?

*****

No. She could still see me. Til I went around the other side. Then there was another one giving away chocolate, so I went over there to get some. It wasnít far. I got some for Mommy, too. But, when I went back to give it to her I couldnít find her. I couldnít find the sunglass keyost or the stuffed animal one either.

*****

You okay, Grandma?

*****

No. Iím fine. Anyways. So, there I am lost. I start getting scared cause thereís all these strangers around.

And I look up and thereís Jesus sitting in his high chair watching me. He smiled at me, which made me feel better. Then he pointed at a man standing in the corner and kind of waved me to go toward him. He had on a blue hat and a blue shirt.

So, I go over closer and Jesus is like nodding and doing this thing with his hand to get me to talk to the man.

*****

Huh?

*****

Yeah. I guess so. So, I tell him what happened, you know. And he uses this walkie-talkie thing to ask someone else about the sunglass keyost.

*****

Yeah. And then he walked me back past the chocolate place, and the stuffed animals, and there was Mom looking in the mirror at the sunglass keyost. She didnít even know I had gotten lost.

*****

Oh, yeah. But, it had started melting in my hand, so I just ate it.

*****

My mom says I gotta go to bed now. Did you want to talk to her?

*****

Okay. Here she is. Bye Grandma.

*****

I love you, too. Bye.


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This article has been read 666 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Teresa Lee Rainey11/16/06
Unique story-telling here. I could picture my boys when they were younger and more innocent, talking to their grandma.
Joe Moreland11/16/06
Okay, the style really started to annoy me in the beginning, then I got used to it and the storytelling took over and I got wrapped up in the wonderful metaphor of Jesus as his personal lifeguard. When I finally figured out that it was a phone conversation, I had almost forgotten about the style. That last piece of the picture really completed the whole piece. Funny, when I re-read it knowing it was a phone conversation, it wasn't as interesting...so great job of using an intriguing technique to really draw me in, and then doing such a great job showing me this kid's story.
Verna Cole Mitchell 11/18/06
I loved the idea for telling the story from a one-sided phone conversation. The little boy was believable--from a Grandmother who has heard little boys on the phone. Good story!
julie wood11/20/06
I loved this story! Original, creative idea in formatting it as a phone conversation between a little boy and his grandma. I could hear the little boy talking--he sounded real. I enjoyed his refreshing way of viewing the world--such as thinking at first the lifeguard was being punished by being made to sit in a chair. Great message, too!
Val Clark11/25/06
Finally got to it, Steve. I really do love the way you have the boy attacking the conversation and barreling through it - it rings with authenticity. I hope that you keep contributing.

cindy yarger12/22/06
I loved this! Very creative and I like the one sidedness of it. Well done.