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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)

TITLE: Charlie and the Cooking Factory/Station
By Sue Dent


Charlie and the Cooking Factory

“Could you hurry up with that ounce of prevention?” snapped Charlie.

He puts his hand out to take what he’d just asked for from his apprentice, all the while looking into the long scope his right eye was pressed against. But what he was handed was much heavier than it should have been. He turns. Stares at the cup he’s now holding. Eyes wide he exclaims, “I asked for an ounce. This isn’t an ounce!”

Quickly working to remedy his oversight, the once eager apprentice removes an ounce with a measuring spoon. Then hands it back.

“Sorry,” he said, doleful. “I just thought if an ounce was worth a pound of cure, imagine what a whole cup would do.”

Charlie turned after sending the ounce down to its intended recipient. “You don’t do much cooking do you?”

His head dropped forward as he mumbles. “They didn’t send me over here because I could cook. They sent me here because I messed up at the last station.”

Charlie was quick to correct. “They sent you over here to learn and the first thing you need to learn is that you don’t know everything. Because if you knew everything then why would they send you over here.”

In awe he stares. “How’d you learn so much about cooking Charlie? And what’s it mean anyway – an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure?”

“Well, technically it means that a little precaution before a crisis occurs is preferable to a lot of fixing up afterward.”

“Oh.” The apprentice nods his head slowly. “Could’ve used that bit of knowledge over in sewing the other day--before I neglected to realize that a stitch in time saves nine. Boy was that embarrassing. Now everybody knows I have little duckies on my –”

Charlie clears his throat loudly. “Ahem, modesty is the best policy.”

The apprentice’s face lights up. “Wow, you are good!”

“Yes, well, I was in fashion once. Never did quite get the hang of it, if you know what I mean.”

A certain smile. Head nodding. “Yes, I know what you mean.” Then, shaking head back and forth. “No, I’m afraid I don’t. But I suppose that’s why they kicked me out of fashion.”

There was no escaping that the apprentice was desperate to find a place where he belonged. And in some small way, Charlie wanted to make him feel better. “Well, we’ll find something for you to do. Not everything is better made from scratch.”

But the adage only stood to make the apprentice feel worse. “Oh, Charlie when will I ever know as much as you? You know, I’ve even prayed about this.”

Charlie seemed surprised. “You haven’t!”

“Yes,” he said, confirmed the revelation. “I have!”

“How do you know God?”

The apprentice slid into deep thought, thumped his forehead with a finger then said. “You know, Charlie, it’s not about how we know God, it’s about how God knows us.”

A slow smile filled Charlie’s face. “You know you’re right! And I think we just found your station.”

Placing a hand on the apprentice’s shoulder he called out through the open door. “Could someone please show this young man to Salvation. I think is insight might be helpful.”

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This article has been read 819 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 01/11/07
Extraordinary, neat, unique and very, very interesting entry. Never thought of all those cliche's we use every day...but liked the idea. Cooking wasn't exactly the main theme here, and I didn't exactly like the final outcome...but SO creative, I couldn't help but like it. Well written.
Jan Ackerson 01/11/07
A clever and creative look at cliches...I enjoyed this.

There were a few instances of switching from past to present tense and back.

This is a unique entry!
Helen Paynter01/11/07
A very creative, might I say tangential, look at the subject - at life generally, in fact. As usual!
I didn't find this as easy to get hold of as some of your writing, though - I found the setting a bit mystifying, and the tense switches were a bit distracting. But some very clever use of adages, and an enjoyable read.
Sara Harricharan 01/11/07
Wonderfully creative! Loved the title and kind of 'twist' near the end. A little awkward it seemed between Charlie and the new apprentice during the opening dialouge, but otherwise, quite fun to read! Good job! :)
Joanne Sher 01/15/07
Creative and QUITE cute - I love your fun use of these little adages. I also notices the tense changes and a few grammar things, but this was lots of fun to read!
Leigh MacKelvey01/16/07
I liked the ending! I was happy for the little apprentence.