Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Gone Fishing (02/01/07)
TITLE: Bathroom Holiday
By Marlene Bonney
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Focusing on the pine-knot walls, she gazed at unfamiliar surroundings, slowly remembering that they had traveled Up North last night and were sharing a rented cottage with Dan’s father and young brother for their week’s vacation. Scrambling out of bed and peeking out the bedroom door to make sure the path was clear, Deena made a dash for the tiny bathroom that was squeezed next to the kitchenette. Previously, Dan had noticed her discomfort at not having much privacy in an all-guy environment, so he had rounded up an old skeleton key for the inside bathroom door. A couple of minutes later, as Deena began to wash up, she noticed upon the mirror, in typical “Dan-fashion”, a toothpasted inscription that read: “Gone Fishing”; and then, a postscript at the bottom, “Back in a few hours. Have fun with the place all to yourself!”
“How sweet,” Deena thought, as she envisioned a lazy morning out by the lake in the hammock, reading a new novel without interruption and snacking to her heart’s content. As if to contradict this train of thought, a kick under her ribcage reminded her that the hammock just might be a little difficult to navigate in her present condition. She dreamily replaced the hammock with a padded blanket on the grassy knoll, and smiled in anticipation of birds singing, waves gently lapping, and cicadas chirping as she would enjoy delicious solitude. How utterly freeing to get away from the starkly hectic city to soak in the beauty of God’s creation!
Deena grabbed up her toiletries to head back to the cramped bedroom, deftly twisting the key counterclockwise with her free hand. It was then evident she needed both hands for this procedure, since the key was old and tended to stick. Mildly irritated, she emptied her other hand and went to work on the stubborn key. Using all her strength, she gave it a mighty final turn—and stared open-mouthed in disbelief at the key stem that had broken off in her hand, while the other half fell down inside the keyhole with an ominous clink!
For the following hour, Deena tried to retrieve the key clasp from inside the mechanism. Finally, defeated, she spent the next sixty minutes singing all the songs she could think of to pass the time. She then managed to lie down on the floor on her side in a semi-cramped position, lamenting their lodging choice that included a matchbox-size restroom.
“I’ll never complain about a motel bathroom again”, she promised herself.
During her final hour of captivity, Deena tried to deflect her hunger pains by reciting all the Bible verses she could remember, praying for everyone she could think of, and wondering repeatedly how in the world men could spend so much time in a boat watching bobbers go up and down—especially when there was a damsel in distress awaiting their return.
A few minutes later, Dan and his fishing partners pranced in to find a tearful, angry pregnant lady holed up in their needed bathroom. After trying in vain to stifle their spontaneous guffaws of amusement, the men became sympathetic to Deena’s plight. Holding a whispered conference huddle after each tried in vain to force the doorknob, the men decided to remove the door hinges. It was a ruffled, but relieved, wife who tremulously tumbled into her husband’s fishy arms.
Of course, Deena survived her ordeal, but only to relive it the following Christmas when Dan’s father and little brother presented her with an elaborately engraved “GONE FISHING” plaque.
Now, years later, every family vacation includes packing this memento to hang on the bathroom doorknob when she is inside.
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