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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)

TITLE: Luscious Fruit of the Vine
By Rhonda Clark


I stared into the mirror. The only thing needed to make my face perfect was lipstick. Luscious Fruit of the Vine, to be exact. Without looking, I reached for my favorite tube of lipstick. To my surprise, it wasn’t there.

Shock and panic coursed through my veins. How could I be out of such a perfect shade? I looked at the tray that held my entire collection of lipsticks and found it empty. They were all gone—every one of them: Sunkissed Pink, Sweet Red Melon, and Brickyard Afternoon. None were in their respective and revered place in my lipstick tray. Another wave of shock rolled over me. Why were all my lipsticks missing? I furrowed my brow and pursed my lips as I pondered this mystery. Then, I decided to interrogate the most likely suspects, the other female residents of this house.

With my motherly fortitude, I marched down the hall to the room of the most likely perpetrator, my eldest daughter. I knocked on Winter’s bedroom door.

“Come in.”

I entered the room and quickly scanned her dresser filled in disarray with a variety of cosmetics. “Did you take my lipsticks?” I asked.

Her mouth gaped open and her chocolate eyes narrowed with disgust. “Of course not.” Then, she lifted her nose into the air, and with a haughty tone she said, “I don’t wear those kinds of lipsticks. They’re old lady shades.”

My anger burned with this acid-tongued teen, but I overlooked her remark and proceeded with caution. “Do you have any idea what happened to them?”

She shrugged. “No ma’am. Summer may have taken them. I caught her playing with them the other day.”


I left Winter’s room and headed down the hall to Summer’s. Luckily, I found the happy preteen in her room. “Summer, I’m missing some lipsticks. Do you know what happened to them?”

Her big, blue eyes looked at me and asked, “Which lipstick are you missing?”

“All of them.”

Summer gasped. “Every tube?”

Her drama, although more subtle than her sister’s, was still annoying. “Winter said she saw you with them. Did you take them or not?”

Summer’s eyes grew wide. “No, mom, I didn’t take your lipstick. I promise.”

Her proclamation made me question her innocence. She had been the culprit too many times in the disappearance of household items. So, I stared at her with my ‘mother glare.’

“Mom, I did use your lipstick last week. You know that pink one…”

“Sunkissed Pink,” I said.

Summer nodded. “Yeah, I mean, yes ma’am, that one, but I put it back in the tray where it belongs. I don’t have it. I promise.”

Again, there was that proclamation, but the child wasn’t doing that nervous lip chewing habit she does when she’s lying. She must be telling the truth.

“Honey, are you ready to go yet?” My husband’s voice called with a hint of impatience.

I gritted my teeth and clinched my fist. “I’m looking for my lipstick,” I called as calmly as possible as I left Summer’s room and dashed into the bathroom the girls share.

Without turning on the light, I slid open the vanity drawer and did a quick rummage. I had to make sure they were telling me the truth. Who else in this house would swipe my lipstick? For a moment, I paused and contemplated the dog. Nah, Bowser would have chewed the tube to shreds and ruined the carpet and sofa with it.

“I told you I didn’t take it.” Winter’s words startled me. I exited the bathroom and said nothing.

“Sweetheart, let’s go,” my husband called again.

Frustrated, I gave up and hurriedly smeared on an old, less acceptable, but accommodating shade tucked inside my vanity drawer and headed for the door. “I’m coming. I know we’re late. Just let me get my purse.” In one swoop, I snatched my purse off the shelf, and tipped it just enough for the contents to spill out. As I stared at the scattered items on the floor, four gleaming white lipstick tubes caught my eye.

“Hmmm,” Winter said as she picked up a tube that lay at her feet. “Looks like I identified the lipstick bandit. Do I get a reward?”

Embarrassment tinged my face. Without a word, I took my favorite shade from her and tucked it back into my purse. On my way out the door, I hear Winter say, “I accept your apology and forgive you.”

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This article has been read 1091 times
Member Comments
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Catrina Bradley 04/13/07
Hee hee. Sounds like the solution to many a mystery in my own house! Good job with the characters - I thought the dialog brought out all of their personalities.
Lauren Bombardier04/13/07
Ha! This is a funny one! I really liked how you made it so serious, though.

My sister is always begging to use my lipstick. She's only 8 years old! *sigh* They grow up so fast.
Rita Garcia04/13/07
I love it. With four daughters, I can sooo relate. Your story was so realistic, I felt like I wanted to help you find your lipstick! Thanks for a very enjoyable read...my kind of mystery!
Julie Arduini04/13/07
From the title, the children's names to lipstick names and the overall mystery, this was great. I really enjoyed this. The mystery at my house would be called, where are my keys???
CeCe Lane04/13/07
Oh I love it. And it shows me what I have to look forward too. Maybe I should start investing in my favorite shades now so I'm sure to have several when my girlies get older.

I especially loved the name of the lipstick color.
Lynda Schultz 04/14/07
In my house, it was the dog who ate the lipstick (and got it all over the carpet!). Great story, well-written.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/14/07
Funny! Funny! Fun to read!
Amy Michelle Wiley 04/15/07
Hehe, too funny! I've stuck things somewhere and then wondered who took them, too.
Jacquelyn Horne04/16/07
This would make a good "embarrassing monents" article. Well done.
Jan Ackerson 04/16/07
Great title, charming self-deprecating humor. I really like this one.
Val Clark04/17/07
A delightful piece in which all of the elements (names, place, characters, pacing) work together together to make an enjoyable read. yeggy
Cassie Memmer04/17/07
Lighthearted and nice! I enjoyed reading it. All too familiar scene at my own house. LOL! My poor family members! Nice writing!
Sara Harricharan 04/17/07
I love the dialouge and interaction in this piece. Winter sounds like someone I know! ^_^ Great mystery.
Joanne Sher 04/17/07
I love the tone of this story - and all the detail. Excellent! A great read.
Kate Grey04/18/07
Fun story! I misplace things in my purse, too. I also enjoyed the lipstick shade names.
Tabiatha Tallent04/18/07
I loved this. Sounds exactly like something that would happen at my house.
Cheri Hardaway 04/18/07
Have you been in my house lately? Except in my case, it's that special shade of blue eyeshadow! Good job. Blessings, Cheri
Loren T. Lowery04/18/07
I truly enjoyed reading this, but I especially liked that you have finally given me an insight as to why my wife is always late when we're going out! Fun read - thanks!
Betty Castleberry04/18/07
I'm still grinning. This was fun, and boy, did it home. Good work.
Shari Armstrong 04/18/07
Cute :)
Myrna Noyes04/18/07
This was a great and very realistic mystery story! I had a lot of fun reading it and, as did others, enjoyed the characterizations, dialogue (that sassy-mouthed Winter!! :) ), and ending!
Joanney Uthe04/18/07
Great characterization. My son would relate to the "first accused" syndrome. Naming the lipsticks added importance to them in the view of the MC.
Edy T Johnson 04/20/07
I popped in to say "thank you" for your comment on my story by returning the favor. I read this cute story of yours, earlier, but so many had already commented I moved on "speechless!" +;+

You said you would be interested in a series of stories linked to my mystery entry. One that has a connection is The Original Manuscript - for the writing topic. Thanks again, Friend!
Kristen Hester04/03/08
My daughter and I enjoyed this story. Clever. Your ending caught us by surprise. Bravo.