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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write in the HUMOR genre (04/12/07)

TITLE: The 'One' That Got Away
By Valora Otis


“Jon, how was your trip?” Cassie kissed him and wrinkled her nose at the smell as he removed his fishing cap. “Whew! I can tell you caught more than one fish on this trip. Go take a shower.” Cassie pinched her nose at the fetid smell of fish.

“Oh, you know you love me smelly.” Jon grabbed her up in his arms threatening to rub his three-day-old beard all over her neck--tickling her instead at the last second.

“Come on play fair. You stink, Mr.!”

“Okay, you win, I’ll shower - but first I have to tell you about my fishing trip.”

“Fine, but sit over there at the table so I know you’re not dripping fish slime everywhere.”

“Whoa…” Jon held his hands high like a bank robber and plopped in the nearest chair finally behaving.

“Well, the lake was fantastic!” Jon ran fingers through greasy hair before replacing his fishing cap on his head. “I actually enjoyed looking at a rainbow over my favorite fishing hole instead of the Rainbow Foods sign over the place where I work. Did me some good too. I finally feel relaxed!” Jon grinned.

“So, anything interesting happen up at Kabetogama?”

“Sure, plenty. For starters I caught a huge Northern! You should have seen Dad. There he was sitting there kind of dozing off when that monster hit my lure! Dad had that nasty stogie lit and hanging from his lip. You know, the thing he uses for mosquito repellant.” He chuckled. “Anyway, he nearly fell ‘outa the boat when I yelled for him to grab the net. You should ‘ave seen it, he spat that cigar out like his lips were on fire! I never saw a 70 year old man move so fast. We landed it, and weighed in at around 30 pounds, Cassie! We took pictures and hopefully we’ll break some record with that one.”

“Anything else happen on the lake, sweetie? I heard someone talking about some lewd behavior over the ham radio this weekend. They said something about a man on Kabetogama. The description sounded like my own husband. I’m sure it was just some college kids pulling some pranks.”

“Well,” Jon looked at his hands sheepishly. “I did say that I enjoyed a rather brilliant rainbow over the lake one morning, right?” He looked up with a boyish grin.

“You mentioned a rainbow, yes, go on.”

Jon had a sinking feeling that she knew there was more to the simple rainbow story.

He continued… “There I was sitting by the lake one morning when a boatload of fishermen of the female persuasion, happened by. I had two kinds of paper with me. One was newsprint.” His face lit up suddenly. “Did you catch the Twins game this weekend? They smoked the Yankees! I read it as I was…sitting there by the lake that morning.”

“Yes, I heard. Get back to the female anglers-- beside the lake with a boat. Something tells me that there is more to this tale than the one about the fish and the pretty rainbow, and I’m not going to like the ending one bit.” Cassie was giving him the hairy eyeball by then, you know the kind that gives husbands and kids a shiver up their back when they know they’ve done wrong.

Jon stammered. “Well, it was early and the lake didn’t have any tourists, fishermen or women when I was sitting there—at first…”

“Go on.” She was standing crossed armed and tapping her toe by then.

“I mentioned that I had two kinds of ‘paper’ with me right?”

“Yeees.” Cassie growled impatiently.

“Well, the other ‘paper’ rolled down to the waters edge. As I looked over the top of my Pioneer Press, I saw the boatload of lady anglers sitting there with their hands over their mouths and some even with tears rolling down their cheeks.”

“And why, pray tell, was that, DEAR HUSBAND OF MINE?”

Jon noticed a twinkle in Cassie’s eyes. “Well, someone had to bring the a…er…paper back up the hill to me.” Jon smiled, relaxing a little.

“What kind of paper was so important that a woman angler needed to fetch it back up the hill for you, Jon?”

“Cassie, you know, the kind of paper that comes on a roll and cleans ‘things’ up.”

“So, that was the ONE that got away this time?”

“Yes, dear one, but it all worked out in the end.”

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This article has been read 797 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Arduini04/19/07
Good dialogue, funny story!
Helen Paynter04/21/07
The one that got away! Scary thought!
On a technical note, there are (I think) 5 instances of the word 'fish' or 'fishing' in the first few paragraphs - three in the first one alone. See if you can shave some of them out to make the writing smoother.
A good laugh here!
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/21/07
There was enough foreshadowing here to let us know what was happening and to enjoy the unraveling, or is that unrolling! A well-told "fish" story!
Lynda Schultz 04/22/07
Priceless! I could see it (though I probably shouldn't admit that!) Good job.
Joanne Sher 04/23/07
Great job of carrying us along, while not completely revealing until the end. There were a few places where I felt a tightening up of your prose might help, but I truly enjoyed this.
Sheri Gordon04/23/07
We're a big fishing family too -- but can't say this has ever happened, thankfully. I liked the suspense -- I was getting annoyed about the 'female anglers' right along with the wife. 'Hairy eyeball?' -- I've never heard that phrase, but I understood exactly what you meant.

I, too, noticed a lot of the "fish/fishy" words at the beginning. Not sure how to change that, but it seemed a little over-used.

Very visual descriptions -- I was right there with Jon, unfortunately. Nice job.
william price04/23/07
Fishing is my thing. Great entry. Other than a few speedbumps, a very enjoyable and entertaining read. God bless.
Rita Garcia04/24/07
I like the multi-layers you created taking us to the ending!
Val Clark04/24/07
I love the way the story unfolds in a casual understated way and the poor Jon's embarassment as he tells his toe tapping wife.
Tabiatha Tallent04/24/07
I think that's the best fish story I've ever heard. Great job. I could see the scene unfolding with your awesome word pictures.
Ann FitzHenry04/29/07
Oh, Val! Where was my brick for this one?? I loved your fish story. Great description. I could imagine the scene perfectly. I hope the poor husband has better luck next time! :-)