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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Write an INSPIRATIONAL or DEVOTIONAL piece (04/26/07)

TITLE: Marjorie and Fear


Marjorie was sitting nervously in her big, soft armchair and peered anxiously out her New England style bay window. It was February and it was snowing like it would never end.

Mornings were hard for Marjorie, especially around 8:40 because she knew she would have to get going. Anxiety began building around 8:00 because she realized what hassles she’d go through to get out the door. She was especially depressed this morning because her husband Stan left in a bad mood and was once again disappointed in her.

Why couldn’t she be normal like everyone else? Everyone else around her seemed to be doing well. What was wrong with her?

She looked at the small ornate clock on top of the TV. It was now 8:40. She had to get going! All right, she whispered to herself, “Let’s do it!” She went to the bathroom and nervously peered inside.

She had to use the bathroom and then wash her hands. “Oh, let me get through this, Lord, so I can get going.” She went inside and began her ritual of washing and rewashing her hands. After washing her hands for about five minutes she then proceeded to wash her elbows and stomach, just to make sure she got all areas clean. It was almost like she was trying to wash away some dark, awful thing from her past. Ten minutes later, she finished.

She then proceeded to put on her heavy winter coat and then check the house. Again, she said out loud, “Lord let me do this so that I can leave!” She checked and rechecked until she could do no more.

Exhausted, she reached for her keys and was about to leave when the phone rang. She hated this because she knew that she would have to repeat the rituals all over again.

The phone disrupted her thoughts of orderliness compulsiveness. It looked like she would never get out of the house! Another day in paradise, she thought. Just another frigging day in paradise! She began perspiring and her fidgeting increased.

After the phone call from her husband, she proceeded her way once again to the bathroom. She looked down at her hands. They were red, chapped and looked old. She then looked into the bathroom mirror and was shocked at the reflection. Lines and bags under her eyes, hair a muted brown and her expression, one of fear and dread peered back at her.

She couldn’t believe the reflection in the mirror. What ever happened to that beautiful woman without a care in the world? How much longer could she continue these insidious rituals?

She knew that if she didn’t stop these tedious obsessions, death would soon follow. How often she had thoughts of suicide, several times almost succeeding. She would have to put an end to the rituals and soon. The question was, could she do it?

Her answer laid on top of a beautiful coffee table; an old, but not used much, Bible. It had been months since she turned its pages. Maybe this would be the morning to pick it up and read…

At the door to her heart Jesus stood and waited. She had finally come....

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Member Comments
Member Date
joe hodson05/03/07
I really felt the anxiety with your character! Good job!
Jennifer Wetter05/03/07
Your character seems to be experiencing Obessive Compulsive disorder. Interesting concept!!
Jacquelyn Horne05/04/07
I don't understand much about this type of phobia, but I did understand that God is the answer. Good job.
Julie Arduini05/07/07
Excellent depiction of OCD. The only suggestion I have is minor, I think it was the second paragraph. It seemed a little slow, especially since there is so much great visualization throughout your story. Great job!
Marilyn Schnepp 05/19/07
A little surprised at the 8th paragraph; "just another ******** day in paradise. More like shocked than surprised I guess. Otherwise, a unique story of compulsive phobia.