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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fearful (08/23/07)

TITLE: The Missed Romance of Miss Sadie Grey
By Tammy Johnson


Gentle strokes of the violin floated through the bedroom, easing Sadie out of her sleep. The new day dawned filled with the promise of dreams yet unexplored, a virtual open end to the possibilities.

Sadie bolted up in bed with a gasp and clutched her throat. It was a new day. There was no telling what could go wrong. She glanced across the room at her brown pantsuit awaiting a clean, fresh body and the perfect jewelry to accent. A frown creased her brow as she studied the orange and bronze necklace with matching earrings laid out on her dresser. Were they too bold? What if the orange clashed with the new paint behind her desk at work?

She jumped out of bed and quickly pulled up the sheets hearing her mother’s voice in her head, "The day doesn’t start until every wrinkle of the bed is straightened." She looked over her shoulder as if her mother were standing in the doorway with a number sign judging her performance.

The clock on the coffee pot registered 6:22 and the aroma of brewing coffee filled the meticulous, sanitized kitchen. Sadie played with the plain gold chain and matching hoop earrings she had donned, too afraid of actually wearing the bold jewelry still on her dresser. A notebook lay opened on the counter waiting to be picked up. "You know you should find a publisher," her thoughts nagged at her. "No one will want to read what my mind has created," she silently answered. "Besides," she said out loud, "I’m sure someone else has already written it much better!" Picking up a cup, she measured exactly one teaspoon of cream into it and filled the rest with her half decaf, half regular brew.


“Good morning, Sadie.” Greg gave his usual greeting as he passed her secretary’s station on the way to his office. Everyone in the building envied Greg’s position and office, except of course, the single females. They were bound and determined only to catch his eye and rope in the coveted title of “Mrs. Greg Darcy”. Sadie missed the lingering of Greg’s eye on her smile as she dropped her eyes to her desk quickly after gushing, “Morning to you, too, Mr. Darcy.”

The fact that Mr. Darcy insisted on eating his lunch with Sadie never ceased to unnerve her. It never occurred to her that Mr. Darcy might actually like her company and that if he were “keeping tabs on her” it was never motivated by a lack of trust in her, but rather by a deep need to protect her. Her only perception was how difficult it was to swallow even the thinnest of soups with a lump the size of Australia in her throat. Not to mention the nauseating fear that something dreadful would lodge between her teeth and remain there the entire day to disgust Mr. Darcy with each timid smile!

At the close of every Friday, Sadie would gracefully decline Mr. Darcy's invitations to join him. It didn’t matter if it were dinner, a movie, or a play. She simply could not imagine spending an entire evening sick to her stomach with worry that she was wearing the wrong outfit or jewelry in the company of someone so obviously above her and who was simply being polite.

The close of this Friday found her routine no different. After rejecting Mr. Darcy, Sadie spent her evening wrapped in a quilt in the company of Miss Elizabeth Bennett and the other characters born from the mind of Jane Austen. They were joined by Mr. Orville Redenbacher and a caffeine free Diet Pepsi until Sadie’s eyelids were too heavy to remain open.

Setting down the book on her nightstand and switching off the light, Sadie snuggled into her bed. She glanced at the floral dress highlighted by the moonlight that would be waiting for her fresh body on Monday. The cream and brown colors blended perfectly with the orange and bronze jewelry still on her dresser, but that thought was absurd. She always wore that dress with her coconut choker set. With a sigh she rolled onto her side and drifted off to sleep with the thought in her head, “Exciting and romantic things never happen to girls like me.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sheri Gordon08/30/07
This is very good -- and very well written. You made me feel so sad for Sadie. You also made me see a bit of myself in her. Too many people go through life afraid of everything -- afraid to live. Nice job with the topic.
Jan Ackerson 08/31/07
Only a very good writer would be able to blend OCD with Jane Austen, and to pull it off perfectly. Hats off to you.
Sherry Wendling08/31/07
Oh boy. Parts of me identify with poor Sadie...The Lord once whispered to me: "Perfect fear casts out love!" If anything will rob us of life and destiny, it's fear--and you captured it superbly with your skillful portrayal!
Marilyn Schnepp 09/01/07
Wow! Talk about an eccentric type lady! Didn't know these kind of people existed - but loved the story, kept me interested througout. Great imagery and creative thinking. Nicely done...I enjoyed it.
Rhonda Clark09/02/07
I absolutely love this. You held my attention.

You did an excellent job.
Dee Yoder 09/03/07
Poor Miss Sadie! She's missing out on so much in life just because she thinks things will always turn out badly. Unfortunately, I'm guilty of predicting my own failure too many times, also. You made your point with the characters and plot. Good writing!
dub W09/03/07
So very well written. A strong sense of leading the reader along. The character descriptions were outstanding.
Verna Cole Mitchell 09/03/07
I love your character study, crafted so cleverly. Her "company" for Friday night was humorous and delightful. I believe you did leave just a tiny ray of hope for her in your conclusion.
Sharlyn Guthrie09/03/07
I love this journey inside Sadie's head. Your point is made so well in her careful calculations and fear of any kind of risk. The story is sad, but your writing is so very effective.
Joanne Sher 09/03/07
This is absolutely excellent. Your tone, your characterization, your descriptions - EVERYTHING. Perfect ending too. Superb writing.
Jacquelyn Horne09/03/07
Cute story. Very well written. There needs to be more, more, more! Miss Sadie Grey needs to find her love.
Patty Wysong09/03/07
This Definately was NOT autobiographicaly!! LOL. I loved it. Your descriptions were so good I felt messing up her bed, jiggling her spoon measuring her cream and telling her to go out with Mr. Darcy, among other things. :-) Great job!
Lynda Lee Schab 09/04/07
How sad! I want Sadie to have a life! lol. Expertly written - totally held my interest. Wonderful voice - you brought me into your character's head effortlessly.
A couple technical things. I would probably italicize the thoughts instead of use quotes. And near the top, her notebook should be "open" not "opened." Just minor details...loved the entry. Like others mentioned, I agree you should consider a book about Miss Sadie Grey.
Jan Ackerson 08/23/10
Tammy, I'm going to feature this bittersweet story in the Front Page showcase for the week of September 6. Look for it on the FaithWriters home page--and congratulations!