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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Home Group (11/29/07)

TITLE: Thumbelina Also Politely Declined
By Jan Ackerson
12/02/07


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The curtain opens on an unusual assortment of people, seated on folding chairs at what appears to be an informal meeting. There is good-natured chatter going on, as if the participants were enjoying a break. After a few seconds, REV. GRIMM speaks.

Grimm: Let’s get back to it, shall we? (He waits for the gathering to settle down) So…we’ve agreed to start up some small home groups. I guess the only question remaining is…in whose homes shall we meet? We’ll just need one or two to start off, until the idea catches on. Anyone have an idea? Peter? How about you?

PETER looks slightly startled.

Peter: I thought you knew…my wife and I moved into a smaller place. We’re doing fine there, very well in fact, but, uh…it’s a pumpkin shell. Not a lot of room for guests. Sorry…

Grimm: Peter, Peter…don’t worry about it. Sister Grimelda, what about you? Ever since you’ve repented of, dear me, your witchcraft, you’ve been a changed woman. What about your little cottage?

SISTER GRIMELDA cackles a little, then pats the heads of the two children playing at her feet.

Grimelda: Up until today, I’d have said yes. (another cackle) But you know that thunderstorm we had yesterday? It really did a number on the marzipan siding, and don’t even talk to me about the frosting mortar. I’m afraid it’s a sticky mess right now. (She speaks to the girl, who is tugging her skirt) Gretel, dear, eat your carrots.

Grimm: Well, Grimelda, we’ll be happy to help you out with that. But as to the subject at hand—what about you, Sister Birkenstock? Your place is quite large, isn’t it?

SISTER BIRKENSTOCK is a white-haired woman, surrounded by a dozen children. She considers the question for a moment.

Birkenstock: Dearie me, I don’t know what to do. It’s large, yes, but the Lord has given me so many children. And Grimelda, that rain hit me hard, too…you all realize that we live in a shoe, right? You know that odor after your shoes get wet? Well…

Grimm: (hastily) That’s quite all right, then. Let’s see, who else… Rapunzel?

Rapunzel: (reluctant to say no) Well, that’s a lot of people in one little tower. And they’d have to climb my hair

Grimm: Oh, no…that would be an unnecessary burden. What about the Behrs? Mama? Papa?

Papa Behr: (growling slightly) Furniture’s still broken. (He glances over at GOLDILOCKS)

Goldilocks: I’m so sorry!

Mama Behr: We’ve forgiven you, dear, don’t worry about it. (She glares at Papa) What about our neighbors? Grandma Hood?

Grandma Hood: I’d love to, but it’s still covered in crime scene tape. (She whispers) That horrible wolf, doncha know. (perking up) But I’d like to invite you all to Red’s wedding to the woodcutter, he’s been such a gentleman, so strong and brave, doncha know, we’re just so blessed…

Grimm: (Sighing now, and interrupting Grandma’s speech) Thank you, Sister Hood. (desperately) Anyone else in that neighborhood?

MR. PIGG stands to speak, looking a tad embarrassed.

Pigg: I wouldn’t mind, but my brothers just moved in with me…there’s a bit of a wolf problem in our area…and their houses were both blown down by…(he starts to mutter) …shoddy construction anyway, what were they thinking…

There is a general tittering in the room, with especial laughter coming from an assemblage of seven chairs near the center.

Happy: We’d love to have people over—if we’re not working! Oh, boy, that’d be fun!

Grumpy: Speak for yourself, smiley.

Doc: I don’t know…think of the germs…(as if in reply, SNEEZY sneezes. SLEEPY snores, wakes himself up and mutters “Hi-ho…”, then drifts back off to sleep)

Grimm: Bashful? What do you say?

Bashful: Gosh, I don’t know. (He lifts his eyebrows at DOPEY, who simply grins)

Grumpy: Hmmph! Too crowded, too messy, now that someone’s left us.

Grimm: Never mind, then. We don’t want anyone to do this unwillingly. But where is…(He scans the room, and finally sees SNOW WHITE in a corner)

Grimm: Snow? You live in that nice castle; surely there’s a small room there for a home group?

Snow White: Well, you all know that my hubby’s not a believer…but I’ve been really hoping that some day my Prince will come to church…maybe he’d come to a friendly meeting in the small ballroom.

Grimm: You know, he just might, at that. Amen, and amen! Let’s pray…

Two bluebirds take the edges of the curtain in their beaks and close it, then fly away, twittering.


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This article has been read 1070 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Verna Cole Mitchell 12/06/07
This delightful tale is so clever and creative, but still the message creeps up on you.
Deborah Hemstreet12/06/07
Brilliant!
Millicent Njue12/07/07
Good use of familiar characters...and do they have excuses!
Joanne Sher 12/07/07
Clever and fun - love the title, too! Delightful.
Sheri Gordon12/07/07
Love it. The format. The characters. The dialogue. The message. Very, very creative. Masterful writing. Great job with the topic.
Holly Westefeld12/07/07
Tremendously creative.
Dee Yoder 12/07/07
Gee, I've heard most of these excuses, and none of the home group people are fable characters! Clever, witty, and fun. Love the title.
Gregory Kane12/08/07
Hysterical. I so love fairy tale analogies! Excellently portrayed.
Emily Gibson12/08/07
Oh, you must have had great fun with this! A very unique spin on this theme and thoroughly enjoyable!
Lynda Schultz 12/08/07
Charming, clever, engaging, entertaining, funny—oh, and well written too! This is SOOOOOOOO good.
janet rubin12/08/07
Wonderful fun. Thank you. Honestly, this ought to be published as a resource for churches looking to start home groups. It's awesome!!
Betty Castleberry12/09/07
Ok Jan, that's it. I'm stumped. I have no idea how to comment on this. It's...creative? That word's too wishy washy. Brilliant? Nah, not punchy enough. Excellent? Rather ordinary for this piece. Still thinking....
william price12/09/07
Cleaver and cute, family friendly, and if you must say it is "silly" then it is masterfully silly. A nice, entertaining vehicle (one you are good at) to deliver your message with. God bless.
Temple Miller12/09/07
Wow, I would have paid to read this! Wonderfully humorous with a message. I loved it!
Laury Hubrich 12/09/07
Excellent! So funny. I could hear myself use some of these excuses -- I refuse to divulge which character I could most identify with:) I just knew this had to be your entry, Jan! Who knew that silly could be so very convicting?!
Laury
Debbie Roome 12/09/07
Creative and skilfully put together. I love the background message too.
Jan Ross12/09/07
Incredible just doesn't describe this. Your imagination just knows no end, does it! Amazing! Simply, amazing! This should be published and provided to churches wanitng to start small groups. Yep ... AMAZING!
Paula Titus 12/09/07
You have deserved every "ribbon" you have recieved, and this story will be no exception - incredible.
Lynda Lee Schab 12/10/07
The ultimate Queen of the Fairy Tales did it again! See? This is exactly why your name is in the EC Top Ten every week (it SEEMS like every week, anyway!) You are a true master of creativity and storytelling. Bravo!
Sharlyn Guthrie12/10/07
Very entertaining. I'm impressed with how well you develop your characters' personalities in just a few lines of dialogue.
Patty Wysong12/11/07
This has Snap, Crackle and a Pop to it--I love it!! Hugs!
Brenda Welc12/12/07
Absolutely Charming! I really loved the creativity you used! My daughter will get a kick out of this one! Great job getting a church theme into a fairy tale setting!

How 'wicked' are you? (Cackle, Cackle, Cackle!)
LauraLee Shaw12/12/07
What can I say that no one else has? Nothing. But I can tell you that this is a video I would buy if it were for sell. I could picture it so vividly and was delighted and refreshed at the idea of it.
Sara Harricharan 12/12/07
Heehee...I love Snow White at the end. That's cute! This play on fairy tales was hilarious to read and I loved hearing from all the other characters-like the lady in the shoe-I was hoping to actually see/read Thumbelina, but I guess it was just in the title, otherwise, this was great!
Tim Pickl12/12/07
LOL! The reason why the humor works so well is there is truth here -- we all know people like this...and have heard the excuses! It reads like a Christian 'Shrek' type play or video -- I love the idea! hmmmm....what songs would you choose? :)
James Dixon12/12/07
I wish I thought of this. :D
Loren T. Lowery12/12/07
I've often wondered what the name of that old lady who lived in a shoe, I should have known: Birkenstock. How clever, creative and delightful to read...thanks for the smile and the interlaced reflective messages. Have to admit, some of the excuses I've used myself, the others, I'll just have to remember (like an ant in another fable) for use at another time.
LaNaye Perkins12/12/07
This was adorable! I love the use of these familiar storybook charactors. You have such a wonderful imagination.
Peter Stone12/12/07
So creative and an absolute crack-up, yet also containing a serious message about our willingness to serve.
Joanney Uthe12/12/07
Delightful way to convict us of our excuses. I loved this and related to the familiar characters.
Yvonne Blake 12/13/07

Interesting take on some familiar excuses. I like the the wet shoe one!
The names were great! As each new character was introduced, I tried to guess his story before too many clues were given.
RED PEN: I think it would have made a better ending to have one offer to host the group that had real reason to not have it there, but wanted to do it anyway... like Old Mother Hubbard. :-)

Thanks for the smile. I needed it today.
Yvonne
Rebecca Jones12/19/07
This was EXCELLENT! I laughed and laughed -- what a wonderful way to address this subject!