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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “A Stitch in Time Saves Nine” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/03/08)

TITLE: Cookies and Brownies and Pies, Oh My
By Gerald Shuler


"Carla Mae, this is your conscience speaking."

Carla Mae shuddered at the annoying voice in her head. Conscience-Schmoncience, a prize is a prize and she wasn’t about to turn down KLTZ’s Trivia, Trivia, Trivia contest prize. She had won fair and square, thanks to Google. Besides, she had already picked up the gift certificate from the TV station and it was too late to do anything about it now.

She looked at the certificate that seemed to almost pulsate in her hands. The card said “One Month of FREE Pastries From SWEET TEMPTATIONS COOKIE NOOK. Now that was a prize with some worthwhile value. So what if she was trying to start a diet. She had won a prize.

"Carla Mae, think of the consequences. You'll never stop pigging out at the end of the month… you know you have always had a problem in that area."

Rubbish. She knew she could stop anytime she wanted. No problem. In fact, why not go get her first hard won pastry right now? How could one little cookie or on innocent little brownie destroy an entire diet? She grabbed the keys to the car and marched defiantly toward the garage door.

"Carla Mae, it’s not the one pastry that hurts you. You need to be more concerned about your lack of will power."

Forget Will, she’d settle for power… sugar rush power. She put the key in the ignition.

"Carla Mae, think, think, think… you can avoid looking like a blimp later if you’ll just resist a little sugar now. Remember, you can’t lose weight on a diet of Bon Bons and Maple Twists."

Stupid conscience. Why rush starting the diet? There was always tomorrow, or next week, or even next month to think about losing weight. After all, she was only a few pounds (more like forty pounds) overweight. She saw herself as Pleasingly Plump, not fat. Give her the cookies, brownies and pies anytime. She could diet later.

"Carla Mae, if you won’t listen to reason at least look in the mirror. Your weight is getting out of control. Stop now before it’s too late."

She adjusted the rear view mirror, fully intending to back out but the reflection she saw stopped her from reaching for the gear shift. The mirror showed a woman that couldn’t possibly be Carla Mae. This woman had bags under her eyes. Even worse, she was getting a double chin. The mirror reflected the image of a woman needing to lose weight for the sake of her health.

Carla Mae looked at the wonderful, tantalizing gift certificate in her hand. The pictured pastries seemed so real they could almost be smelled. Her finger gently touched the picture of the chocolate meringue pie, just to make sure it wasn’t real. Then she looked in the mirror again and instantly wished she hadn’t. Okay… she was convinced. The sound of the ripping gift certificate thundered in Carla Mae’s ears. She took the key out of the ignition, got out of the car and dropped the tiny pieces of the delightful certificate in the trash can. So much for sweet temptation. Her diet was now officially started.

"Carla Mae, you’ve done the right thing. Now, go enjoy a good salad. Without the dressing."

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This article has been read 1108 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rita Garcia01/10/08
I need my conscience to speak more often. lol
Delightful and well written!
LauraLee Shaw01/10/08
Entertaining and cleverly written, from title to end.
Dee Yoder 01/10/08
Oooh...this spoke to me today! I can no longer have sweets and my--what a bummer that is. Love the voice and the back and forth arguing between what the MC knows should be done and what she wants to do. Very entertaining.
Debbie Wistrom01/10/08
Of course the title is catchy, also loved the bantering with the conscious. Hope she can be successful.
Marita Thelander 01/10/08
I laugh - haha - I was just thinking of making cookies (for my family of course)! I am having second thoughts, third and fourth ones too. Grrr - thanx ; )
Benjamin Graber01/11/08
I like this one - very creative!
Laury Hubrich 01/11/08
Hey, why did you write about me?! Oh, you didn't, I wouldn't have tore up the certificate! LOL! Very good story.
Joanne Sher 01/12/08
Great voice! Love all the little details and the running conversation between her and her conscience.
Debbie Roome 01/14/08
Excellent message wrapped in humour. Well written.
jodie banner01/14/08
The moment where she saw herself in the mirror was so on target. It is so easy to just keep our own image of ourselves in our mind and never actually look at what we truly look like.
Jan Ackerson 01/14/08
I like the Conscience-Schmonscience line! Very funny. I wish I'd known Carla was going to tear up the gift certificate, though--I'd have given her my address.

Very funny, and perfect for the topic.
Temple Miller01/14/08
Okay, now I feel guilty about baking and eating brownies yesterday! Great illustration with lots of fun dialogue. I loved it!
Karen Wilber01/14/08
This is one of my favorite titles this week. Good job on the female POV. That's why I've taken down all the mirrors in my house. Not offensive at all IMHO. Glad you got out of your box.
dub W01/15/08
Clever, you might have put the thoughts in italics, but none the less, the storyline worked. Thanks
Tim Pickl01/16/08
Laugh-out-loud funny--How sweet and true! This one could be a skit at church...
Sara Harricharan 01/16/08
ROFL! This is too funny! I didn't think she would tear up the certificate, I thought she'd give it away or something. This is just too funny. Great job here-with the switching back and forth, I absolutely loved this piece! ^_^
Betty Castleberry01/16/08
Poor Carla Mae. I can relate since my husband and I are trying to eat healthier. This was a joy to read. Kudos.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/16/08
Would you glue that cerrificate back together and send it to me? I promise I'll get just one brownie. :-) Very enjoyable story.
Julie Ruspoli01/16/08
Oh I'll take the certificate! Great writing, I could feel her emotion. Great inspiration for me to follow her lead, now I'll feel guilty eating sweets. :)
Loren T. Lowery01/16/08
Clever and entertaining and I've heard that voice before, too - just not about dieting. Sometimes I listen and sometimes I don't and most times I wish I had when I hadn't. I'm glad she did, but I wish she had given the GF to some other deserving soul. : ) Great job.
Joy Faire Stewart01/16/08
This is a wonderfully unique take on the topic. And the last paragraph is perfect!
Beth LaBuff 01/17/08
This hits a little too close to home. :) Your title is great and your entry is entertaining. I had a hard time with her tearing up the gift certificate too. (I wonder what that says about me.) :) Great writing. :)