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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: Disenchanted
By Rita Garcia
01/30/08


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It seemed as if I had ascended these same steps only a couple of hours ago. Something has to change. I rolled my chair closer to my desk and took a sip of coffee. The warm liquid was like talking to an old friend.

“Good morning Sara. Ah, you have a new picture of little Tammie?” Lynda set her coffee on my desk.

I smiled at Tammie’s picture. “She’s precious.

“She has her mommy’s Irish beauty. I can’t wait to have a baby. But first I need a hubby.” Lynda laughed her infection laugh that filled the room with smiles. “Well, I best be getting to work, girl.”

“Corner Deli for lunch?” I set my coffee cup aside.

“You got it.” She glanced back over her shoulder.

I stared at the new building across the way. I had watched it being built, and had became more enamored of the building with each phase of the process. The way the steeple of the nearby Church reflected in its windows made it seem … somehow enchanting. I gave myself a lecture about wasting time, and quickly became engrossed in my work.

“You ready?” There was Lynda with her purse in hand.

“Wow, I lost tract of time. Just let me finish these numbers.” I keyed in the numbers and grabbed my jacket. “Let’s roll.”

“It’s our lucky day ... a table by the window.” Lynda pulled out a chair.

“Don’t you love that big new building?” I pointed out the window.

“It looks rather ominous with all the dark windows.” She picked up her sandwich.

“I hear they’re going to use it in the new Spiderman movie.”

“Maybe if we stand around we could be picked as extras in the movie.” Lynda laughed at her own wit.

“Seriously, I would love to work in that building.” I couldn’t take my eyes off the building made of glass.

“I hear the Walter E. Heller Company is hiring. They’re up on the twelfth floor. That's what Thelma told me.”

“Let’s apply.” I felt the excitement of possibility surge through me.

“Oh, I don’t think so.” Lynda began wrapping her leftovers.

“I’m going over there right now. Tell Fran I’ll be a little late.” I hurried over to the glass building. The dark windows were like mirrors, reflecting my image back to me. Inside the huge glass doors I was confronted with a whole bank of elevators. My pulse-rate increased as I tried to decide which one to take.

“May I help you?” A man in the uniform said.

“Which elevator will take me to the twelfth floor?”

“Do you have an appointment?”

“No, but I … I heard they’re hiring.”

He went to his desk and made a call.

“I’ll need to check your purse and then I’ll escort you.”

“Go through my … my purse?”

“This is a secured building.” After he was convinced I didn’t have some ulterior motive, he pushed the button on the elevator.

“The receptionist can help you.” He turned back toward the elevator.

“I need an employment application.” I adjusted my jacket.

“Have a seat. Mrs. Whitman will be right with you.”

A lady in a grey pinstripe suit came through the door behind the receptionist’s desk.

“Follow me.” She didn’t even introduce herself. That seems a little rude.

The room we entered was filled with desks. Not one person looked up.

“This is the data input room.” She swept her hand through the air.

I followed her into a private office. After asking me several questions, she instructed me to take the application to the reception area, fill it our and leave it with the receptionist. As I walked back through the data input room, I noticed there wasn’t one personal item anywhere.

I handed the application to the receptionist.

“You didn’t fill it out,” she said.

“I don’t think this office is a good fit for me.”

I exited back through the huge glass doors and hurried back to my office. Lynda spotted me.

“Mission accomplished?” She raised an eyebrow.

“Let’s just say I … I was disenchanted.” I gave her a hug and headed for a cup of coffee.


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This article has been read 661 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 01/31/08
Nice job with atmosphere and characterization. The contrast between the two workplaces was stark and effective.
Joy Faire Stewart02/02/08
Excellent job of showing it's what's on the "inside" that counts. Very enjoyable read on topic.
Beth LaBuff 02/03/08
Your title is perfect and your writing is good on this. I liked how you tied it all together with the cup of coffee.
Brenda Craig02/05/08
Awesome contrast, subtle and stark at the same time...very good job contrasting...easy read...blessings Brenda
Jan Ackerson 02/05/08
Very good, and the dialog between these two was absolutely realistic.

I noticed one tiny thing: "tract" for "track." And here's a suggestion--I love that your dialog is nearly tagless, but it also seems to fall into a pattern of "what they say" followed by a description of their action. My suggestion: switch it around occasionally--a description of the action, followed by "what they say." It'll give your writing a bit more syncopation.

This was a unique approach to the topic, and I liked it very much.