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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: Pitchfork Fred
By Debbie Wistrom


Pitchfork Fred. His name typed here sounds too much like his real name for comfort, but here is the tale anyway. I never noticed until putting pen to paper how much his name sounds like an instrument of the devil, and how appropriate. I still have to pause a moment and ask if it was all part of God’s plan for my salvation.

As I am writing this, the song “Does Anyone See Her” is playing in my head like the soundtrack to a reel of memories. Was this songwriter watching me during this time in my life? Doubtful, but the words come close to home.

Maybe it was the relationship I was currently in, already crumbling that blindsided me to the truth, but nonetheless, the unheeded alarms sounded. I can hear and see them now, as he blindly led me down the path that suited him for the moment and brought me, in time, to the truth.

It’s always in retrospect, isn’t it? It is all so clear from the other side, being removed and burned but the stink stays with you. It dissipates some, but the lesson, at least, thankfully lingers.

My now keen senses never picked up the hints. Never a second thought, the obvious signals were completely missed. I don’t mean to say that I ignored them; the truth just never got through. Dumbstruck by the unrecognized warnings, having had my share of slime bags I was dumbfounded as to how this rube had gotten under my radar.

Was it the romantic secret meetings? Or was it the need for change in my life? I knew the current relationship was disintegrating, was I just looking for a scapegoat? Perceived appreciation? Flowery words glossed over the tell tale signs that I just didn’t want to see, the ridge where his wedding ring, “used to be” the pager number, but never his home phone number. Too many? No not enough, I was hooked.

A plea to help him raise his two young sons went straight to my heart. Firm pressure at the small of my back walking down the hall weakened any resolve that may have existed at the beginning. Closeness pressed upon me in the stairwell. His never seeming to care where we were or what strangers were around when he made his advances. Never such excitement, I was spellbound.

Expensive lunches paid for with the company credit card, when I bought the beers, should have been setting off all kinds of bells. But the smooth talk won. Intense eye contact made the rest of the world fall away. He listened, he understood.

What did he see in me anyway? An easy conquest, for sure, another notch in his belt, prey to be devoured? Did his wife realize the scam? Certainly, she was there, in the shadows. What about the two boys, would they see him for what he was? I felt sorry for the wife; I felt sorry for the others, I am sure my name is not the only one on his dance card. What was his main desire, the rush of the first blush? I wondered about the others. How did he discover the susceptibility? There had to have been many. I just wasn’t that special.

The dozen red roses delivered to work, another loud clang muffled by the fragrance and the romance. These were roses of remorse because the other person in my life discovered my little secret. Twelve red roses, too late, but never forgotten.

What started out as a delightful tinkling, ended with a dull thud. Two relationships ended with one fell swoop. Free from the past and an unsure future loomed. There wasn’t much fall out. Wounded pride and a calloused ego, not realizing until later how truly blessed I was. Spared from truly bad consequences, looking back I can now see it was by God’s grace that He protected me from multiple possible consequences.

Stepping back, I am reminded of the poor girl in the movies for whom you feel sorry. As the scenes play out, you can see his rotten underbelly, but she is blindly unaware and thus unbelievably duped by this sod. What a bag of tricks this flash in the pan uses. The reel rolls on; the tale of deception played out in full glory. As the credits roll, I am thankful all my scars are on the inside. Yes, they have faded over time, but still a reminder of what could be.

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This article has been read 797 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joy Faire Stewart02/01/08
I like the first person account. It adds a great deal of emotion to MC's voice.
Marita Vandertogt02/02/08
You held me throughout this whole piece. Great insights and excellent writing. Pitchfork Fred indeed!!
Beth LaBuff 02/03/08
Yes, your title is good. Your warning is a perfect illustration of the topic. Great descriptions and good work on this.
Joanne Sher 02/04/08
You had me engaged and captivated from beginning to end. First person is PERFECT for this piece. Very well done.
Jan Ackerson 02/06/08
One of the finest examples of voice that I've read here. Simply excellent.
Sara Harricharan 02/06/08
Wow. So much emotion in here! This was pretty deep, the descriptions, the words, the feelings, wow. Anyway, I liked the end, the last line especially was pretty good. Nice writing! ^_^
william price02/06/08
I love the first person POV. Great voice extremely well told. God bless.