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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)

TITLE: A Frank Conviction
By william price
02/03/08


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Such thoughts should never enter a lady’s mind sitting in a church pew; not immoral thoughts mind you, but ones of forbidden love.

Christine squirmed as she tried to concentrate on the pastor’s Fruits of the Spirit sermon. She was repenting with each Godly empowered character mentioned. But still, the 20-year-old would glance over at Frank. His white button down shirt and brown tie didn’t seem natural on him, but sure looked good. His long stringy hair was now cropped short, his face clean-shaven and missing was the lightning bolt earring that used to dangle from his right ear.

Christine knew his long sleeves were covering his tattoo littered arms; a collection of “ink” from numerous trips to jail. She remembered how she would watch her neighbor for years working on his motorcycle in his driveway. She always had a crush on Frank, but he wasn’t the type of boy a “good” girl should spend time with.

This was the third week Christine had noticed Frank at church and he hadn’t even acknowledged her presence. She had decided to wear one of her party dresses to church that day, maybe a tad too short, but still respectable she thought. She had spent an hour flat-ironing her long blonde hair and applying makeup. But, even with all of her extra work, he never gave her a glance

Christine’s friends told her Frank found religion during his last stint in jail, but they were skeptical. They felt it was more due to his probation officer telling him he’d better straighten up and look good for his next court appearance before the judge sent him to prison.

When she wasn’t stealing glances at Frank nodding his head at everything the pastor was saying, Christine was busy sending text messages back and forth with her girlfriends. Of course, Frank was their topic, as well as the party the gal-pack went to the night before. Her friends didn’t attend church regularly, but Christine felt they were “good” girls too. None of them had ever been to jail or made frequent trips to the Health Department.

As the church service was winding down, Christine decided she would speak to Frank. Her girlfriends concurred.

When she looked over to catch another glimpse of Frank, Christine noticed he was gone. She panicked momentarily before she spotted him kneeling at the altar in prayer with the pastor. Christine observed he wasn’t carrying himself as the “bad” boy like he always had. His walk was now graceful and posture respectful as he sat. She began to feel a little convicted as she tried to pull down the hem of her skirt closer to her knee.

After church was over, Christine walked up to Frank in the parking lot as he was getting on his motorcycle.

“Hey, neighbor,” She said nervously with a big smile.

“Well if it isn’t Christine. How’re you doing?”

His voice sent chills down Christine’s arms. She always loved his deep masculine voice.

“Doing good, Frank. Been noticing you at church. You look a little different with your hair cut and all. Still got those tattoos?”

Frank blushed. “Yea, I guess I’m stuck with them, but they constantly remind me of my former ways and why I want to keep my life focused on Jesus.”

Christine was floored. She had never heard Frank use “Jesus” in that context before.

“Listen, Frank, some of my friends are coming over this evening. Would you care to join us? I‘m living in those new condos down by the river now.”

“You still hanging around Betty Lou, Jasmine and that bunch?” Frank frowned as he spoke.

“Of course. Gal-pals for life, you know.”

Frank put his motorcycle helmet on and lifted up its visor.

“I think I’ll pass, Christine. But, thank you. I heard Betty Lou was over trying to buy some weed from my brother. I can’t get near that stuff anymore. And there is a revival service at Metro tonight I think I’m going to. But, maybe I’ll see you at church Wednesday evening. Be cool, Christine, I gotta roll. I’m helping with lunch at the mission.”

“Bye…” Christine plucked her cell phone out of her handbag as she watched Frank ride off.

“Listen, Betty Lou, I don’t want to get together tonight. There’s somebody I need to get closer to in a more personal way.”

“Ahhh, is it Frank? I knew that dress would work.”

“No, I‘m not ready for a Frank yet. It‘s Jesus.”


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This article has been read 917 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 02/07/08
Great last line.
Karen Wilber 02/08/08
This puts me in mind of the hymn "What a Friend We Have in Jesus." Good story. I like how you described all the outward changes in Frank that showed an inward change. (but glad he kept the motorcycle)
Holly Westefeld02/08/08
Good story. Very clever title.
Joanne Sher 02/09/08
Very good characterization and description. Love the last line too - and the title.
Sharlyn Guthrie02/09/08
Nice little twist, right on topic, and great title too.
Ann Renae Hair02/10/08
I just LOVE your writing!!!
So glad Christine is going to watch her ways!
Great story, great twist, great title.
Lyn Churchyard02/10/08
Great read. I loved the finish. Very clever title too. Love your work Sir Bill.
Jan Ackerson 02/10/08
Love the double meaning of the title!

This is a really engaging story, entirely realistic and with a well-realized main character.

I'd have ended it with her watching Frank ride off, but that's just my preference.

This one held me from beginning to end...nicely done.
Shelley Ledfors 02/10/08
Great story and topic illustration...and the ending makes it even better!
Betty Castleberry02/10/08
SUPER last line. The easy flow and tone made this a very enjoyable read. Just one teeny complaint...the bad girl shoulda been named Persiphone, or Griselda, or *anything* but Betty . ;0)
Very well done.
Patty Wysong02/10/08
I love how the title ties in with the story, and it's a great story, demonstrating the topic both ways. Great!
Kristen Hester02/10/08
First, I love the title.

Secondly, If I wasn't happily married, I might have a crush on Frank, also. I could really picture the characters. I enjoyed this completely and was quite impressed with your ability to write about how a woman primps to impress a man. A+
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/10/08
Great story with very real characters. I was glad Frank had a real spiritual experience, not just a pseudo experience to impress others. I always enjoy your writing that never fails to contain a message.
LaNaye Perkins02/10/08
What can I say? Love the title, love the story, love the meaning, ....loved it all! You kept my attention from beginning to end. Great writing!
Dee Yoder 02/11/08
The title is really clever and the characters don't disappoint, either. Enjoyed this entry!
Loren T. Lowery02/11/08
Great character development through the use of both dialogue and description. I really liked the juxtapostion of thoughts in the church setting. How focused our thoughts can be our outcome so to speak. Great story and writing.
Beth LaBuff 02/11/08
That's amazing that you were able to write from a woman's POV. :) Great work on this. I enjoyed Frank's "turn around". Your ending is great.
Pam Carlson-Hetland02/11/08
Excellent in every aspect. Great title with that double meaning. Great characters, super writing.
Leigh MacKelvey02/12/08
Ahhh ... this is a "placer".
Everything from title to last line was just right. As usual, fantastic writing.
Debbie Wistrom02/13/08
Great title and I'm glad she didn't ride off in the sunset with Frank. Great entry. Thanks for the good words.
Sara Harricharan 02/13/08
Your last line is spot on! I like how she did change her plans with Betty-Lou. You made Frank an interesting character that I wanted to keep reading about and Christine seems like the 'good girl' that will keep her head on her shoulders as long as she follows through on her famous 'last line'. Nice writing! ^_^
Rita Garcia02/13/08
PERFECT! From the tittle to an ending that delivered, in a big way!! Love it!
Sara Harricharan 02/14/08
***Congratulations!*** Way ta write! ^_^
Sheri Gordon02/14/08
Congratulations on your EC. This is a great story -- you captured the characters perfectly. And I'm with the others -- super title.
LauraLee Shaw02/14/08
I REALLY loved this piece!!!! Very creative, well written, great characterization and sense of place. Well done!
Peter Stone02/14/08
Great article William, and the last sentence is just perfect. Well done!
Edy T Johnson 02/14/08
Congratulations, SirWilliam! How you manage to get inside your characters (and make us all think the viewpoint individual is actually the writer) is amazing.

I appreciated your comment on my entry, too. My hope is to learn more from the master-writer that you continually prove yourself to be. Thanks, friend!
Sharlyn Guthrie02/14/08
I knew this story would place. Congratulations! You're on a roll!
Kristen Hester02/14/08
Congratulations on your EC. I loved this story and feel you EC is well deserved. You are a masterful writer. (And thanks for your kind comments on my story.)