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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "It's No Use Crying over Spilt Milk" (without using the actual phrase or literal exampl (02/07/08)

TITLE: The Horrible Day...Revisited
By Shelley Ledfors


“We missed you last week,“ Helen commented as I took a seat beside her at one of the long dining tables which lined the Senior Center, “I hope you weren’t ill.”

“Oh, no. I’m fine. I just got caught up with something and lost track of the time.”

If they only knew. Even now, my heart begins to race as I recall the scene…


I had been nearly ready to leave for our weekly dinner when the strangest feeling came over me. My spine tingled. A luminescent glow drew my gaze. The monitor on my desk--which usually displayed gamboling kittens--now appeared alive, pulsating in shades of blue-green I had never seen before. My computer seemed to call me. Not like when someone says glibly, “Oh, I was going to go wash the dishes but my computer called to me so I went to check my email instead.“ I mean it beckoned…no, commanded me to draw near.

Mesmerized, I obeyed. At once the eerie hues began to swirl. As if emerging from a mist, a face appeared in the spiral’s center. The face, though tear-streaked, was oh, so familiar. She screamed.

I screamed.

“Look, I don’t know what is going on here, old lady, but this is freaky! Who are you?”

“Oh, my. Of course, you would have no idea who I am, but I’m quite certain I know your identity. You’re…you’re me! A good sixty years ago, by the looks of you.” I sank into the desk chair, fanning my face with a trembling hand.

“Well, don’t die or anything, lady! I mean…Sarah.”

I said a prayer to calm myself as we surveyed one another. “Have you any idea what could have caused this?”

“Um…yeah, maybe. I’ve just had the most horrible day imaginable! And I kind of…yelled at God. I told him I needed to know that nothing worse would ever happen…because if it did, I’d just die!” Young Sarah’s face contorted into a grimace. “Will I ever feel any better?“

“Can you tell me what’s wrong?” I asked, though certain I already knew the answer.

Her words tumbled over one another in a rush.

“I have never been so embarrassed in all my life! I finally got up enough nerve to say ‘Hi’ to that dreamy Jeff Phillips. And he actually said ‘Hi’ back! Then I saw him watching me in the cafeteria. I couldn’t believe it! So I hiked my skirt up a little, tossed my hair and flashed a big smile as I went up to get a piece of pie. And then…and then…”

Sarah gulped for air to fuel her sobs. “Then I slipped. I…I fell right on my behind in front of the whole school! Everyone clapped and laughed…including Jeff! I wanted to disappear. I just burst into tears and ran out of there.

“…Then to add insult to injury that annoying Jeremy Jones had the nerve to follow me and tell me that it would all be okay…what‘s done was done. I just needed to lighten up and not take things so seriously. “

Sarah continued in a snarl, “‘Learn to laugh at yourself', he said. Can you believe it? What an idiot!

“So, tell me…this horrible day must be the worst in my--in our--entire life, right?”

I smiled lovingly at the Sarah I had been, so long ago.

“I can’t honestly say today was the worst. But I can tell you that some of the most incredible blessings and joys you’ll ever experience will come about as a direct result of this horrible day. --Oh, and ‘idiot‘--or not--Jeremy is absolutely right. Life goes much better when you learn to laugh at yourself. …And you will.”

The colors on the monitor began to swirl once again. Just before they closed across the screen, young Sarah glanced up with a glimmer of hope in her eyes and a hint of a smile on her lips.


I returned from the dessert bar to take my seat at the table once again, only to find myself sitting on the floor amid splinters of wood and crumbs of chocolate cake. After assuring everyone that I was unhurt, I noticed a few snickers, but they were difficult to hear over my own hearty laughter. Emily--one of the center’s young volunteers--hurried over to help me clean up the mess.

When we had finished she gave me a big hug and brought another chair.

“Sit here, Mrs. Jones, and I’ll bring you another slice of cake.”

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This article has been read 924 times
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Sara Harricharan 02/14/08
This is certainly creative! I liked how you kind of threw in the bit with the future/past thing. That made it much more interesting for me, I liked how the scene was 'revisited'. Very funny at the end with the cake and chocolate crumbs. The third line in the beginning, is that a thought? It might work better in italics-just a tip. Great stuff! ^_^
Joanne Sher 02/14/08
Great descriptions, and very clever. Enjoyed this read.
Chrissi Dunn02/15/08
A very creative idea. I was a little confused at the beginning as to which Sarah she was - the old or young one. This story would also work well from the other perspective i.e. the young Sarah learning to live with her mistakes by meeting her future self. A very good take on the topic.
Dianne Janak02/15/08
Loved your idea here and how you pulled it off.. Sometimes when I read this kind of creative genius, I feel a tinge of envy, and then Stop and think... Learn from this and LIGHTEN up... just as your lesson described so well.. Loved it from start to finish! Good writing...
Seema Bagai 02/16/08
Clever. Had to read the piece twice, but one I "got it", I really liked it.
Laury Hubrich 02/16/08
Very creative. Good job!
c clemons02/17/08
Sort of corny but you did pulled it off with the ending. The writing was good.
LauraLee Shaw02/18/08
Creative and clever. Your ending made me laugh.
Sharlyn Guthrie02/18/08
What a unique and creative approach. I love the idea of an older, wiser version of Sarah teaching and admonishing herself.
Betty Castleberry02/18/08
Very creative. I like your MC. Good work.
LaNaye Perkins02/18/08
I love your creative approach to this topic. Well done.
Leigh MacKelvey02/18/08
I liked the idea a whole lot. I did have to read it over because I got confused. I'm not sure about the POV, but I guess when both of the MC's are the same person ...? Anyway, it surely was a creative story! I enjoyed it.
Rita Garcia02/18/08
Creative and well written!
Patty Wysong02/18/08
Oh, I LIKE this!! I got quite a chuckle out of it--especially the last line. Mrs. Jones!! Very well done! *grin*
Laury Hubrich 02/18/08
Oh my, I didn't get your punch line until I read Patty's comment! Here is my 2nd comment -- well done! Very funny! LOL!
Jan Ackerson 02/19/08
Excellent! I love the ending, and this is absolutely perfect for the topic! Very entertaining reading.
Sheri Gordon02/19/08
Very clever. Very funny. And a very powerful message in a 'lite' piece.

I agree with some others about the 'voice' being a little confusing -- which Sarah was talking -- at times.

Great job with the topic. Quite a fun read.
Lynda Schultz 02/19/08
Very creative. I must confess though, I hope I never meet myself in my computer screen. Nice work.
Debbie Wistrom02/20/08
I was glad she didn't give it away, I had a feeling about that Jonmes boy.....This is such a creative story. Keep up the good words.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/20/08
I hope this places--it is so creative and demonstrates the topic so well. I loved it.
Celeste Ammirata03/01/08
Imaginative and funny. Oh, the things that seem to be the end of the world when we're young. Good message.