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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)

TITLE: The Silent Treatment
By Sara Harricharan


I won’t speak to anyone today. I’m tired of everyone picking on me.

Timira do this. Timira do that. Timira, I can’t possibly do this, will you do it for me? Timira, promise you’ll always be our slave?

Fame is overrated. My fans always clamor for more. The dishes must be done before I start homework.

Dinner has to be a gourmet affair. It is my solemn duty to have it on the table, piping hot precisely as everyone arrives.

Laundry is my hobby. I can load, fold and iron at the same time. Multi-tasking is a talent that courses through my veins.

I’ve had enough though. Today, I’m not going to speak to anyone. I won’t tell them whether I will or won’t. I won’t agree or disagree.

After all, they never listen anyway. They only pay attention long enough to hear me say ‘yes’. Nothing else I say matters. Guess my opinion doesn’t count.

The world can try to decipher me today. I have nothing to say.

“Timira, darling, do start breakfast for me, would you? Mummy’s got a bear of a headache…Timira, darling…did you hear me?”

“Hey, does anyone know where my English paper is? Timira, didn’t you clean the table last night? Where did you put it? Timira!”

“Timira, did you iron my blue shirt last night? I need it for the important meeting today. Timira?”

“Timira-what’s the matter with you! Don’t just stand there, do something!”

Two sisters. Two parents. One disaster.

I wind my way around their repeating protests. I don’t have time to cook this morning.

Someone thought it was charming to turn my alarm clock off. I’m surprised anyone knew how it worked. It’s so ancient.

There’s no cereal in the pantry. That usually means there’s no milk either. Oh well, it’s still too late to cook, and I don’t feel like getting my hands dirty. I just did my nails last night.

If Dearest Older Sister could keep track of her own English paper; I wouldn’t have to remember that it’s under the checkerboard on the coffee table.

If Sneaky Little Sister wasn’t always interrupting; I might actually finish my sentences, and answer the questions before she asks them.

If it was Mummy ironing Daddy’s shirt; she’d know that it’s hanging up next to his coat in the hallway.

If I wasn’t so busy running their lives, I might have a chance to live mine.

Oops! There’s the bus. I guess I’ll have to skip breakfast today. It’s only a few hours until lunchtime, anyway.

My cell phone is ringing. In the middle of Mrs. H’s class. I bet they expect I’ll answer the phone. And flunk my grade for doing it.

Too bad I’m not speaking to anyone today. It is much easier to ignore the vibrations.

Thank goodness class is out. My stomach hurts really bad! I feel like someone took a stapler, and went wild inside. I should’ve eaten something on the bus. This lunch line will take forever.

There’s Jared, and company. He’s lucky I’m not speaking to anyone today. I have more than an earful for him. You can’t use me, and get away with it. He’s looking at me, and laughing. Maybe if I check my voicemail, it’ll look like I’m ignoring him.

I have one message, from Mummy.

“Timira, darling, it’s Mummy. I have some bad news. Daddy, and your sisters were in a car accident this morning. He was late to drop them off, because we couldn’t find that shirt. They say he was speeding. Aunty Daisy will pick you up after school. Timira, darling, there was an interesting box in the bathroom garbage. Is that your pregnancy test? Your sisters say it isn’t theirs. It…well…it reads…positive. I don’t mean to upset you if it isn’t. Timira, darling, I’ll be at the hospital. You’ve been so quiet lately. I know something’s bothering you. Call me soon. Love you.”

My head is swimming in tandem with my stomach. I feel like throwing up. No one could decipher me.

Dear God, please help me. I just ruined my own life.

Copyright 2008

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This article has been read 1433 times
Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw02/21/08
Oh, this is chilling. And depressing. I was totally surprised at the end after I re-read it to absorb all the details that led up to the twist. I could certainly see the tie-in with the proverb in the saddest kind of way. Lots of mistakes to go around in this family, not just the middle child's.
Seema Bagai 02/21/08
This story kept me interested throughout. Great job.
Holly Westefeld02/23/08
A most unusual story, that certainly does cover the topic.
Jan Ackerson 02/23/08
Your narrator's voice is simply excellent, and I really, really like your writing style.

The text from the mother lost me a bit, though--just doesn't seem realistic that that's the way a mother would handle two really devastating events--in a text?

Taken as a whole, this piece is outstanding.
LaNaye Perkins02/25/08
I loved all the twists and turns in this story. Well done.
Beth LaBuff 02/25/08
Your MC certainly had life hit her head on. You've told this very well and left the reader with a lot to consider.
Debbie Wistrom02/26/08
Ouch, I was waiting for the consequences, but that was a doosey! Oh the guilt we let ourselves fall into. Great writing!
Laury Hubrich 02/27/08
Wow! Great story, but sad. Good writing!
Beckie Stewart02/27/08
This is so sad. It reminds me that we only have today to hold onto, there are no guarantees for tomorrow. What a guilt trip for the choice of silence for a day. This was well written. I felt sad this child had so much put on her in the first place.
Loren T. Lowery02/27/08
Sure wasn't expecting that ending, but it all made sense because you made it very real to the reader. We are driven to do some crazy things because of the way we feel inside, or because of the way we allow others to make us feel...I think with this article, you just opened a window to allow others to see this. Great job!
Sally Hanan02/27/08
I liked how you didn't make everything end happily ever after. While it's a sad ending, it's still a good lesson in having a good attitude and treating others well regardless of how they treat us. I'd like to do Dr. Phil job on the family...
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/27/08
You created a sad, sad story for the topic, and you did it very, very well. I felt so sorry for you MC with all her wrong choices.
william price02/27/08
Excelllent pace and energy. You hammered your message home and left no doubt. Great job. God bless.
Pam Carlson-Hetland02/27/08
The title really fit in to the story. Lots going on in this piece with an overall sad feeling. But this is very well written and very fitting to the topic. Great job.
Joy Faire Stewart02/27/08
Oh, this is so sad and one of the best I have read on this week's topic. Excellent!
Dianne Janak02/28/08
Sara, this was excellent. I was so with her, the MC, and knew there would be some consequence to her actions, but had no idea it would be so horrific. Great piece.. as always... your well is never dry, but full of living creative waters!