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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: Miss Behaved
By Debbie Wistrom


“And that’s the last I want to hear about this robe matter, Cindy Lee. We just can’t afford them right now. Oh I know your momma left us that money, but the roof was leaking with all the snow we’ve been getting and we took a vote and we knew in our hearts that if your dear momma was still here this is what she would have wanted us to do. We’ve been through this before, so just hush child, you don’t need to get yourself worked up over this again. You have to remember what the doctor told you.”

Not surprised that no one offered her a ride home after the way she’d acted, she shrugged into her winter parka. Cindy really didn’t want to go back outside. Weeks of single digit temperatures did nothing but make her cranky and she knew it. Leaving the church and these people and getting home was the only thing on her mind. Having to trudge the three blocks through the slush only darkened her mood. “Why can’t they just see how raggedy, huff, those nasty, sorry momma, I know you and Aunt Sally made them, huff, robes are outdated and just plain worn out, huff.”

Her only friend in the world, Yo-Yo, the “nutball cat from outer space,” greeted her with a tail lasso and purring loud enough to wake the goldfish, Buggles. “Why can’t everyone else be as happy to see me as you guys?” After sitting on the bench to catch her breath, she tossed the parka at the coat rack and missed. Cindy started for the fridge and the chocolate brownie supreme she had squirreled away from work this afternoon when Yo-Yo detained her by leaping into her lap.

“Not now; I’m not in the mood to make you happy.” As she waited for the beep from the microwave, Cindy tried to shoo the cat away, already tired of his antics.

The comfort afforded her by the treat did nothing to adjust her attitude. “Why can’t they see that we need those new choir robes in time for the Easter pageant? Little miss ‘Oh our old ones are just fine’ needs to see how shiny her big fat behind is from all the sitting she has done on it. Why does Pastor always take her side?”

Now, Cindy, if you can’t say anything nice,,,,,,”Not now momma, I have to figure out how to get those new robes.”

Don’t worry dear,,,,you know what the Bible says about the lilies of the field…. ”I know, they don’t toil nor spin, but you should just see how worn these old things are. Some of the zippers are snagging too; last Sunday one got that green sweater you gave me the day they took you…..It’s just too much, seeing Beatrice sitting in your place in the choir loft, and now they won’t use that money you left them for the robes. You know singing in your choir is my only way of staying connected to you. I wish I could just disappear; no one would notice anyway.”

A sorrowful yown yowwwnn came from under the bed, “Oh yeah, Yo-Yo, you’d miss me at feeding time. Sorry, I was running late tonight, I forgot your food. Well here, a can of tuna for you and an ice cream dream sundae for me.”

Watch your sugar, sugar, you know what the Dr said the day after my funeral…when you collapsed? “I know, I know, leave me alone, one little bitty dish of ice cream won’t hurt.”

Moving to the front room and clicking on the TV, Cindy settled in for the evening. She’d think about this tomorrow; now it was time for a good movie. Yo-Yo snuggled in, knowing this was the best part of the day.

The alarm sounded and sounded, and Yo-Yo started to knead Cindy’s already cold arm. When nosing her cheek did nothing, he started in with his yowning and yowning but she just wouldn’t move.

Look momma, oh, I behaved so badly that night at choir practice, I was so upset that they wouldn’t use your money on the robes, now look. Oh even Beatrice looks radiant in the purple robe. Oh, she’s bawlin her eyes out, oh momma……Oh they so much wanted to surprise me for Easter. Oh, momma..

Yes dear, sometimes we just need to let God do the talkin’.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 02/22/08
oohh! So sad...now everyone's plans/surprise was spoiled. I loved your animal descriptions, " Yo-Yo, the “nutball cat from outer space,” greeted her with a tail lasso and purring loud enough to wake the goldfish, Buggles." Your pet names are just plain fun. Your title is cute. You are definitely on topic. Nice work.
Sara Harricharan 02/22/08
Cute title. Sad ending. I felt sad at the end as if she'd only let go of the anger earlier, she might've seen what they were trying to surprise her with. Nice job. ^_^
Joanne Sher 02/23/08
I can tell you're an animal lover - your descriptions of the cat, especially, are wonderfully visual. A great piece with a great message.
Jan Ackerson 02/24/08
There's so much to love here--what a unique and engaging voice!

A few things--I was never sure how old Cindy Lou was; I kept changing my opinion on that throughout the piece. And the rows of commas were a bit distracting, a simple three dots will do for an ellipsis.

This is creative, witty, with a superb irony at the end.

Joy Faire Stewart02/25/08
Being a cat lover, Yo-Yo is perfect. This is unique and I enjoyed it in spite of the sad end.
Shirley McClay 02/27/08
Oh I had a bad feeling when she ate the ice cream. Very well written!
Seema Bagai 02/27/08
Good story. I did not see that ending coming. I was a bit confused as to how old the character was, though. Overall, a good mix of humor and sadness.
Sally Hanan02/27/08
I think I'd have called this one, No One Would Notice Anyway. You caught the MC's attitude perfectly, and the twist at the end was great.
Lyn Churchyard02/27/08
Humor, sadness and regret all rolled into one story. Well done, well done!
Liz Hoyt Eberle03/14/08
The title hooked me into reading this. All I can say is, "Ditto, Ditto," to Lynne's words above!!