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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: Unplugged
By Patty Wysong
02/19/08


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“I'm so tired of it all,” Carla complained as we dug through boxes looking for costumes for the Easter Presentation.

“You're already tired of looking? We've only just begun and there are six boxes,” I joked, hoping to side-track her.

“Gracie, you know what I mean and it's not a joking matter. I'm thinking about divorcing Darren. I just don't think I can spend the rest of my life with him!”

My hands stopped above the box and angel wings fluttered onto my lap. Those would work for one of the pre-schoolers. Where's Pamela, Lord? She would know how to handle this. The room was so silent the clock sounded loud to me. If I sit here long enough she'll laugh and tell me she's kidding. But she didn't.

“Did you hear what I said?” she demanded, back ramrod straight and fists resting on her thighs.

Help me out here, Lord, because this is way out of my league. I waited for Divine intervention, but none came.

“Why do you think that?” I hesitantly asked.

“He doesn't listen to me and he doesn't care what I think. How's that for starters?”

Whoa. For starters? I made my hands dip back into the box and lift out the next thing. What's the king's sash doing in here with angel wings? Focus, Gracie.

“But why not trying to work through things?”

Carla looked at me as if I were off my rocker. “Work through things? Now you're not listening either. I told you, the man won't listen and he doesn't care! He's not gonna 'work through' things. C'mon, Gracie, get your head in the real world.”

Control, Gracie. Get control. I gritted my teeth, trying to listen to common sense, but my rash side was getting in the way. Real world? Girl, let me tell you about the real world! I counted to ten, then to twenty, but it didn't work.

“The real world? I'll tell ya' about the real world, Carla. In the real world we're required to grow up and get our eyes off ourselves. In the real world we have to buckle down and do a lot of things we don't want to.” Carla's eyes widened, but I was on a roll. “In the real world we have to work our hineys off to make dreams come true because there is no fairy godmother who will wave her magic wand and give us everything we want. In the real world life is not all flowers and romance, it's blood, sweat and tears and running on commitment when the love's run out, and then coaxing the love back to life. The real world is not like we imagined back when we were playing dolls.” I lowered my hands into my lap and looked at my stunned friend. Oh, now that was real inspired, Gracie. See, Lord, I told ya' that I wasn't the one for this job. Now what?

Carla slowly closed her mouth, her back losing its stiffness. Once again I heard the blasted clock and, without thinking twice, reached over and pulled its plug, putting an end to its incessant ticking.

Carla quirked an eyebrow at me. “Are you gonna pull my plug, too?”

I threw a shepherd's headdress at her.

“I think you've been saving that speech just for me.” She blew the bangs out of her eyes and fiddled with the fringes on the headdress. “But, I think you got it right. Life isn't anything like I imagined it would be, back when we played dolls.”

“Back then you wanted to get married, have babies and raise a family. Are you willing to give all that up just to get Darren to listen to you or to see if he cares?” I asked her.

Carla sat there smoothing the fabric while my lungs burned from holding my breath. “I would be giving it up, wouldn't I?” She looked at me with tormented eyes. “It's just not like we dreamed it would be.”

“No, it's not,” I breathed. “But sometimes it's better.”

A small smile tugged at her lips. “Yeah. Sometimes. Maybe I shouldn't do anything rash then. Ya' think?”

The starch evaporated from my spine and I sagged in relief. “You'd be hurting more than just Darren if you did.”

“Like myself?” she asked wryly.

I grinned as I waved the cord at her. “Yeah, but if you try it, I'll just unplug ya'. Deal?”

“Deal.”


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This article has been read 649 times
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Beth LaBuff 02/22/08
Your story is good. I really appreciated your touch of humor comment, "What's the king's sash doing in here with angel wings?" in the middle of a tense situation. I was cheering for Gracie during her speech to Carla. I like your whole clock/unplugging analogy too. In the end it's so cool that Carla "got it". Nice work on this creative piece.
Joy Faire Stewart02/22/08
This was a delight with excellent advise and just the right touch of humor.
Sara Harricharan 02/22/08
I like Gracie! She's just too funny and I love the little rant she had all prepared, the lines with counting to ten and then twenty, that was hilarious. I loved how you tied in the title with the ending. Nice job. I really enjoyed it. I think it's one of my favorites this week. ^_^
Joanne Sher 02/23/08
Great characterization, dialog, and inner monologue, and a wonderful message. Very well done.
Jan Ackerson 02/24/08
Very, very good--not at all preachy, just the right touch, and the lesson's there for all the see. Gently witty, with just the right amount of bite.
Laury Hubrich 02/25/08
I love this conversation between the two friends! Only a true friend could get by with this! I felt like an eavesdropper! Now I'll be ready with an answer if I ever am encountered with this conversation. Thank you!
Laury
Lyn Churchyard02/25/08
WOW what a great speech her friend gave her! Excellent job done here. Loved the dialogue between the friends. The prayers of Gracie. "Oh, now that was real inspired, Gracie. See, Lord, I told ya' that I wasn't the one for this job. Now what?" Ah, but that is exactly what the Lord gave her to say.
Good job Peej!
LauraLee Shaw02/25/08
LOVE it! Sometimes the Lord does give us power in our truth, doesn't He? Many people will be ministered to and hopefully convicted by this well-written piece.
Karen Wilber 02/25/08
Excellent. I loved all the internal monologue (where's Pamela, focus Gracie). Engaging story. I also liked all the 'stage business' with the costumes. That lightened the tone, but didn't detract from the message.
LaNaye Perkins02/25/08
I love your writing style. The conversation between the women, and the internal dialog worked so well together. I really enjoyed this story. Well done.
Debbie Wistrom02/25/08
This was an engaging read, both characters felt real to me. Great job.
Dee Yoder 02/25/08
Very natural conversation and realistic characters make this story excellent. It's casual and not preachy so the message comes across with humor and grace.
Catrina Bradley 02/26/08
I love the internal conversation, and the true friendship that didn't allow her to remain silent. Great writing!
Seema Bagai 02/26/08
Humourous, with realistic characters. An enjoyable story.
Debbie Roome 02/27/08
This flowed very naturally. Well written.
Peter Stone02/27/08
I really liked the way you had the MC at a loss for words for so much of the article, rather than magically knowing what to say straight off. So often we find ourselves out of league, struggling, yet in the end, God can still use us. Well done.
Verna Cole Mitchell 02/27/08
This is one of my favorites this week. The dialogue is outstanding, and Gracie's speech is a "keeper." I hope you do a lot more "Gracie" stories. She's an MC we can identify with.
Loren T. Lowery02/27/08
The friendship between these two is evident and so is that God can instill the words when we call on Him. This is simply a wonderfully written piece.
Shirley McClay 02/27/08
Wow.. very insightful. Exactly what I wish people (esp teens) could understand when they think they have found the LOVE of their life and need to be married (have sex) asap no matter who disagrees and who it hurts. Good for them.. one for saying the truth, the other for seeing it!
Joshua Janoski02/27/08
The dialogue in this one was superb. It was a great mix of conversation and inner thoughts. Thank you so much for sharing this.
Tessy Fuller02/29/08
I really liked the dialogue that was going on inside her head. It was very true how we wrestle sometimes with saying what is really on our minds.