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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Actions Speak Louder than Words" (without using the actual phrase). (02/21/08)

TITLE: Black and White
By Jennifer Waddell


“Yes, Mom I have everything.” Serena said into her cell phone as she walked down Oak Street.

“What about underwear? You have to have clean underwear.”

“Check” Serena tried to keep from laughing.





“You know how your feet get cold at night”

“Mom, we already went through this before I left the house.”

“I know, but I just want to make sure that you’re going to be okay.”

“I’m going to be okay,” Serena paused, an amused look on her face. “Are you going to be okay?”

“Fine!” her mother exclaimed. “I’m just fine, thank you for asking.”

“I’m going to be home tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow. Right. I know.”

“You know, statistics show that most 8-year-olds survive their first sleep over.”

“Oh really? What do they say about the mothers?”

“You’re not going to stalk Casie’s house or anything weird like that are you?”

“You know that thought never crossed my mind, but now that you mention it…”

“Oh look, here I am. Gotta go!”

“Okay kiddo. Have a great time.”

“I will, love you, bye.”

“Love you, bye.”

Serena knocked on her best friend’s door, and then walked right in. “Hello?” she called. “I’m here!”

“Back here!” came the reply.

Serena made her way through the familiar house and found Casie in the living room, but she wasn’t alone. “Hey, Ser!” she cried, getting up to embrace Serena. “This is Melanie,” she said.

Melanie was sitting cross-legged between the couch and the coffee table shuffling a deck of cards. She had jet black hair and was wearing an assortment of bracelets on her right arm and a watch with a thick black leather band on her left. She looked up, gave Serena a nod and then went back to shuffling.

“Oh, hi,” Serena didn’t know what else to say.

“I’m going to go get some drinks and popcorn. Wanna come?” Casie asked as she bounded toward the kitchen. “You can drop your stuff anywhere.” She called over her shoulder.

Serena followed Casie into the kitchen. “I thought it was just going to be us,” she said.

“Well,” Casie said, tossing a bag of popcorn into the microwave “It was, but Melanie is so cool! She can tell your fortune!”

”How?” Serena asked skeptically.

“With those cards that she’s shuffling.”

“I’m not so sure about this,”

“Come on Ser, it’s going to be so much fun!”

“We’re not supposed to get involved with things like this,” Serena protested.

“Oh, please. It’s just a silly game. Nothing is going to happen.”

“How do you know?”

“It’s not like it’s real you know.”

“I know.”

“Well, if it’s not real, then it can’t hurt us.”

“I guess you’re right.”

“Grab the popcorn and let’s go!”

Once they were all seated around the coffee table, Melanie dealt the cards face up one by one.

“I’m sorry, but I just don’t feel right about this,” Serena could not believe her own words.
Melanie looked up sharply. “What,” she said, her voice was soft, mysterious, and not at all nice, “is the problem?”

“Uh, What I mean is, I feel funny. Like maybe we shouldn’t be doing this.”

Melanie’s eyes were half closed as she continued to flip cards over. “Then leave,” she said without looking at Serena.

“No, don’t leave,” Casie said quickly.

Without thinking, Serena stood, grabbed her stuff and headed for the door.

“Wait!” Casie scrambled to her feet. “Serena, wait!”

Outside, Serena took a deep breath of fresh air.

“Please don’t go,” Casie said through the screened door.

“Send her away, Casie, she’s no good.” Serena said with her back to the house.

“I can’t, “ Casie said. “She’d hate me forever. It took me months just to get her to talk to me.”

“What’s so wonderful about her?” Serena turned toward her friend.

“I don’t know, I just think she’s super cool. She’s so free! I want to know what she knows.”

“She’s not really free, Casie. Only Christ can set you free.”

“Melanie said that’s just some crap my parents told me.”

“What do you think?” Serena asked.

“I’m not sure”

“Well, you’re not going to figure it out with Melanie putting all kinds of junk into your head.”

“You’re just upset because you’re not my only friend anymore. You don’t understand anything!”

“You’re right, I don’t understand.” Serena’s voice was sad as she turned and walked away, tears streaming down her cheeks. Casie just stood in the doorway and watched her friend leave.

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Member Comments
Member Date
LauraLee Shaw02/29/08
Very scary. Great title for this piece.

I was distracted by the lack of punctuation in several of the opening sentences. Also I thought the person talking at the beginning was an older daughter talking to her mother about taking her 8-year-old to a sleepover. I understood it better at the end.

I LOVE the way you had Serena walking out at the end, SHOWING her mother that she could keep her word. This would make an EXcellent example for Christian teens, especially having her talk about Christ being the only One to follow.
c clemons03/03/08
I can see the topic but the dialogue between the girls was not very believeable for the average eight year olds. Good take on topic though.