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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Family Home (05/29/08)

TITLE: The Walls on Maple Drive
By Dianne Janak


Monthly meetings of the rooms at 6708 Maple Drive in Houston were never cancelled. They knew that a divided house can’t stand. The meetings secured their unity.

Den and Living Room reverberated with contagious joy. They were often filled with church meetings.

Kitchen’s aroma of freshly baked cookies and coffee made her a special place.

Bathroom sometimes had a pride problem, since things done in her were never done elsewhere, but she was humbled by her size.

Dining Room was dressed in seasonal themes. At times she had a pity party, wishing the family used her more, but the other rooms comforted her. They each had their flaws but were learning to overlook them in each other.

Study was the token nerd , full of books and the family computer. Though sometimes insufferable with intellectual superiority , the other rooms tolerated him.

The rooms all met in Garage at midnight, even though sometimes messy, it felt left out and the rooms made a point to include him. He was the only one that didn’t get air conditioning, so he needed to feel valuable.

Study, usually more articulate, was stuttering when he spoke.

“ H-h-h-h-ouston, we have a problem. Mr. Murphy has a secret, and I f-f-f-feel compelled to bring it into the light. H-h-h-h-he is corresponding late at night with a strange woman. I didn’t think much of it till last night.

Mrs. Murphy got up to go to Kitchen for water, and saw my light on. When he heard her come down Hallway, he quickly turned the computer off and grabbed a book. I am worried, and scared that this secret could upset our foundation.”

“Oh no, this is serious.” Bedroom had such a stake in the Murphy’s marriage. “What can we do?”

Kitchen said something about this “being hot news,” and Bath stated, “we need to flush this problem out into the open in a hurry.”

Each room spoke their own unique language, but the rooms had learned to translate one another to understand. Now all of them were disturbed about their future. They loved this family, and wanted the unit to stay together. This was seriously scary.

“We must get creative. We need to brainstorm. If the Murphys’ marriage is in trouble, it hurts everyone. Not just their family, but all their church friends, and what about the neighbors they’ve been witnessing to? " Den was close to tears as the news settled in his fireplace.

“Well, I do have an idea.” Study’s voice was much more confident now that the issue was out in the open.

“I can fumble around with the wires in my walls and make sure the computer stays on at night when the Mister goes to bed. When the Mrs. gets up in the morning, she checks her email. If she sees his email, then at least his new “friend” is no longer a secret. The first step is exposure.”

“Great idea. I love it!” Fourth Bedroom was the new addition and a bit immature but lovable.

The rooms put Study’s plan to a vote and it was unanimous.

The mood was somber. They all loved Mrs. Murphy, especially when she had chosen such pretty colors for their walls and done such a good job dressing each of them with such elegant taste.

It was settled. That night Mr. Murphy thought he’d turned the computer off after reading his email from the “homewrecker.”

The walls could barely talk that night as they held their breath for morning to come.

A few minutes after Mrs. Murphy entered Study to read her email, the rooms all shuddered as they heard sobs coming down Hallway. She was crying calling for Mr. Murphy to please come.

“What’s wrong?” He ran to Study scared she had fallen and broken something.

“I can’t believe it. You found my ring? I saw the email. Why didn’t you tell me?”

Confused Mr. Murphy saw the computer had stayed on and spoiled his surprise.

“I was going to surprise you honey. The hotel maid found it in our room, and I was arranging for her to send it. Our anniversary is next week, and it was perfect timing.”

“Honey , I am happy just to be your wife. I’m more touched by your thoughtfulness than anything. You big hunk of lovin.” She was still crying.

The walls were quiet and then breathed a deep sigh of joyful relief.

Study had to confess he was illiterate, and they forgave him.

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This article has been read 653 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Chely Roach06/05/08
This was very creative...LOVED the POV's...uber-clever! Nice twist at the end, and I loved the last line! LOL

Deborah Engle 06/05/08
You sure got me, but I'm very happy for the surprise ending.
Seema Bagai 06/05/08
This is hilarious. Creative and clever. I loved it!
Marilyn Schnepp 06/06/08
The best words I can think of are Creative, Brilliant, Intriguing and Enjoyable Wow, what a delightful, different take on this topic. The "Rooms" on Maple Drive. Nice Job!
Beth LaBuff 06/06/08
This is very creative… I enjoyed it from the beginning. I had to smile at the "bathroom's pride problem". Your ending was great. I love the personification of this house and the excellent creativity with this story.
Jan Ackerson 06/07/08
WOW! This is fantastic! Really off the wall creativity! Bravo!
Holly Westefeld06/09/08
What they all said--couldn't say it any better if I tried. Loved the word play!
Verna Cole Mitchell 06/11/08
This was awesomely creative. The personification of the walls was perfectly done. This feels like a winner. I hope it is.
Debbie Wistrom06/11/08
So cute and creative, my favorite 'room' is Study.

I hope to see a ribbon for this fun and entertaining entry.
Sara Harricharan 06/11/08
Oooh, this had tove fun to write! I love the twist here that the house was alive and how they all were considerate, especially with holding their meetings in the garage. lol! This was such fun! I really enjoyed it! ^_^
Beckie Stewart06/11/08
Well, this was so good. I am so glad that study was illiterate and this had a happy ending. What a clever idea for the subject.
Beth LaBuff 06/12/08
Dianne -- Yes, we were kindred spirits this week on Maple Street. How cool!! Now congrats on 9th place in L3 and 37th in the top 40! You're really taken your writing up a notch. You just continue to stay in that top 40. I'm so happy for you.
David Butler06/19/08
Letting the house speak for itself -- giving each room a persona reflecting their function.. what a great idea!
A good mix of creativity, "homey" humour and human interest used here to cook up a great story.
I got a little lost in the opening sentence, but caught on when you started naming each room. Maybe I'm slow, or just tired. How would an opening like: "If walls have ears, what if the rooms could speak?"
Where's Maple Drive btw?
David Butler06/19/08
...In Houston ... of course!
"Houston, I have a problem!"