Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Concentration (07/24/08)
TITLE: Misplaced Concentration
By Rachel Burkum
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A typo skidded across the pristine document of words and Rudy cringed. The moment was shattered. “Becca, I told you, Daddy’s working. I’ll come play with you in ten minutes.”
“But…” The little voice was muffled beyond the closed door as the six-year-old pressed her mouth near the keyhole.
“Go help your mother with Jacob.” Rudy heard his daughter’s soft footsteps retreat from the door and he turned back to his computer. Squinting, he tried to pick up where he’d left off.
…The characters were alive. They sprang up before him as the blank page evolved into a living dream – a movie…
Knock, knock, knock. “Are you going to stay in there all night?”
Rudy sighed and rolled his eyes, fortunate his wife couldn’t see him. “No, Lydia.”
“Okay, but don’t forget you promised Becca to play that game with her.”
“Just give me ten more minutes!” Rudy refocused as he was left in peaceful quiet once more.
…playing for an audience of vivid imaginations. Each one took on personalities of their own, forming lifelike beings that captured the attention of any reader. The words persuaded the mind to dive into the heroic tale where the heart, now captivated, would be lost forever in the bliss of…
Rudy heard Jacob’s squeal outside the door, and knew his little boy was on all fours, probably having crawled out from under his big sister’s eye. “Becca?!”
“Come on, Jacob, let’s go back to the kitchen.”
Rudy stared at the wall for a moment, hearing Lydia come rescue wailing Jacob from Becca’s unsuccessful attempts to drag him back to the other end of the house. Trying to regain his thoughts, his fingers again rested on the keys.
…the bliss of living in a world apart from reality. If only for a moment where one could get lost in the pages, free from…
“No!” Rudy’s hand came down hard on his desk, scattering a stack of papers. “I’m trying to concentrate here! Can no one leave me alone?!”
“Do you really want me to?”
“I just want some peace and quiet!”
“Would you listen to yourself for one of those ten?”
Rudy stopped and looked up at the ceiling. “You of all people should know I’m only trying to get this story done. Then I can spend time with my family. Don’t forget, you’re the one that made me with this gift of writing in the first place.”
“I didn’t give it to you so you could abuse it.”
Rudy’s mouth opened again, but this time he stopped himself from a smart retort. “I’m just trying to focus on the talent you gave me.”
“I also gave you a family.”
“Would you rather sacrifice your family and pay attention only to your writing?”
“Well of course not!” Rudy’s statement was met by silence. But the silence spoke more than words could. His eyes drifted to the floor. “I guess I see your point.”
“Good. Now let me read what you’ve written while you go spend time with your family.”
Rudy looked at his computer screen one last time.
…where one could get lost in the pages, free from…eating humble pie.
“Alright, alright!” Rudy stood up from his desk and shut down his computer. “Next time, give me a nice reminder before I get this far, will you?”
“Next time, pay more attention. I tried to get you away from that story three times.”
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