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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Truth or Dare (08/28/08)

TITLE: Chat Night
By Lynda Lee Schab


It was Tuesday night. Which meant bowling night. Which meant drinking night. Which meant her mother passing out and her step-father paying her a visit.

Which meant pain, terror, tears, and throwing up. Kelly hated throwing up.

But, for now, while Mom and Douglas were bowling, Kelly had her laptop and, more importantly, her online friends. Not that they were her real friends. If they were her real friends, she wouldn’t have to lie to them. But pretending she was someone else was her only option. The only way she could maintain her sanity and feel normal.

Even if only for a little while.

Kelly logged on and entered the chat room. Lv4him, jfreak and Bri were already there.

Bri: Hey kellbell. How was your day?

Kellbell: It was ok. Just got back from a boring dinner at The Renaissance. What a liar.

Lv4him: Poor thing. LOL

Bri: ready 2 play?

Jfreak: sure. U go first, bri.

Bri: LV – ToD?

Lv4him: T

Bri: did u tell Max u like him 2day?

Lv4him: no…couldn’t get the nerve.

Jfreak: bawk bawk!

Kellbell: LOL

Lv4him: tomorrow...

Bri: yeah right. LB – ur turn

Lv4him: JF – ToD?

Jfreak: D

Lv4him: go sing yankee doodle to ur sis

Jfreak: brb

Bri: so, KB – any plans for the we?

Kellbell: gonna hang with friends. I wish...

Bri: I’m going to a concert at church.

Kellbell: sounds fun.

Lv4him: what concert?

Jfreak: Done. She ignored me. LOL. KB – ToD?

The back door slammed and Kelly jumped. She glanced at her bedroom door. The lock had been busted a long time ago and the desk she’d pushed in front of it wouldn’t keep Douglas out for long.

Her mother shouted something and Douglas cursed. Kelly looked back at her computer screen and tried to shut out the noise.

Jfreak: KB u there? ToD?

Kellbell: MMMM. Can’t risk lying anymore than I have to. D.

Jfreak: go hug ur mom.

What? Who dares someone to hug their mom?

Kellbell: why?

Jfreak: idk. I just feel like God is telling u to go hug ur mom.

Kellbell: I’ll take T.

Jfreak: ur only allowed 1 swap.

Kellbell: IK.

Jfreak: Fine. Why ru mad at ur mom?

What was up with the mom stuff? It never got this personal before. Kelly bit her lip. She wasn’t mad at her mom. She was mad at Douglas. He was the one who was hurting her. The one she dreamed at night of torturing.


Kelly’s head whipped towards her door. No!

“Kelly Ann! What are you doing in there?”

Kelly was relieved to hear her mother’s voice instead of Douglas’s.

“Homework, Mom!” she called back.

“Come out ere and keepyur father comp’ny. I’m goin’ a bed.” Her words slurred together.

He wasn’t her father! And the last thing she was going to do was keep him company on purpose. She’d rather die.

“In a while, Mom!” Just go away.

Kelly looked back at the screen.

Jfreak: KB, ru ok?

Footsteps sounded in the hall. Her eyes darted back to the door as her heart picked up speed.

“Kelly, sweetheart! Come here and keep me company!” Douglas called. His drunken body crashed against the door.

Then the tears came. And so did the anger. At Douglas for his abuse. At her mom for allowing it. At God for not answering her prayers.

The flashing cursor begged for her attention. Kelly tried to focus on the computer.

More pounding. More disgusting coaxing.

Her palms were sweating. Her heart was racing. Her stomach churned.

Jfreak: Kellbell?

Bri: answer KB...

Lv4him: u ok, kell?

The truth...did she dare?

Kelly swallowed and sent up one final prayer for strength and courage.

Kellbell: no…Im not ok. I need help. SOS


A week later...

Bri: we’re glad ur ok.

Lv4him: we were worried.

Jfreak: status?

Kellbell: Douglas is in jail. Mom’s in rehab.

Bri: U?

Kellbell: in therapy. And... I found a church. Working out the anger at G tho.

Lv4him: u’ll get there, KB. Promise.

Jfreak: I’m just glad u told the T

Kellbell: me too. I owe u guys.

Bri: Just don’t give up on G, ok? He loves u, KB. He’s got ur back.

Lv4him: the truth really did set u free, Kell. No more lying, OK?

Kellbell: Deal... Well, I need to go complete my dare.

Bri: huh?

Lv4him: ?

Jfreak: what dare?

Kellbell: my mom. I think she really needs a hug. And I think I need one 2.

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This article has been read 1115 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Schultz 09/04/08
Very interesting way of dealing with the theme. The computer language is not my forté, but the many messages here come through loud and clear.
Joanne Sher 09/05/08
Oh wow - what a very creative take on the topic. You got the lingo down pat, and I could certainly see this happening. Very well done.
Helen Murray09/05/08
Fabulous story. Find some youth club media to submit to, as this story needs to be moved around a great deal. There is a whole world out there which doesn't know how to respond to abuse. This story clicks and needs to circulate!

Actually a little expansion beyong the 750 word limit in the area of how help came wouldn't go amiss.
Kristen Hester09/05/08
Great job. I am not familiar with all the computer lingo, but was proud of myself for figuring it all out. I felt I was there...especially since I was sitting at a computer when I read this. Bravo.
Laury Hubrich 09/07/08
Very creative. Loved this. Kids who know all the lingo would really get into this story. Great job!
Shirley McClay 09/08/08
Wow.. I was hanging on every word. So scared for your MC and so relieved that she got help! Emotionally charged in spite of using a chat to tell us about it. Great job!
Sharlyn Guthrie09/08/08
You did a super job of telling the story through dialogue, and IM dialogue at that! I'm impressed. Sadly, I'd guess Kellbell ended up in protective custody or foster care, but at least she's out of hat environment.
Jan Ackerson 09/09/08
Oh, excellent! You NAILED the lingo, and the story was full of all the great story elements: conflict, suspense, surprise, characterization. Good 4 U!