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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas Cards (11/06/08)

TITLE: Chapter 1 - Last day on Campus
By Jeff Lewis


The wind was brisk today, but that didn't bother Liz Miles. She was just happy it wasn't snowing. Liz was supposed to drive home to Boston after her last final. She had just finished working out at that gym and was making her way back to her dorm room. Finals week did not change her routine too drastically, she knew that after her workout, she could go back to her dorm room for three hours, finish some last minute packing and do a quick review for her Shakespeare finals. Every year classmates at Georgetown always ranked Dr. Schmidt's Shakespeare final as one of the toughest.

The parking lot was practically vacant as Liz approached the building. With the semester practically over, except for the remaining finals, everyone was in a rush to get off campus. Liz had already said goodbye to most of her friends and entered the building knowing she was one of the few persons who had yet to leave. She didn't mind having one of the last finals on campus, she much preferred winter in DC rather than heading home to frigid New England. Ever since her parent's divorce she felt like she had more incentive to take her time coming home.

After Liz got to her dorm room she looked at herself in the mirror. She always loved her blue eyes which came from her dad. The color of blue always brought to mind thoughts of peacefulness and tranquility. Next to her mirror was a shelf with pictures of her and her dad. Even though her dad was in a wheelchair that never changed her relationship with him. The memory was ingrained in her head, it was the night before her sixteenth birthday and her dad had stopped at a jewelry store to buy her birthday gift. As he left the shop, he was held up at a gunpoint, he was shot and paralyzed from legs down. The cops caught the robber, but her father didn't press charges. Her father explained to Liz, "There are other warrants out for this man, justice won't change him. I feel compelled to show him mercy as Christ has shown me mercy."

Liz sat down at her desk with a plan of studying for an hour, taking a break to shower and pack, and then studying for the last hour before heading to the final. Her desk was right next to the door. She tried once having it by the window, but that was too distracting and would cause her to people watch. She moved the desk next to the door and knew she had found the perfect spot for it. When she woke up her computer the first image she saw was her desktop background, a picture of her and her mom. Liz and her mom had all the same features except for the eyes, her mom's were green. Both were freckled and with red hair, Liz could see herself looking just like her mom in 20 or 25 years. Her mom was a passionate woman with a fiery temper and a strong personality. In some senses, Liz didn't want to be exactly like her mom. It was hard to see her parents together before the robbery, but things got worse afterwards. Her mom was bitter for her dad not seeking justice and always took it out on him.

As Liz pulled up the word document with the class lecture notes on it she noticed an enveloped sliding underneath her door. Her initial inclination was to ignore it and focus on studying, but a semester worth of Shakespeare was no longer worth her unceasing attention. She picked up the Christmas car and on the envelope it said "Merry Christmas Liz." On the cover was a nativity scene which was a nice break from the commercialism of Christmas. She only knew of one friend which actually celebrated Christmas and not just hallmarks rendition. His name was Travis Stevens, a new friend from this semester and the most unlikeliest of friends. Inside of the card was a personalized message that said:

Merry Christmas Liz! I wasn't looking forward to any of my classes this semester, but forming a friendship with you in Shakespeare was definitely a highlight. If possible, lets continue to get to hangout next semester, even if we don't have any classes together.

After reading this Liz had no clue how to interpret what Travis was trying to communicate.

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This article has been read 399 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Mary Alice Bowles11/15/08
Great forgiveness, love, family, and a hint of romance. What more could one need in a Christmas card story? Good work....
Angela M. Baker-Bridge11/15/08
Lots of description to help the reader get inside the story. There are some typos that can easily be corrected, especially in one of the last paragraphs. Nice job.