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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hard and Soft (04/23/09)

TITLE: That Old Bat Could Really Use Some of This Stuff
By Anita van der Elst


Friday evening television was a wasteland of mind numbing proportions. I’d had my share of hard times, so was it too much to expect to find a little entertainment on the boob tube? But one Friday awhile back things changed.

Settling my buns into the permanent depression in my recliner I lit a cigarette, pointed my remote at the TV. Hmmm, BluntTV has an intriguing menu listing—never seen it before. I clicked at the set in time for the upbeat theme song and opening credits.

Arms windmilling, the spiky haired Emcee emoted through the camera from the front of a tour bus. “Welcome, viewers, to Eternal Soul Makeover, Human Edition, spiritual reality at its best. Take a look at the video sent in by the grandchildren of our unsuspecting guest, who desperately needs some renovations.”

I almost swallowed my cigarette at the sight of the two boys and a girl in the video. Are those my daughter’s children and what on earth are they doing on national television? I had no idea my son-in-law’s mother needed a soul makeover. Come to think of it, I’ve often wondered if she even has a soul. Crabby old witch!

“We love our grandma,” my oldest grandson said. “She has a lot to offer and could be really beautiful but we’ve never seen it. Mom told us she lost her identity after being badly wounded on the home front. We’ve seen how Truth, Forgiveness and Healing have changed others. Would you help our grandma? Maybe bring her a little Grace and Mercy too?”

Well, this is getting interesting. That old bat could really use some of this stuff.

“We’re on our way right now!” The Emcee was practically dancing a jig.

The doorbell rang and I knocked over my iced tea. I rolled my bread doughy body up and revealing my irritation with a trail of cusswords, stomped down the hall and flung open the door.

“What the---!”

So startled by the business end of a video camera determined to give my nose hairs the close up they’d never be ready for, I lost my train of thought. Beyond this intrusion and the person wielding it, lights, wires and other apparatuses cluttered my lawn. A tour bus straddled the potholes in my gravel driveway. My train of thought returned to the station, steam venting from all valves.

Behind me I could hear an enraged squawking and screeching, apparently from my TV set. Poor soul, I thought as my mouth flapped unattached from my brain, they’ve met their match with her.

Then I recognized that voice as my own. Oh Alice, you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole.

“Alice?” The spiky haired Emcee reached out his hand to shake mine.

My voice tripped over the volcanic vitriol spewing from the stony chambers of my heart and fell into silence.

“Your grandchildren love you and asked us to come and give you a makeover unlike any ever known. If you are willing.” Spiky wasn’t letting go. “Our makeover manual tells us how wonderful it is to be wise, to get a new perspective. Wisdom lights up a person’s face, softening its harshness. The kids are hoping you’ll accept our offer to use this and a few other makeover techniques.”

Oh. My. Gandhi. They were talking about me on that video! Is there any hope for this old bat?

I flicked an ash of bitterness off my lip.

“How can I resist my darling grandchildren?” I said with chagrin. “I don’t know how they saw through this leathery exterior but those soft smiles and gentle voices have penetrated my cement-encased heart. I accept the offer. You’ll have your work cut out for you though. I can promise you that.”

No seven-day wonder for me. In fact the Great Designer had to move in, for the renovation is ongoing. That first day He looked into my eyes and gently said, “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”

Since He is my Rock, I don’t have to be one. In tender firmness He helps me follow His blueprint for change. We spend hours watching reruns of our favorite makeover show and perusing the manual. We talk about other souls, who’ve been chosen for His makeover. He’s making everything work out according to His plan, one grandma at a time.

Ecclesiastes 8:1-3
Ezekiel 36:25-27 (NIV)
Ephesians 1:11

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This article has been read 871 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Robyn Burke04/30/09
THIS is amazing! So creative. I was chuckling through the whole story and then swallowing the lump in my throat at the end. I love the line about how with God as our rock we don't need to be one. This is really a winner!
Seema Bagai 04/30/09
Excellent. Humor and tenderness in the same piece. That takes writing talent.
Bryan Ridenour05/01/09
Great piece of writing..loved the humor...well done!
Genia Gilbert05/01/09
Really really good! Thanks for the laughs, served up with a good dose of reality that probably stings us all!
Marilyn Schnepp 05/02/09
Brilliant and unique! A great take on this week's topic, and an entertaining read for sure. Very well written...(but not too sure about the grammar in the 2nd Paragraph...if the "IT" should be removed or the word "saw" should replace the "seen") But it's still is an excellent entry. Kudos!
Lollie Hofer05/05/09
What a hoot! Thank you for sharing this hilarious story with us. I also used the same verse in my story but it wasn't nearly as entertaining or effective as this.
Robyn Burke05/07/09
Chely Roach05/07/09
Oh. My. Gandhi. :)What a great piece! Congrats!
Loren T. Lowery05/07/09
I was completely enraptured by your writing ability and creative take on this topic. Well done and a very deserved EC placement!
Holly Westefeld05/07/09
Delightful and creative. I enjoyed the ride, even though I saw where it was going.
Myrna Noyes05/07/09
WOW! Hilarious and thought-provoking at the same time! Great writing and creative take on the topic! CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR EC!! :)
Patricia Turner05/07/09
Love this story! "I flicked an ash of bitterness off my lip." Great storytelling! Congratulations on your well deserved win!