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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)

TITLE: What's Good for the Goose Chars the Gander
By Catrina Bradley


Angela squinted up through her sunglasses, trying to gauge the time by the movement of the sun. Her eyes squeezed shut involuntarily, and spots of lights flashed inside her eyelids. “Auuggh. Honey, what time is it?”

She raised herself to rest on her elbows and opened her eyes enough to peek at her husband. Josh was comfortably planted in the shade of the beach umbrella, and engrossed in the latest John Grisham best seller.

“Josh! Honey, your toes.”

“Huh?” His attention finally diverted from the novel, Josh looked over at Angela.

“Your feet are in the sun. Looks like your toes are getting red. What time is it, anyway?”

Josh scootched up from his slumped position in the folding chair and pulled his feet up under the protection of the umbrella.

“And grab me a water, will ya?”

“Yes, your highness. Anything else your servant can do for you?” Josh lifted the lid on the cooler and pulled a dripping water bottle from the melting ice.

“Just the time, Jeeves. Is it time for me to turn over?” Angela had let her head fall back and her eyes close again, so didn’t see it coming. Josh scooped a double handful of ice and water from the cooler and flung it over her. She bolted upright and let out a gasp, followed by a contented purr as the breeze further cooled her sun-heated skin. “Mmm. Nice. More.”

“Go ahead and turn over. You’ve got some good color on your front.” Josh shook the excess water from his hands in her direction. “It’s time for me to go on up to the room, though.” He bent over in the chair over and poked at his toes. His fingertips left white echoes where they had pressed into his flushed skin. “Sorry, babe.”

“I know, hon. I’m sorry too. I’ll walk up with you. I could use a potty break anyway.”


The contrast between Angela’s long, brown fingers and his red, puffy toes as she soothed lotion into his fiery skin was not lost on Josh. “I hate the beach.”

“You don’t hate the beach. You hate what the beach sand and sun do to you. The beach is beautiful and you know it.” The color contrast wasn’t lost on Angela either, and she wondered again what God was thinking when He had mated her with Josh: the bronze sun goddess, who soaks up every available ray, and the ghostly-white shade seeker, who is allergic to the sun.

Not content merely to cause him to burn, God makes the same sun that sustains life on this planet poison to her husband. An hour under its penetrating rays causes Josh’s skin to break out in an angry, itchy rash. The red bumps spread and congregate, leaving swollen pustules in their wake. Even with SPF 50 sunscreen slathered from head to toe, Josh’s skin sizzles and bubbles when exposed to the sun for too long.

Angela squirted another dollop of aloe lotion onto Josh’s foot and caressed it into his hot toes. “Sun gotcha good, hon.”

“Yeah, the sand probably rubbed off the sunscreen.”

“I told you we could sit up on the patio. You would have been under the shade and I could still get sun.”

“I wanted to walk on the beach. I wanted to dig my toes into the sand.”

“So you hate the beach huh?” Angela smirked at her husband, and winked.

Josh reached over to brush sand from her brown shoulder. His fingers seemed to glow against her dark skin, and he let them linger. “I remember when I used to get this brown. I practically lived at the neighborhood pool.”

“Uh huh. And you won the diving contest.” She tilted her head and nuzzled his hand with her cheek.

“Evil sun.”

“The sun’s not evil, hon. Your skin, maybe. But look what the sun can do.” She hooked a finger under the edge of her bathing suit, and gave Josh a peek at the milky skin under the surface. “Tan lines.”

“Mmmm. Tan lines. Yeah, that’s a good thing. Can I see more?”

Angela slapped at his hand and squirmed away laughing. “Nope. Not yet. Enjoy the AC for a while, and I’ll be back later to reveal the masterpiece the sun painted.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Betty Castleberry05/17/09
This is a fun piece.

You asked for red ink, but I'm having trouble finding much to ink here. The playful banter between the couple is well done.

I like it.
Mona Purvis05/18/09
Smooth, clean writing style. Non-contraversial, so no high/low of emotions. Pleasant to read and very true-to-life slice.

Connie Dixon05/18/09
Really good job on your descriptions. Getting a tan almost seems "wrong" nowadays, but I still love being out in it, wrong or not. I enjoyed this piece a lot.
Gregory Kane05/18/09
Ditto made me want to run for the seaside. Give me that sun between my tows. Of course I can just step outside and feel the tropical sun beating down on me and our yard is a sandy clay so that almost counts. But we're a long, long way from the surf!
I really liked the tease of romance right at the end. Speaking as a man, I wonder if your male character shouldn't have a bit more 'sauce' with his goose - the beach does tend to have that effect on men.
Gerald Shuler 05/18/09
I enjoyed this even more than if I actually went to the beach. Of course, I am also a "Ghostly white shade seeker". Thanks for the sun.
Bryan Ridenour05/18/09
Fun banter between the couple. Enjoyable read. Nice job!
Sharon Kane05/18/09
True to life, and great fun to read. And why does God put opposites together??
Carol Slider 05/18/09
This is such a sweet, true-to-life story. (It actually made me think of my little boy, a pale redhead whose ears get red after about two minutes outside...) A well done tale of "opposites attract"!
Kimberly Russell05/18/09
As someone who burns to a crisp in 20 minutes, I could totally relate. I enjoyed the interaction between these two and their playfulness- nice job.
Pamela Kliewer05/19/09
Very well done. I love the playfulness between the two. You had me smiling throughout.
Chely Roach05/19/09
This was a fun read...very enjoyable. Well done!
Myrna Noyes05/20/09
I really enjoyed enjoyed this piece with its descriptive word choices and authentic-sounding dialogue! Alas, I can empathize with Tom, as I love the beach, too, but my fair skin burns in minutes! Great writing! :)
Diana Dart 05/20/09
Ouch - sun burnt TOES??? Being a shade-lover myself, I must say that I have never experienced that particular pleasure. But you described it nicely - I mean painfully, but nicely. Totally enjoyed the easy, familiar dialogue. And the ending was great!
Loren T. Lowery05/20/09
So, so believable! Great job with the story and the dialogue and the not so subtle innuendo at the end was perfect! Hard not to like those tan lines!
Patricia Herchenroether05/20/09
This is a real cutey. I loved the characters and their romantic playfulness. No red ink from me, Catrina.
Colin Swann05/21/09
This is awful err...awfully good. No, I mean rotten err..rotten to have to compete against writers as good as you. You have got your prize early.


Mary Lou Cook05/22/09
Congratulation on making the big list. What a great little story. Enjoyed it all.
Val Clark04/04/10
Great title. Neat slice of life story. I wondered about the first paragraph. As a hook “Josh! Honey, your toes.” is a far more compelling start. Dialogue works well and the couple's fun loving relationship is clearly portrayed. :-)