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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: White (10/29/09)

TITLE: The Redhead
By Christine Gaudin


The Redhead
Melody Smithers had turned 80 just last week. She'd had a lovely family party and was in very good health. There were lots of laughs and talking about old times. An old school friend, Lauren Mc Call had arrived from Canada especially for the occasion. The two of them chatted away reminiscing about pranks they had played, happy school picnics and the sadness when a classmate's Mum had died. Lauren teased Melody about being called Red and Carrot Top, and Melody reminded her she was called Bugs because of her prominent teeth. 'We were a great pair weren't we? - a carrot and a bunny. Maybe that's why we always got along well.'
The room where the party was held was decorated with coloured streamers and balloons. Melody had always been fond of colour. She wore her most brightly coloured dress for the occasion, a flowing pink number along with her bright pink shoes. Some of her family thought she should start acting her age and wear more sober coloured clothing, but that would never have suited the mood of the party. The cake was decorated with a rainbow and there were rainbow coloured napkins on the table.
A couple of days after the party Melody had tripped on the edge of the carpet, fallen and broken one arm and sprained the other. Luckily there was no other damage except to her pride. Being carted off in an ambulance was not Melody's idea of fun. Because of her age and because she was unable to use either of her arms she was kept in hospital. So there she was in a white hospital gown, in a white hospital room, in a hospital bed with white sheets and covers. She sat there while Sharon, the young trainee nurse brushed her hair. 'What lovely white hair you have,' Sharon remarked.
'White!' Melody scowled. 'My hair has always been red, since the day I was born. Why are you saying it is white?'
'It looks white to me,' Sharon returned. 'But if you would rather have red we could get it dyed for you.'
'I've never coloured my hair in all my life and I'm not about to start now. Anyway it still feels red to me, so there.'
'Okay, red it is then. Do you want to look in the mirror to see how I've done it.'
'No, thank you, that would spoil the illusion. Do you think I could have my cell phone?'
'Yes I'll get it for you but how are you going to use it?'
'I think I can manage if you dial the number and put it on the pillow here. I can still use one hand a bit.'
So Sharon dialled the number Melody told her and then left to attend to other patients.
The next time Sharon came into Melody's room she was shocked. There was hardly a white thing to be seen. All sorts of decorations and pictures covered the walls, there was a bright red duvet cover on the bed and Melody sat there resplendent with her floral dressing gown draped over her shoulders and her emerald green pyjamas underneath. Sharon noticed however that Melody's hair was still white. She couldn't help asking, 'Why didn't you go the whole hog and dye your hair or get a wig?'
'That's because God gave me red hair and then He turned it white. I've always thought I should do the things I could do and leave the things I can't do to Him.'

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Member Comments
Member Date
Patty Wysong11/09/09
Melody sounds like such a character! If you work your sentences so you don't have to use 'had' before the verbs your sentences will be much more active and showing rather than passive and telling. I'd love to meet Melody--better yet, I'd love to like her when I'm 80! =]
Laury Hubrich 11/10/09
What a cool lady!
Rachel Phelps11/11/09
I agree that this story could be much stronger with just a few tense changes and more space between the paragraphs. As it stands, Melody is a gem of a character, and I'd like to hear more about her. Another thing that might help to consider is thinking of ways to show rather than tell information. You have a great start.