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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Oops (01/14/10)

TITLE: A Grate Ending
By Bryan Ridenour



"Oops? Is that all you can say? Oops?" Tyler muscled past his best man, rushed down the church aisle and bounded up two steps leading to a spacious platform. Dropping prostrate, he peered into the heating grate. Somewhere in the darkness, a golden band rested out of sight.

He pushed to his feet, sighing heavily. "Gerald, what were you doing up here with the ring anyway?"

Gerald shifted nervously from side to side. "I was just practicing."

Tyler shot Gerald an angry glare. "Practicing for what?" he managed to ask through gritted teeth.

Gerald tugged at his collar; beads of sweat pooled on his brow. "I was practicing the pass."

"Excuse me?"

"I was practicing the pass," Gerald repeated. "You know; the minister asks if there's a ring for the bride; you turn to me; I pass you the ring. I was practicing the pass."


"I took it cleanly from my pocket, but on the imaginary pass, I fumbled." Gerald's shoulder's slumped as his eyes dropped to the floor. "It took two small hops and..." Gerald's voice trembled, "sailed through the grate."

Tyler's features softened. "Hey buddy, it's gonna be alright. Do you have that mini-flashlight I gave you?"

Gerald wiped his eyes on his tuxedo sleeve. "You mean the groomsmen gift? Sure." Gerald pulled the flashlight from his interior coat pocket. "Here."

Tyler shone the light into the pitch-black ductwork; a small circle of gold reflected the beam.

"There it is!" Gerald pointed excitedly.

Tyler stood, grinning ear to ear. "Gerald, I have a confession to make."

Gerald turned to face his lifelong friend. "That golden band is nothing more than a washer covered in spray paint."


"That's right," Tyler continued. "You have a real habit of losing things and dropping things, right?"

Gerald's face colored crimson.

"I couldn't take the risk of you letting the ring slip through your fingers, so I kept it--giving you a fake."

A smile played at the corner of Gerald's mouth. "I'm not that bad, am I?"

Tyler smirked. "Don't you remember being dubbed 'Da Fumbler' in High School?"

Gerald nodded. "Yeah, but I thought that was a cool German superhero."

Tyler shook his head and both friends busted into raucous laughter.

"So," Gerald started, composing himself, "the real ring is safe and sound?"

"It's right here." Tyler dug into his coat pocket and displayed the band in his open palm.

"It's a beauty," Gerald remarked.

Gerald reached for the ring, knocking it from Tyler's hand. Both grabbed wildly, catching nothing but air. A sickening clink told the story.

"Gerald!" Tyler shouted, snatching the flashlight.

"Oops," Gerald moaned dropping to his knees.

Tyler chuckled then laughed heartily. Dangling from a chain around his neck, the ring rested securely. "Gotcha."

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This article has been read 675 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Roome 01/21/10
Lighthearted fun - I enjoyed this.
Barbara Lynn Culler01/22/10
Great story! I thot for sure the groom would really lose the ring after teasing the bestman so!
Laury Hubrich 01/23/10
Hilarious. Each thing that happened surprised me. Good job!
Sharlyn Guthrie01/24/10
Poor Gerald. A "grate" title, ending, and story overall!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/26/10
Nicely written. It's refreshing to see that the long-time friends really knew each other and neither over-reacted.
Gregory Kane01/26/10
A lot of fun. I had a little difficulty working out exactly when this episode was taking place. But it was a gr8 tease
Patricia Herchenroether01/26/10
I only saw one one coming; the 2nd one was a bonus. A good, humorous read. Patty
Mona Purvis01/27/10
I could see this clearly. Certainly on topic and well written.

Jan Ackerson 01/27/10
Excellent! Just when I was about to accuse you of being predictable, you yanked the rug out from under me! Kudos!
Catrina Bradley 01/27/10
Tyler sure knows his friend. :) I really enjoyed this!
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/27/10
From the very appropriate title to the perfect ending, I loved your story.
Lyn Churchyard01/27/10
Your double 'oops' sure perpetrated a great big whammy on us.

Only one thing, shouldn't Gerald turned to face his lifelong friend. be Tyler turned to face his lifelong friend?

But, great story, it had me "oh no-ing', then mad at Tyler for being mean to Gerald, and feeling sorry for Gerald, then wanting to thump Tyler for his trick, and just plain laughing out loud. Well done.
Carole Robishaw 01/27/10
Funny and totally unexpected. I loved the second Oops! I got the impression in the beginning that the ringbearer was a young kid, so that caught me by surprise, as well.
I loved the story.
Kimberly Russell01/27/10
I really liked the title and the doubl oops was great. Nicely done.
Julie Seeto01/28/10
Great story with a grate ending!