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

TITLE: Isaac Won't Die On My Watch!
By Rachel Phelps


Someone decided to give me the big wings.

I don’t know what they were thinking, but they should have thought again. Really, the rethinking should have begun when they were deciding the cast list. I wanted Raggedy Ann. It was perfect for me. I even had a jean jumper with a heart on it that I could use as my costume. That’s a big selling point for church plays.

And I was the music minister’s daughter. There are times when nepotism is acceptable – particularly when assigning roles in the Christmas pageant.

But, no. I found myself – 10 years old, 5 foot 2-and-a-half and painfully still growing - waiting for my angel costume before the dress rehearsal. My best friend, also on angel duty, had managed to talk me out of my disappointment by reminding me of my awesome cameo in the song about Abraham and Isaac where I rushed downstage to grab Abraham’s hand before he sacrificed his son. There’s something in that – if you’re going to have a murder-stopping angel, you might as well make it a tall one. That definitely beat “being taller than my 15 year-old sister” on my list of good things about getting a growth spurt at a freakishly young age.

I was starting to remember the angel costumes – shimmery white fabric and cute little sparkly wings and head bands with golden halos attached by an almost-invisible wire. There could be side benefits to this. Connie, the director, was headed our way with an armful of white and glitter. She handed Deborah the costume on top, the beautiful silky one, and told her to go try it on to be sure it wasn’t too long. I knew I wouldn’t have that problem.

The scratchy pool of fabric dropped into my arms with an emotional thud. No shimmer. No silk. Just boring old white. I looked up for an explanation.

“Sorry, you’re too tall for the angel costumes we have. Try on this choir robe to see if it will work.”

I swallowed the disappointment pooling in the corners of my eyes and nodded. That was the beginning of the costume horror. The choir robe, unfortunately, fit perfectly, unlike the halo headband. It bit into my scalp until the raw spot behind my left ear bled and Connie made me take it off, even though I was trying to ignore it. She decided the best alternative would be to simply lay the halo on the top of my head, making me look like a cross between Caesar and a deranged Amazon. Even so, I reminded myself of my special Abraham moment, and kept a fairly good attitude.

The morning of the play, I attempted to keep that attitude as I filed in behind Deborah, whose jauntily aloft halo barely reached my nose. My wings were about three times the size of her cute fairy-style ones, sticking out several inches from my shoulders. I had already taken out Noah and a few sheep. This was going to be interesting.

In the bustle of getting on stage, I managed to trip over Deborah’s trailing robe, nearly sending both of us to the floor and rearranging the ficus trees rather haphazardly. By some miracle, we were in position in time for the first song and neither we nor the trees died in the process, though my halo barely squeaked through. Now I just had to wait for my moment.

I had a sinking feeling as the music began for the Abraham song. In theory, my part was easy: all I had to do was get to the front of the stage, grab Abraham’s hand, then get back to my place without causing any unplanned disruptions. Theory, however, didn’t take into account the monstrosities on my back.

I stood up and edged around Deborah, carefully stepping over her hem. That much was successful. My wings, on the other hand, clipped three kids sitting in front of us. When I turned to apologize, Deborah got a face full of glittery wing. Taped music waits for no angel, so I skipped Deborah’s apology and forged ahead.

The trees were still in the way from our previous encounter, and my wings seemed anxious to continue that fight. As my verse drew alarming close, I found myself doing battle with two ficuses and Raggedy Andy. All eyes were on me, not the singers. The chorus ended, and I was still entangled in the trees.

Then I heard it. My cue.

I broke free and lunged for Abraham…

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This article has been read 727 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sheri Gordon01/22/10
Funny story, and your writing helped me picture it the entire way.

Didn't totally get the Raggedy Ann & Andy parts--couldn't quite get them into a Christmas play with angels and Noah and Abraham.

My favorite line is: "I had already taken out Noah and a few sheep." Made me laugh out loud.
Catrina Bradley 01/24/10
Funny story! If it makes you feel any better, I would have had a good 3 or 4 inches on you at age 10. :)
Sharlyn Guthrie01/24/10
Funny story! It's quite believable, too. I especially like your last line.
Barbara Lynn Culler01/25/10
Great oops! I felt the mc's dissappointment,
Gregory Kane01/26/10
This was terrific. And I loved your last line!
Charla Diehl 01/26/10
Your talented writing brought everything about this story to life. The emotions of your MC were described perfectly. Loved the line about her disappointment pooling in the corner of her eyes--so well put! I thoroughly enjoyed this entry and expect to see it among the winners.
Mona Purvis01/26/10
Once again, your talent shines. Just about as "enjoyable" an entry as could be. Love it.

Verna Cole Mitchell 01/26/10
Wonderful voice here and delightful humor. I love your descriptions.
Patricia Herchenroether01/26/10
Terrific title for this story. Well-written with snappy lines.

I don't understand the Raggedy Ann thing. I must be slow.

Love your dry sense of humor describing the oopses. I was right there the whole time.
Jan Ackerson 01/27/10
I'm glad I read the explanation on your 'brick'--I would have been scratching my head, otherwise.

BUT--you're very good at writing humor! This was quite funny, and your voice was very engaging.
Sarah Elisabeth 01/27/10
Your humor was great! Having a 5' 2" ten year old was a perfect MC for this piece...glad I read your explanation. To me, the only part that didn't quite fit was the Raggedy Anne and Andy. Superb job as always!
Ruth Brown01/27/10
You do humor well. I liked all of your descriptions and the voice was right on.
Chely Roach01/27/10
What a great, witty voice. I loved the line "Taped music waits for no angel..." Tee hee. Very funny, great title, well done!
Lyn Churchyard01/27/10
LOL, as I start to write this, the significance of the title suddenly dawned on me (okay, I'm slow on the uptake). Considering everything else your poor angel went through, Isaac should consider himself very fortunate.

This was great! The awkwardness of your MC reminded me of myself at that age and by the time I reached twelve, I was five foot six inches.

You certainly know how to write humour. Well done.
Carole Robishaw 01/27/10
I thought you were very funny1 I'm glad I read the explanation on your brick toss tho. Great job, loved your mc.
Carol Slider 01/27/10
This is such a fun story! Wonderful humor, wonderful writing... and, of course, a perfect title. Very well done!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz01/27/10
This was a wonderful story. Full of humor and I think most of us could relate to at least some part of her predicament.
Leah Nichols 01/28/10
LOL! Ya gotta love the fiascos of church plays....

Nicely done. I like your stab at humor writing. :)