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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Huh? (01/21/10)

TITLE: Cheesy Fries And A Coke
By Virgil Youngblood


Cheesy Fries And A Coke

Shade crept up the hood as I eased into a parking stall at the Sea Horse Drive Inn. Rolling down the windows, a gentle sea-breeze teased through from right to left. Punching the call button I waited, ignoring the menu.

“May I takes your order?” washed out of the speaker, the accent possibly Spanish accompanied by scratchy static.

“Cheeseburger all the way with mustard, onion rings and a vanilla shake.”

“Anything else?”


“That’ll be $7.26. Thanks you.”

A crack-of-dawn wade fishing trip for speckled trout had consumed my energy. The water was clear enough to see the tan sand pockets in the sea grass beds. Blue crabs scooting sideways and darting bait fish had captured my attention before vanishing in the undulating strands of grass. Suzie, the speckled trout of every fisherman’s dreams, had not cooperated. After a delightful morning of fishing, not catching, I was ready for that burger.

Leaning back against the car seat I made two fists and reached my arms out and back, stretching tired muscles. Shoulder shrugging, I turned my head to the left, then to the right towards the street. Huh? What’s that?

Over the hood of several cars I could see a derelict kind of guy. Unkempt, needing a haircut, tanned like old leather, wearing raggedy clothes, he moved quickly from one trash barrel to the next in the median between the cars, coming my way. Apparently he wasn’t having much luck as he leaned over the barrels, swirling a hand around inside before removing it empty.

He was maybe in his early thirties. My heart melted at the horror of it – he was hungry, in a land of plenty.

“Hey!” I called. He was passing the hood of my car. I beckoned him to come, smiling.

“Huh?” he grunted, staring cautiously. Moving sideways past the speaker column he stopped to look at me with questioning, dark eyes, shifting nervously from foot to foot.

“How about something to eat? I’ll buy you anything on the menu.”

“Gee! Thanks,” he said, flashing a toothy grin. He was missing a few and others were broken. “Cheesy French fries.”

“Alright. What else?”

“A Coke.”

“What else?”

“Uh, nothing, I don’t guess.”

“Man, get anything on the menu. How about a hamburger? Or, a hotdog?”

“Uh, that’s all I want.”

“Okay, I’ll order it. How about something to read? Would you like a New Testament?” I showed him the helps in the front where it said ‘Where To Find Help When’. God’s word has the answer to life’s troubles. The page number was listed beside each topic. The back pages contained verses that spoke of God’s love and I asked him to be sure and read them. A space is there for a person to sign their name when they invite Christ into their heart.

“I’d like that” he said. Thanking me, he accepted the Testament and moved to a nearby picnic table. He sat reading intently while I wiped my eyes, praying, and called in his order.

When the waitress brought it I pointed. “Give it to that man right over there.”

“Are you sure?” Scrunching up pink glossed lips, flaring her nose, blinking rapidly, she might have been silently praying for deliverance. Or, stalling. When I nodded, she delivered his order and scooted back inside.

Wagging a sun-browned hand at me he mouthed “Thanks”. Picking up a cheesy fry he popped it in his mouth and resumed reading the New Testament.

A seagull’s cry came riding the wind.


Later, returning home, I thought about this man. He taught me something important that day for in a way my life and yours are similar. How often do we accept cheesy fries and a coke when God wants to give us so much more?

It’s something to think about. Huh?

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This article has been read 456 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 01/28/10
Yum, now I want cheesy fries and a coke! Good detail to keep threaded throughout the story. I liked that there was a happy ending, but I would've liked a tad more "story" in it. Good job though!
Joy Faire Stewart01/30/10
I wasn't expecting the ending and loved the 'food' for thought.
Lollie Hofer01/30/10
I enjoyed your descriptions, they were quite vivid. I liked how the story took a different turn there at the end.
Rachel Rudd 01/31/10
I was expecing a different ending, but this story was well-written. Thanks for sharing!
Gregory Kane01/31/10
A good message and I liked the atmosphere you conjured up. My main suggestion would be that I felt you didn't do justice to your homeless person. Your waitress was well painted in strong hues of disdain and self-importance. I was surprised then that in all the Bible discussion, your MC didn't manage to establish the man's name. He was and remained a stranger.
Jim McWhinnie 02/01/10
Loved the "guy-ness" of your writing. Your use of potent and perfect words was exemplary.

Virgil, looking forward to sharing with you over in the new forum, The Men's Den.
Beth LaBuff 02/01/10
Great message! I could see every detail in this well-written story.
Noel Mitaxa 02/01/10
Very atmospheric, credible writing; though I'm also looking for a little more interaction or follow-through. Not a "for full conversion just add water" kind of close; but since the guy got a New Testament with his fries and coke, another chapter is waiting. Maybe outside the 750 word limit.
Celeste Ammirata02/02/10
What a lovely, thought provoking story. Loved the message at the end. Well done!