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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Hmph! (03/04/10)

TITLE: It's Just A Movie
By Leah Nichols


Jocelyn plopped down onto the couch, pouting. "Hmph!"

Tina stood in the doorway. "Jocey, I'm only saying, it's for your own good."

"Mo-THER, I am fourteen!" Jocelyn glared. "Don't I have the right now to pick how I'm going to spend my time or money? It's all part of being a teenager, you know."

"I know," Tina said. "I was one, too, you know. And I know just how easy it is to make dumb choices."

"Puh-LEEZ, Mother. You don't have to be constantly nagging about that," Jocelyn said. "It's just a movie. With my friends - "

"Your friends I don't really trust," Tina interrupted. "Ashley and Tiffani's moms let them do whatever the heck they want, without a thought to the consequences." She silently prayed. God, please help me talk to her, just this once. Don't let me lose her!

Jocelyn rolled her eyes. "As if a stupid movie has consequences."

"Spring Break Axe Murderer? What kind of crap is that anyways?" Tina folded her arms.

"You don't understand, anyways. It's not even scary. It's a spoof, you know, s'posed to be funny?" Jocelyn leaned back into the couch. "Hmph! It's seriously impossible to talk to you about anything anymore."

Tina closed her eyes, raising a hand to her head. It's just a stage. It's just a stage. All teenagers argue and press limits. She sighed. "Jocey, just because everyone else does it - "

Jocelyn interrupted. "Yeah - everyone! Did I tell you that absolutely anyone who is anyone is gonna be there tonight? Except for me, because my sanctimonious mom won't let me. Hmph!"

"Since when did you ever use the word 'sanctimonious'? And I am not a saint. You of all people should know that," Tina said.

"Yeah, yeah, I know. My mom got herself knocked up at seventeen. So as a result, I will never ever ever date anyone ever."

Tina clenched her fists, then slowly released them. It's just a stage. Gosh, she's exactly like me at fourteen. The revelation shook her.

"Jocey, I know how important friendships are for teenagers."

Jocelyn rolled her eyes. "Hmph!"

"And I know how doing things with others is important for friendships."

"You got a point here?" Jocelyn said. "Or are you just gonna give me another sermon of why I can't go to the movies, ever?"

"Don't press it, Jocelyn. You're already on thin ice." Tina paused, breathing slowly to calm herself. I just can't lose her, not for a silly argument like this.

"Hmph!" Jocelyn turned her head, staring out the window at nothing in particular.

It's just a movie. Not worth losing friendships over, especially with my only child. I can take her myself, and we can talk about life and reality and how movies aren't everything. "If I drive you and pick you up, you can go," Tina said.

Jocelyn turned back toward her. "What?"

"You can go."

"For reals?" She sat up straight on the couch. "You're serious?"

Tina nodded. "But I am taking you. I don't trust any of those other kids to be responsible."

"That's totally fine!" Jocelyn stared at her. "I can't believe you're actually letting me go."

"Really? Cause I can go back to saying you can't," Tina said.

"No, no, no - I definitely want to go. I just; I just figured we'd argue about it all night and you'd still insist I'd do things your way," Jocelyn said. "I'm just surprised, is all."

Tina shook her head. "I am a normal human being, you know. Just 'cause I'm a mom doesn't make me completely unreasonable."

"Psh - yeah! Most of the time you are, but wow, I'm like, wow. Thanks, Mom!" Jocelyn quickly pushed up from the couch and stepped forward to hug her.

Tina clutched her only child, wishing she was four and not fourteen. My little baby, growing up so fast!

When she broke off, Jocelyn's face glowed with a smile. "Just give me a few minutes to get ready, Mom. We can even make it a fun girl's night out together - do dinner and everything!"

As Jocelyn ran to her room, Tina sank into the recliner. God, thank You I haven't lost her yet. Please help me teach her the lessons she needs to learn, and just, yeah, help. She sighed. And yeah, thanks.

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This article has been read 719 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 03/12/10
You've got the teen vernacular down pat! Her voice was so real. And what a tough decision to be in. I'm glad Mom let God lead, and thanked Him at the end.
Donna Wolther03/12/10
Yes, it definitely sounds like a true-to-life story. Good job on that.
Jackie Wilson03/12/10
I enjoyed the true-to-life story and the realistic dialog. Very authentic feel.
Barbara Lynn Culler03/12/10
I agree, you did get the teenage voice!
I would love to hear more of their story.
Jan Ackerson 03/14/10
LOL, Leah! I hadn't stopped by Masters, or I would have commented a lot earlier. This was totally inspired...I mean, really, what an AWESOMELY WONDERFUL idea for a story. Love the characters' names, the name of the movie--you have the Best. Muse. Ever.

Carole Robishaw 03/14/10
This was extremely aggravating. I really wanted to slap her down. Oh, yeah, you got the voice just right! LOL
Judy Wood03/14/10
Definitely reminds me of arguments with my daughter when she was a teen. Great job on the dialogue. Moms want to be able to talk to their kids and not lose them to the world.
Ruth Stromquist03/14/10
This is such good dialogue, I bet you'd get A+++ for it in dialogue class. :-) Seriously, I know from your hint you didn't expect the above response, but you did an awesome job with the dialogue, and that made the characters leap to life. I'll keep working, hoping to get the hang of dialogue this well EVENTUALLY.
AnneRene' Capp03/14/10
Great true life story and great dialogue. I felt like I was both the mom and the daughter!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/14/10
This is like peeking into a real family's window. Arguments like that happen all the time at my house. Your mother handled the situation exactly right.
Carol Slider 03/14/10
Yes, I recognized this scenario immediately! You deserve a gold star from Jan, for sure! :)
Bryan Ridenour03/15/10
Spot on teenage dialogue. Scenario probably all too real for many raising teens at this time. Well written.
william price03/15/10
This is no joke. Very good. the underlying emotions are strong, real and moving. A very real presentation. I appreciate great dialogue. Super job advancing plot and developing characters with conversation. Overall GREAT. God bless.
Pamela Kliewer03/15/10
What they said. :o) And.... great story! I didn't ever have the guts to take my daughter to a questionable movie... hmmm.... definite food for thought.
Catrina Bradley 03/15/10
Okay, this is simply marvelous. :-D And it never crossed my mind to have Tina TAKE her to the movie! Brilliant twist! And I'd give you an A+ on the assignment. ;)
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/16/10
I especially liked the realism in your story. Your characterization of the mother and daughter are both spot-on. I applauded the mother's decision.
Jacob Gibson03/29/10
"Since when did you ever use the word sanctimonious?" lol Favorite line. I can't add anything to what the others have said so great job! The dialogue is indeed realistic and I hope I can learn to write like that.
Thomas Kittrell09/16/10
You definitely have the talent for writing. I hope you will use it for God's glory. Great submission. Teenagers never change from one generation to another, do they? But our God is the same. God bless.