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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (04/08/10)

TITLE: Do the Write Thing
By Glynis Becker


“Edith, I'm just not sure that's the way I'd go about it. Both you and the good Lord know how I feel about that filth coming into this town, too, but--” Gloria's voice drifted off as she poured two cups of tea. “Drink up, dear.” She eased her polyestered, floraled behind down in her farmhouse chair, fingered the lacy tablecloth and silently sipped Lady Grey from a beautiful, if chipped, bone china teacup, complete with matching saucer.

Moments passed. An idea struck. “Why not a letter-writing campaign?” Gloria's voice rose with excitement. “We'll start with letters to the newspaper. You know that little Bobby Jensen, the publisher, went to school with my Hannah. He was a little sweet on her all those years ago, so maybe she can put a word in to make sure he prints our letters. Or do they have to print all the letters to the editor? I've never thought about that before.” She started to mumble as she looked for a notebook. “Oh, where did my glasses go? Good heavens, if my head wasn't attached--”

Edith shook her head. “They're around your neck, Gloria. Look, I have to disagree. This problem is not going away because a bunch of ladies in your knitting group wrote dried up letters to a tired old newspaper. This problem requires real action!”

Gloria looked at her sideways. “Just because you didn't get your chance to march in any protest rallys in the 60's doesn't mean that you can thwart the efforts to bring back morality to this town with your hippie-dippy, revolutionary nonsense. We start with writing letters. What's that old saying about “the pen” and “the sword” or whatever? Hand me that ball-point over there and help me write this thing.” She paused, pen poised in mid-air over the tiny notepad. “Do we start with 'Dear Editor' or something? I've never done this before.”

A sigh. “Give me that. You asked me the same question last week. We're doing this the right way.” She grabbed the pen, flipped the notebook around and began to scrawl some notes, muttering under her breath about “good citizens” and “high moral character”.

“And as soon as we're finished with the editor, then we'll write to the mayor, the city attorney, and--” Gloria stopped. “Can you think of anyone else? There must be a bunch of people we need to send this to, but that's all I can think of.”

“How about all the city council members? Or even better, we should speak at one of their meetings. I just wish they didn't start meetings during the evening news. I hate to miss that. Did you hear last week they went until two in the morning? Shoot! I'd be worthless the next day if I had to stay up until two talking about heaven knows what. I may be up wandering the halls at two o'clock, but that's just my arthritis and you know that I go to bed at ten sharp, so I've at least had a little bit of rest--” Edith stopped herself. “We are never going to get anything written if we keep this up. Alright. Take a look.” She spun the notebook around, leaned back and took a pleased-with-herself sip of now-lukewarm tea.

Gloria's lips moved slightly as she read it through. “Oh, I like it,” she said approvingly. “Especially the part about the 'moral fiber of our little village'.”Gloria giggled. “It makes it sound like we're all eating plenty of fruit.”

Edith snatched the notebook back. “Remember this was not my idea. If you don't like it, write it yourself. Whatever you think, I'm sure that this scathing commentary will make the powers that be stand up and take notice. We will not go down without a fight.”

“You watched Braveheart again last night, didn't you? When I flipped the channels and saw that it was on, I thought, 'Sure enough, I know what Edith's up to this evening, yes sir, I do.'”

“This has nothing to do with that, except our obligation to stand up for our principles, too. Just like William Wallace. Albeit on a slightly smaller, less tragic scale. Type it up and get it sent.” Edith lifted her teacup in a toast. “To doing the right thing.” Clink.

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This article has been read 579 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Carol Penhorwood 04/15/10
Well done!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/16/10
I really enjoyed the banter between the two ladies; it made me think of what Ethel and Lucy might be up to.

I was curious about what the filth was that was coming, but your dialogue and details kept me quite satisfied.
Author Unknown04/16/10
someone's been working on their "show" (show not tell :) ). I loved this. A light-hearted, realistic conversation at a table where I'm sure I've had lunch or Sunday supper. I agree that maybe, we just needed a peek at whatever this big & bad was coming to town that they were so adamant about- it might make the idea of their pens being mighty enough to slay whatever this beast was more believable. All in all, quite delightful. If I'm blessed enough to carry my best friends with me through old age, I can see myself in a very similar predicament. Thank you :)
Jackie Wilson04/17/10
Very engaging read, with wonderful characters.
Brenda Shipman 04/18/10
I'm all smiles after reading this. Loved these two ladies with their different approaches to "doing the write thing". Creative use of Braveheart, as well as the reference to the hippy movement. Quirky and fun read! Good job.
Rachel Phelps04/20/10
I was curious as to the "filth" as well. Loved the characters - creative use!