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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Once in a Blue Moon (01/06/11)

TITLE: Captivated
By Lisa Harris


“Mom,” Elisabeth called out, “where is my pink sundress?”

Lori dropped the towels on the laundry room floor and walked down the hall.

“Elisabeth, you are such a slob honey! If you would pick up those piles of clothes on the floor you just might find your pink dress.” Grinning, Lori turned muttering to herself, “she did not get that trait from me…it was definitely her father’s.”

Elisabeth grinned back. She knew she was a little bit of a clutter bug so she dug a little deeper in the pile and sure enough, there was the pink sundress.

“Mom,” she yelled out again, “would you have time to iron it while I take a shower?”

“Honestly, I’m going to change my name from Mom to maid…at least the title would fit me better!” Lori grabbed the dress as Elisabeth gave her a hug saying, “Thanks mom.”

“Well, I hope John is worth all this effort.” Lori spoke with a smile.

“He is Mom. I just feel that only once in a blue moon you meet a guy like this.”

“Like what, honey?”

“Well, John has such Godly character with a strength that amazes me, and under his sweet, gentle spirit he has a very protective nature.”

Lori put the iron down and stared at the dress. At that moment, her motherly instinct kicked in and she knew…he was the one.

After her shower, Elisabeth flitted around in excitement combing her honey-blonde hair then slipping into her dress where she really was ‘no bigger than a minute’ as the southerners would say. Elisabeth was, without a doubt, the little sister of the family protected by her two older and much bigger brothers. Definitely, between John and the brothers, she was well looked after. She was also a woman of strength, as she continuously kept her pink Bible in her purse. Elisabeth had a way of attracting people with her naturally quiet spirit exuding who she was in Christ
Months clicked by quickly and the words ‘I love you’ became the daily ending on the phone each night. Elisabeth was deeply in love for the first time and she felt that God had given her favor with such a man as John.


John absolutely loved her in pink. Early, before the sun rose, she dressed in her bathing suit and pulled the pink sundress over it. Walking down to the beach gave her a renewed spirit as she gazed the vastness of the ocean. Sitting on the sand still warm from the day before, Elisabeth drew a double heart in the sand…connecting hearts, one still beating, and one lay still in the sand. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she choked back emotions of grief. The rawness she felt swept memories in and out of her mind. John’s battle with cancer humbled her. Elisabeth knew the first night they met that he had a rare, non-curable cancer. But, they were fiercely drawn together, neither could pull away nor did they want to.

In the beginning of their relationship the cancer stayed at his heel like a hungry dog. They enjoyed dates, the lake, friends and other fun stuff. But, it crept in a little more each day…relentless, like a stalker. The pain was intense, the treatment difficult and the outcome poor. But, Elisabeth never wavered in her faith for she knew God had brought them together…not to break apart.

The tumors were ruthless as they ravaged his body, and the prayers were screamed into the night from Elisabeth, “Lord…please, heal him.”

But, the healing did not come.

John’s writings were like those of a modern day prophet…filling journal after journal. He wrote notes to Elisabeth, encouraging her with his love but knowing he had to let her go. His earthly mission complete, the Kingdom awaited his arrival.

Elisabeth grabbed her beach bag and pulled out the last unread note John was able to scribble with his deteriorated body. Her hands felt numb as she opened the envelope. Glancing towards the ocean for a breath of salty air, Elisabeth read his final words to her.

Elisabeth…only once in a blue moon do you find a love like ours. Truly, the King and I are captivated by your beauty. Live your life with love and purpose knowing that is what you gave me. I love you…John

“Oh John, it was I who was captivated by your beauty.” Elisabeth whispered.

Laying her head on the two hearts drawn in the sand…she wept.

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Member Comments
Member Date
diana kay01/18/11
awww so much in this, it could have been the summary of a whole novel condensed into the word count. You did well here going from the
carefree "child" who had her mum running around after her to the young lady in love and then the tragedy of the cancer and the love cut short through death.
It reads like the plot for a novel by Nicholas Sparks and i love his stories.... maybe there IS a longer story hiding here.
good one
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/20/11
What an intense romance. I loved your characters and the way they loved one another. Congratulations for placing 13th in level 3!