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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Year(s) (01/20/11)

TITLE: 364 Days to Go
By Dee Yoder


January 5: First Meeting

My knees are shaking as I rise. Can I confess this? Can I do this? I wish there were a way for me to stand behind a wall while I say this.

“Hello. My name is Summer, and I’m a…um…I’m addicted to…um…well, I’m addicted to eating Bible pages.”

I sit down quickly as I feel a hot flush spread over my body. Oh my goodness. This is horrible. What am I doing here? I hear a titter in the back of the room. When I have courage to look, I see hardened, lined faces, weathered by drugs and alcohol, surrounding me. Only one or two appear to find my confession funny. The rest have seasoned themselves to nonreaction.

The leader, his expression benign, nods. “Thank you, Summer.” He glances around the double circle. The group responds: Hello, Summer.

I squirm. I can’t wait to get home and eat a few Psalms. The comforting ones, maybe.

January 30: Third Meeting

“Summer, why don’t you share what has brought you here to us this past month. Let us know how you’re doing with your addiction and how we can help you.” The leader taps his pen against his leg.

“Um…well, I began to eat Bible pages when I was five. My daddy died and Mama would read the Bible to me as a comfort. She kept telling me we were gobbling up the peace of the Lord’s word. One night, I accidentally tore a corner off the page and I…I popped it in my mouth.”

A smiling freaky-haired young man pipes up. “That’s normal for kids. They’s always puttin’ stuff in their moufs.”

I sniff back a tear. Oh man.

“Do you think it was comfort that you associated with the Bible that got you started on eating the pages?” The leader glances at his pen.

I nod.

“What happened then?” he gently urges.

“I kept eating it. I ate it behind Mama’s back, but when she noticed how many torn pages there were, she got suspicious.”

“So you always knew it wasn’t a good thing to do?”

“Yes. I mean, none of my friends ate paper and my Mama didn’t eat paper.”

“Do you eat any other kinds of paper?”

“No. Bible paper is thin and—” I stop. I can’t say this!

“Melts in your mouf?” Freaky-hair guy finishes for me. His grin is oddly reassuring.

In spite of my embarrassment, I giggle and the others giggle with me. Okay. Maybe I can keep doing this. Maybe I can skip eating the Word and just read it tonight.

March 10: Twelfth Meeting

I’ve not eaten Bible pages since January. My addiction is at my elbow, though, and I struggle daily with not consuming the Word—literally. But, I got a new Bible and the crisp pages are calling my name.

“I confess I have a new Bible and it’s hard not to tear off pieces.” The group knows me well. They offer support.

A new member snorts. “Get rid of your Bibles, okay?” She’s a silver-haired woman fighting pain killer addiction. Her tone is impatient.

I gasp. “But, I’m a Christian--and have to read my Bible!”

The group closes in to comfort me; a nearby few pat my back. “Hang in there.” “Call me anytime, honey.”

The leader clears his throat. “I have a suggestion. How about using only online resources?”

I stare. I never thought of that!

November 27: Thirty-sixth Meeting

I lounge in my chair, waiting for the leader to begin. Tonight I officially announce my addiction to Bible page eating is over. I haven’t even thought of munching the Word since March. I love my laptop and, most especially, BibleGateway.

“Hi. My name is Summer and I have an addiction to eating Bible pages—” The group shares my triumph as I tell my story and declare my liberty. I can’t remember when I’ve felt so free!

January 14: Church Business Meeting

“I’d like to bring up new business. Miss. Summer teaches our kids and not once have I seen her bring a Bible to church! Does she have a problem with feasting on the Word?”

I gulp and glance around, my hands shaking. I have no answer.

January 28: Special Church Meeting

“Well? What about it, Summer? Where’s your Bible?”

I wave my arm triumphantly, the object I’m holding glittering. Its name shines under the sanctuary lights: Kindle.

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This article has been read 930 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Gregory Kane01/27/11
Adorably out of the box. And a great punchline.
Laury Hubrich 01/27/11
How funny! I didn't see that ending coming. Not sure why. You also have a hidden message there. We shouldn't be so quick to judge! Very good entry. I can honestly say we will not see another one like it - probably never! lol
Anita van der Elst01/27/11
Creative & fun plus makes a point. Excellent!
Kimberly Russell01/27/11
Too funny with a great ending. And I agree: a lesson hidden in a fun entry.
Marita Thelander 01/27/11
HA! I love the ending. Great entry.
Verna Cole Mitchell 01/29/11
Delightfully creative and fun, while delivering a great message. I love it.
Shelley Ledfors 01/31/11
Oh, I LOVE this! One of my favorite entries this time. Delightfully fun, VERY creative and out-of-the-box and a good message too! Great writing!
Cheryl Harrison01/31/11
I enjoyed this. Very creative. I could not help but smile. Good job.
Eliza Evans 01/31/11
This is squeallingly good. Creativity out of the box!!
Kate Oliver Webb 01/31/11
Oh, I really, really like this one!! Fun, touching, clever -- and I wish I'd thought of it! Great writing!
Rachel Phelps01/31/11
Love, love, love it!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/01/11
This is a fun read. I really irked your literal play on words. I've seen commercial for My Strange Addiction and wonder if your were inspired by that? I enjoyed every word and giggled a lot!
Jody Day 02/01/11
Enjoyed this very much. Good job.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/03/11
Congratulations for placing in the top 30 overall!
Justus Ondieki04/15/11
Wow! Well written, so creative, I found looking again and again if I had really finished reading,lol.
Jan Ackerson 10/27/11
Dee, I'm going to feature this on the Front Page Showcase for the week of November 7. Look for it on the FaithWriters home page--and congratulations!
Beth LaBuff 11/08/11
Dee, I love your creativity here, and the double meaning in "feasting on the word," spiritually verses physically. Super work!