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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

TITLE: On the Lam
By Allison Egley
08/24/11


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Emily pulled her car out of the parking space. "I'll be glad to get home," she said to her roommate, Christina. "It's been a long day."

"You said it."

The car stopped suddenly. Emily looked in the rear view mirror. "Oh no... Did I just hit that car?"

"I don't think so."

"I'm going to pull back in and check, just to make sure." They both got out of the car. Emily looked at her car first. No damage. Then she looked at the other car. "Oh my. Oh my. Oh my."

"What?" Christina said.

"Just... just get back in the car...."

"Emily, what is going on?" Christina climbed back into the car and closed the door. Emily backed out again, slowly.

"I couldn't have done that. I couldn't have done that. I couldn't have..."

"Stop!" Christina cut her off. "Would you please explain what you're going on about?"

"That huge dent in that car. I couldn’t have done it."

"Uh... Emily, there was no dent in that car. You did nothing."

"What do you mean there was no dent? There was a huge dent. It was the exact shape of my bumper, right by the license plate."

"Calm down. Repeat what you just said."

"There was a huge dent the exact shape of my bumper right by the license plate." Can't you see why I'm freaking out? And now I'm running. On the lam! It's a comedy of errors."

Christina took a deep breath and let it out slowly. "Emily, your brain is a comedy of errors. Listen to yourself. You said there was a huge dent the exact shape of your bumper, right by the license plate. There are three errors in your line of thinking. One, there is no damage on your car. You couldn't have made a "huge" dent. Two, unless that car is made of butter, there wouldn't be a perfect imprint of your bumper. Three, the license plate is about two feet too high to come into contact with your bumper unless you rolled on top of the car."

"Yeah. You're right. See? I told you I couldn't have done it. But... what if I did? The owner is going to come out, see the damage, look at the surveillance tapes, get my license number, call the police, and I'll be charged with a hit and run." Emily paused, taking a series of quick breaths. "Is a hit and run a felony?"

Christina shook her head. "You're hopeless."

They pulled into the apartment complex, then walked to their apartment. Emily logged on to the computer to look up "hit and run accident." She wished she hadn't.

"Christina, a hit and run is a felony. The police will come knocking on the door, slap cuffs on me, and haul me to jail. I'll loose my job and never be a productive citizen again."

Christina grabbed Emily by the shoulders. "Error. Error. Brain overload. Please stop thinking. Now."

"But... can't I at least check the public records website to make sure there's not a warrant out for my arrest?"

Christina directed Emily to the sofa and pushed her into it. "Emily, listen to me. There was no dent. Nothing. You did not hit that car. You will not be convicted of a hit and run, and you will not spend the rest of your life in prison."

"Are you sure?"

"Positive. The lights and the reflections off the car must have tricked your eyes. You've been so tired lately, your over analytical mind ran away with it full steam ahead. Not even the brain police could have stopped it. But I am putting a stop to it now."

"But..."

"No buts. I am so positive you did nothing wrong that if, by some chance, your wild.... I don't even know what to call it. Should anything bad happen, I will take the blame. That's how sure I am that nothing happened."

"Okay. Thanks. You're a great friend for putting up with Miss Over Analytical Brain here."

"No problem that's what friends are for. I think you need to get to bed before your brain explodes. I don't want to have to clean up brain guts."

"Yeah, you're right." Emily headed to her bedroom, but before she got into bed, she checked the public records site and looked up her name for warrants... just in case.

******
Based on a true story


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This article has been read 407 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Author Unknown08/30/11
Because you asked...

I had to go look up on the lam because I kept expecting for there to be a lamb involved. :) sorry. just wasn't an idiom I knew.

I think the story is good enough, but there seemed to be a little lack of tension. The tension was there in your MC but as a reader I was with the secondary character saying, "why are you freaking out?" So if there was a way to switch that- make us believe that there really was something wrong, it'd have worked better for me. Or if the punch line was that it was her fault and the friend was wrong- that would have done it.

But as is, it's a cute story for me. One I could easily be part of- flipping out over something I really didn't need to.

It's well-written, and I know you're a great writer, so I really think it's just that next deeper level of ramping up the tension and getting the reader to feel it.

Hope that makes sense.

I still think you are a superb writer :)
Colin Swann08/30/11
Good story about worrying for nothing. Plenty of errors in there to fret about - I'm sure we've all been somewhere near this, worrying about speed cameras getting us etc. etc. etc. Thanks!
Sarah Elisabeth 08/30/11
Right before my friend left for a trip to England, we went to dinner and I amused her with a red light story on the drive home. As we approached a real red light and she didn't slow, all I could say was, "It's red, it's red, it's red," like a robot. Thank the Lord the pickup truck in the intersection stopped because we didn't. She just knew the red light camera police would send her a ticket, but they didn't. Still not the best way to see a friend off to England though ;-)

I agree with Lynn's comments, except I think on the lam is pretty well known. But I've had to look up more than one such term before.

Thanks for sharing your story!
Camille (C D) Swanson 08/30/11
This was a good story with a good message...What I received was "trust God, and do not worry about things"
i enjoyed it...God Bless~
Rachel Phelps08/30/11
I agree with what has been previously said - it was tough for me to connect with the tension of the story, and as a person who is often the level-headed one, the MC was tough to relate to. Your pacing was great, though, and I loved the ending.
Linda Goergen08/31/11
This story could have also fit “much ado about nothing!” LOL I found the MC herself more frustrating than comical, but still her brain seemed to be flashing plenty of errors to her. This was well written with good visuals.
Melanie Kerr 09/09/11
I hate that sinking feeling I get when I hit something! Your MC's reaction was really over the top and it's not the way I would react. I wouldn't be looking for an arrest warrant - so, parts of the story I found to be unbelievable. I wanted to slap some sense into the girl.