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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Where Angels Fear to Tread (not about the book) (09/08/11)

TITLE: Beauty Pageant Brat
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom


Ivy bent her head down and mumbled under her breath; she ran smack into another angel, Jay. He put his arms out to steady her; her body was trembling. “Ivy Darlin’, what is wrong?”

Wiping tears from her eyes, she looked at her friend’s face. His eyebrows were furrowed and he cocked his head to the side. “I just got the worst assignment ever!”

“Are you being sent to comfort terror victims?” Her face flushed red as she shook her head. “Even worse? I bet you’re following that serial killer. That’s hard to witness; you see the worst of humanity.”

She wrapped her arms around Jay. “You’re not going to believe this - the archangel sent me to be a beauty pageant coach!” Looking up, her mouth fell open at the blank stare on his face. “It’s for a seven year-old!”

Shrugging his shoulders, he dipped his head and almost smiled. “Ivy, that’s no big deal. You’re there to help the kids. This is a pivotal moment; you have the ability to change her life. Many of these kids become self-entitled monsters. Their mothers are so desperate to be on TV that they dress their kids up in adult costumes. I had this gig a while ago and one mother thought it would be cute to dress her daughter like a prostitute. It’s ridiculous what they do for reality television.”

Ivy covered her face and sobbed into her hands, “You just don’t understand; I’m terrified of children.” She paused and all the color drained from her face. “Did you say TV? Oh no, what did I do wrong to receive such a horrible assignment?”

Chuckling, Jay pushed his friend off a cloud. As she plummeted to earth, he shouted, “Better hurry, you have the next generation to save.”

Gingerly, Ivy knelt in front of her new charge, “Hi Shannon, I’m here to help you get ready for the pageant.”

Shannon head-butted Ivy and sent her sprawling backward. “Go away, I hate you! I won’t do this stupid pageant.” She stuck her tongue out and ran off.

Looking at Shannon’s mom, Lauren, Ivy threw her hands up in the air. “Well, I guess I’ll be going. Your daughter obviously doesn’t want to participate.”

“Oh no you don’t, your boss promised you would see this through. We have invested thousands of dollars into this and she will get up on that stage.” As she waggled her finger in Ivy’s face, she screamed, “Shannon, you get out here right now or I’ll be whipping your butt. Just because there are cameras all over, don’t you think for one second that you can get out of this. Your job is to perform and become famous. Now get out here and practice.”

Shannon stomped out, crossed her arms, stuck out her tongue again and punched the cameraman in the stomach. “I’m not going to practice and you can’t make me.”

Turning to Lauren, Ivy half-smiled, “Maybe I can motivate Shannon in private.”

“Fine, but the cameras stay. We need every bit of airtime we can get.”

When her mother left the room, Shannon fell into Ivy’s arms. Her shoulders shook and she smeared snot and tears all over Ivy’s back. Ivy inhaled deeply. “Shh, baby it’s okay. Tell me the truth; do you really hate pageants?” Sniffling Shannon nodded. “Why do you dislike them?"

“The costumes are itchy, my hair is dried out and make-up looks ugly. I want to be on Daddy’s soccer team.”

“How about you do this last pageant and I’ll talk to your parents? Your mom may be more open if she doesn’t feel like she wasted money.”

Shannon hugged Ivy. She noticed the cameras and started crying again. “I might as well forget soccer, once everyone sees the show no one will want to play with me.”

Ivy grinned and raised her right eyebrow, “I think I can handle that; you just do your best at the pageant.”

Cheering and clapping in the audience, Ivy wiped a stray tear when Shannon received the highest honor. She glowed when the MC announced that this was Shannon’s last performance. Obviously, her chat gave Shannon’s dad the strength to do what was best for his daughter.

Back at the television station, the cinematographer was befuddled when all the film with Shannon’s temper tantrums was mysteriously blurry beyond repair. He glanced out the window and saw a dove disappear into the clouds.

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This article has been read 663 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ken Ebright 09/15/11
I loved your story, I thought it was funny. It made me laugh

The part about the cameraman being punched reminded me of when I videotaped girls basketball games. I had a mom complain about having a camera on the free throw line. “It makes he daughter nervous.”

Since the mid 70’s a event like this (if it is on Television) would be shot on videotape. Instead of cinematographer it would be a videographer Cinema is film.
Amy Michelle Wiley 09/16/11
Haha, loved the ending. Watch out for places when you describe a person's actions and then have a different person's dialog--they should be in different paragraphs so it's clear who is talking. I also wanted to see a little more of Ivy's fear of kids when she was actually interacting with the kid. I liked how you had the angel be a human helper on the earth, instead of an unseen helper. Cute story!
C D Swanson 09/17/11
I truly enjoyed this story, and got lost in the dialogue and characters overall. Well written, God Bless~
Allison Egley 09/17/11
Oh, I like this. Very cute.
Linda Goergen09/18/11
Very cute story but also messages a sad truth that many children are forced into what is their parent’s dream for them and not theirs! Glad this ended well. Well written.
Patricia Protzman09/18/11
Amusing story. Good take on the topic.
Lillian Rhoades 09/18/11
"Jay pushed his friend off the cloud." Didn't know angels could be so aggressive.:-) I think the mother was more bratty than the Shannon. She deserved the punch.

Even though the plot was adequate for the topic, it was a little soft on substance, and easy to predict (I write those too).

There may be a few theological questions as to the 'saving' role of Angels, but, nevertheless, it was entertaining and humorous.
Glynis Becker09/18/11
Cute little story with a sad ring of truth. I think the ending wrapped up a little too quickly, but I know that the word restriction definitely causes that sometimes. Great story..thanks for sharing it!
Edmond Ng 09/19/11
An interesting and enjoyable read.

Hopefully, Christian parents reading this would come to realization they should not exasperate their children or provoke them to anger, lest they become discouraged. Parents should instead bring their children up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord (Ephesians 6:4; Colossians 3:21).

I like the closing of the story. In this case, director's cut and censorship is not necessary with a little help from an angel. LoL.

Jody Day 09/19/11
Very creative, enjoyable read! Thanks.
Noel Mitaxa 09/19/11
I love the flow of this story, and the twist at the end. I'm not too sure about the angel's attitude - sounds a bit resentful to me - but on a strongly pedantic point; from scripture it's doubtful that there are male and female angels.
AnneRene' Capp09/23/11
Although I agree with the comments preceding mine, you have an I N C R E D I B L E imagination, as always! In addition, I am SO in agreement with your message!! :)
Lisa Kurasz09/28/11
I enjoyed reading this.
Verna Mull 02/01/12
This was a neat story with a great message to Pageant Moms. Loved the fact that the little girl was protected by the smeared film, as all of that would have made the headlines, especially since it was her last performance.