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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Employment (01/26/12)

TITLE: The First Appointment
By Catrina Bradley


Andrew Beaumont's first meeting today wasn't going to be pleasant. Still he smiled. His old bones creaked in harmony with the old chair squeaking as he settled in behind his desk, hooking his walking stick on the brass drawer-pull. The framed documents hanging on the wall opposite his desk were crooked...again. Yet the smile did not leave his lips.

Gladys’ gift with a dust rag hasn’t dimmed, but her sights have shifted a little off kilter as we’ve aged.

From this distance, he couldn't make out the words on the treasured communiques. No matter; he could recite them by heart.

On the left, his first dismissal notice, AKA pink slip.

Dear Mr. Beaumont,

Blah blah platitudes...

Blah blah gratitudes...

Your writing talent and your drive cannot be denied, but we hope you will agree that the content of your articles is better suited for a different publication...

And so on, etc.

In other words... “see ya later, we won't miss you or your Jesus. Hope this small severance will make up for our stony hearts.” Andrew recalled storming in outrage, and plotting retaliation with the Sword of his words.

Ah, pride, you ugly old dog. That was the last time you bit me.

Thanks to free computer use at the public library, Andrew struggled through the long, lean months to come writing ad copy and freelancing wherever he could find acceptance.

The article that had cost him his first job was not forgotten. Andrew edited and tweaked and prayed and rewrote, and submitted to dozens of publications “more suited” to his message.

And rejection letters trickled in.

Sending it to the next magazine was lark. A giving-up-of-sorts on the world. A complete abandonment of all reason. Or a response to the Holy Spirit's prodding. He had no faith in his ability to be good enough for them. But he did it.

And in return for giving up, he received the prize. Acceptance.

The right-hand frame held another letter Andrew had memorized.

Dear Mr. Beaumont,

Your article submission has been received and reviewed by our editorial staff. We are pleased to tell you we have chosen to publish “On the Eve of Destruction” in our October issue. We invite you to...

Finally. Someone appreciated his efforts. No, not just “someone”– the crème de la crème of Christian publications. And the writer’s dream – a contract for more.

Andrew chuckled at the memory of his prideful prayers of thanks.

You and I have come a long way. Thank you, God.

He finally gazed upon the culmination of his career, the pinnacle on the pyramid of diplomas: his promotion to Editor in Chief.

Today, Andrew Beaumont was the one holding the power to change a life.

A glance at his watch told him time was nigh for his first appointment. A talented young writer in his employ had submitted an article whose subject matter was more suitable for a much different publication. And today, Andrew Beaumont was the one with the chance to show him a different Way.

He took a moment to ask for wisdom and for words that would encourage and edify. A knock at his office door cut short his prayer.

Okay, God. Let’s go fishing.

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This article has been read 606 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Karlene Jacobsen02/02/12
The tender heart of an employer is difficult to find; not that they aren't there, but their job requires them to seem aloof (with some companies). "It's just business, nothing personal" right? But often, the employee sees it differently. It is personal, especially for a writer. I wonder, if you wrote this in first person, would it be easier to get into Andrew's head? Put your reader "in the driver's seat"? The emotions attached to this day, the chance to build up another writer, have the ability to connect with so many people who've faced rejection, and maybe help to see the other side of "business". It will edify and encourage. There's a great message here.(Just some thinking at my fingertips.)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/02/12
I enjoyed this. I smiled at the great description in the opening paragraph. I also liked the message. Many writers will find hope in your words.
C D Swanson 02/03/12
This was brilliant! I loved the entire story. I felt a bond with the MC rejection letters! LOL.

So glad that the MC finally was accepted by the "best Christian magazine." God always has a plan - and it is always the best.

Nicely told-God Bless you~
Terry R A Eissfeldt 02/06/12
Very interesting story. You did a excellent job moving the story ahead when all the action was internal.
Allison Egley 02/06/12
Welcome back to the challenge! I thought this was great. Nice job bringing things around full circle. I loved the ending.
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/06/12
Ah, love this! Did wonder about the sentence about pride never being a problem again--for most of us it's a constant fight. But otherwise I appreciated the message and love the twist. He'd be a great boss.
Carol Penhorwood 02/07/12
Beautifully written and spot on topic. You truly have a gift from God.
Shell Vera02/10/12
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. It is right on point with the current times (rejection letters, acceptance, promotion, sharing the Word with others) and conveyed the emotions of the character. I could see myself standing with him watching him read the letters. I could picture him lost in thought thinking about the feelings he had during the memories.

I can't think of anything I would change or another way you could have told this story. I think it is great as it is.

I like the end and the reference to fishing. I thought it was clever.