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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Predicament (03/01/12)

TITLE: The Last Thing She Wanted
By Amanda Brogan
03/07/12


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Devin ...

She had never wanted to fall for him. Warning bells had echoed like a tornado siren at the tiniest thought of him, cautioning her to lock the cellar of her heart and dare not venture from its safety lest she be whisked away in a deadly twister of emotions.

For months she had been careful to heed the warnings. For months she had meticulously guarded that cellar door. For months she had felt the twister raging closer ... and closer ... and closer.

A moist pillow and many a desperate prayer had become her nightly companions as of late. Lord, please ... help me to maintain my focus on You ... on Your work. On my Christian psychology degree. Anything but him.

Anything but him.

Ashley absently pulled the straw up and down through the lid of her Subway lemonade. When had it all started anyway? When had her grip loosened? When had her fingers uncurled from the handle of her feelings?

Almost without her permission, a tender smile of admiration etched its way across her face.

She envisioned his ever-present smile as he propped the class door open for her when her arms were crowded with a backpack and a stack of books. “Bit of an overachiever aren’t you?” He’d teased.

She saw the gentle patience in his ocean blue eyes as he helped her with her psychology course, and heard the passion ring in his voice during debate class and Sunday night Bible studies. She felt the laughter tickle her ribs and steal her breath whenever he evoked hysterics from a lunch table full of college friends.

He was everything she had ever prayed for in a man. And that’s what terrified her the most. The last thing she wanted was to get caught in a web of romance.

The door opened and Ashley glanced up from her drink. There was Devin, standing slightly to the side, his muscular arm holding the glass door open as a smiling young woman entered before him. Ashley felt another smile crawl across her own face. That was Devin – always the gentleman.

Devin spotted the table where she was sitting and waved, that contagious grin lighting his countenance. Ashley waved back, her heart pounding as if she’d just done a series of jumping jacks.

She studied his easy, confident stride as he crossed the yellow tile and plopped into the chair across from her.

“Saved us the best table I see.” He slapped the table’s surface and then tapped out an impromptu drumbeat.

Ashley giggled. “Only the best for my favorite college buddies.” She tilted her head. “Hey, speaking of whom, where’s everybody else? Weren’t Eddie and Victoria coming too?”

“Yeah, they just texted me a minute ago. Said they might be a little late and that we could go ahead and get our sandwiches.” He gave a slight wave of his hand. “Dominique’s already getting hers. Complained that she was starving the whole way here.”

A whisper of doubt blew steadily against the surface of Ashley’s heart. “Dominique?”

“Yeah,” Devin shot her a confused look. “Didn’t I introduce you guys?”

Ashley shook her head.

“Oh,” he shrugged, “Guess I’ll do it now then.” He turned in his seat just as a golden-haired, college-age woman stepped up next to their table with a Subway bag in her hand. It was the same girl he’d held the door open for earlier.

“Hey, there you are!” Devin gestured from the girl to Ashley. “Dominique, I’d like you to meet my friend, Ashley. And Ashley, this is my girlfriend, Dominique.”

All the bustling sounds of the restaurant suddenly faded while the world spun into slow motion and froze to an agonizing stop.

His ... “Girlfriend?”

“Yep. Just started dating, actually.”

“As of Valentine’s Day. You romantic hunk, you.” Dominique playfully shoved his shoulder, and he grinned at her.

A tangled knot of nausea wrapped itself around Ashley’s stomach as she noted the helpless admiration in Dominique’s Devin-fixed eyes.

And there among the fresh smells and the happy green and yellow haze of a simple Subway store, Ashley felt it happen. The very thing she had fought against for so long.

The cellar door was ripped from her strength-zapped hands and the dreaded twister swirled her into a fog of uncontrollable anguish.


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This article has been read 234 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/08/12
Oh my heart hurt for this MC so much. I was riveted from the very beginning.

Be careful that you don't give the ending away with your title.

I thought the comparison of a deadly tornado to a battered heart was brilliant. You made the pain and hunger for love jump from the screen.
CD Swanson 03/08/12
Loved your words, and loved this entry. Clever use of topic. Nicely done.

God Bless~
Sherrie Coronas03/08/12
Great writing!
Tracy Nunes 03/10/12
This was very well done. Excellent imagery. I can't help but think that her pshychology classes were the means that the enemy used to break down her defences. He is so very clever. A mind set on Christ is strengthened but a mind set on man is vulnerable.
Hiram Claudio03/12/12
You paint images with words SO well. I could really see in my mind the whole scene and could feel Ashley's torment at the end. This was brilliantly written. Wonderful work!
Leola Ogle 03/13/12
This captured me from the beginning. I felt Ashley's every emotion. Well done and well written. God bless!
Edmond Ng 03/13/12
Your MC's prayer to stay focus on the Lord and complete the Christian psychology degree has been answered! I enjoy reading this nicely written piece. A delightful read. Well done!
Verna Cole Mitchell 03/14/12
Your story captured my interest immediately and didn't let go. I felt every one of you Ashly's emotions. Excellent job.
Geoffrey johnstone03/14/12
Not sure what the conflict is here.

But very good use of imagery to support your story.

Dannie Hawley 03/15/12
You did a super job grabbing my interest with the unfolding emotions of the MC. The twister analogy really works here. Nice job.