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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fame (05/10/12)

TITLE: What's In a Dream Anyway?
By Sandra Hartman


Monica awoke to her gloomy apartment one arm raised in the air holding an imaginary trophy the sound of applause and voices of praise still resonating in her ears. The sound in her dream of synchronized clapping was in reality the alarm clock. She groaned, "Why did it have to ring right when she was receiving an award for--something-- and she had been experiencing the thrill and exhilaration of having gained fame.

As she pulled out of the parking lot the feeling of fame still clung to her conscious mind. It had seemed so real! but what had it been for?

A glance at her gas gauge cause her to groan. She resignedly pulled into the station, filled up and stepped in line to pay. While there, she decided she would make her monthly lottery ticket purchase. She grabbed it immediately and scratched it off echoes of applause ringing in her ears. Maybe this was it!

"NOt a winner," the clerk declared. The applause instantly ceased.

On her way out she defectedly tossed it in the trash. A man in tattered clothing scooped it up and asked the clerk to read the numbers again.

As Monica pulled away from the pump she was astonished to see a raggedy man standing on the step waving what had been her ticket announcing to the world that he had just won a million dollars.

Stunned and confused she pulled into traffic shaking her head. Apparently dreams of fame did not translate well into real life. But maybe she hadn't yet found whatever was going to make her famous.

She stopped at the grocery store to grab a few things that, as always, turned into several. As she stood in the checkout line she realized the eldery white haired lady behind her was holding only two things.
"You can go ahead of me," she offered.

As soon as the little old lady's order rang up; balloons cascaded down from the ceiling and loud celebratory music began to play.
"You are our 10,000th customer and you win $10,000!" they proclaimed. A large "Winner" card was placed into her hand and a man from a local TV staion stepped up to interview her.
"How does it feel to be famous?" he asked.

"I know exactly how it feels," Monica grumbled as she stomped out of the store, "Too bad I can't crawl back into my dream."

As she drove away she realized how crazy it had been for her to expect a silly dream to come true. But it had seemed so real--

Suddenly, a motorcylist in front of her, swerved to avoid a jaywalker, lost control, and slid under a parked truck.

Monica slammed on her brakes and scrambled from her car waving her arms frantically and shouting at the top of her lungs, "Help! Help!" at the oncoming traffic.

Four men jumped out of a car and ran over to the truck and lifted it. A fifth man appeared and pulled the injured cyclist out.

Many people had stopped by now and were taking cell phone video of the rescue as it unfolded. There was even a local news station that had pulled over and rushed out to interview the "heroes." Sirens screamed in the distance as Monica stood in line to give her account of the part she had played in saving the man's life--surely this was it--she was to realize a little bit of fame yet. But the man in front of her was claiming he had seen the accident first and he had flagged down traffic

The interviewer now turned and ran off as the ambulance arrived. The sound of applause and the warm wonderful feelin gof fame becamea faint echo in her soul.

Last stop the super mart--she walked down an isle feeling totally dejected when suddenly a small voice cried--"Mrs. Crandall!" she turned to see one of her daycare children headed toward her arms spread wide for a hug.
She bent down and hugged him.
"I really. really love you," he exclaimed.
"Your quite famous at our house," his mother said as she came to stand behind him. "He talks about you and those wonderful stories you tell all of the time."
As Monica walked away smiling a feeling of exhilaration swept over her and she could hear the applause again quite loudly sounding in her ears.

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This article has been read 408 times
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C D Swanson 05/17/12
I loved the ending! With the little child running saying "I love you." That was so touching, and spoke volumes.

Fame is so many things to so many people. But for me, it has ALWAYS been love...And, LOVE is GOD. And, when we have LOVE that is the most important thing of all.

Good job with this. Thanks.

God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/17/12
This is such a sweet story. I loved the message in it as it seemed you were headed towards the cliche` good guys finish last.

You had some errors that a challenge buddy or a critique group might pick up such as missing quotation marks, a stray period in the middle of a sentence and Your instead of You're.

The ending was so sweet. It just melted my heart. There is nothing quite like the adulation of a child. I also really enjoyed how you ended it. I thought maybe it would turn out she had been dreaming all the while. Your ending though really makes the point that some things are way better than fame and fortune. Great job.
Laura Manley05/18/12
This was such a delightful story; I had to laugh each time she came close to reaching her goal of fame. Then, you introduced the innocence of a child. They seem to bring out the best in we adults and you brought out your best in telling this delightful story. If you're interested in a little red ink, I'd like to point out that at the end of your story, there are a couple of places where you have an extra letter in a word, i.e, aof, instead of of; easily corrected by spellcheck. Excellent entry!
Theresa Santy 05/18/12
There were a few minor formating and punctuation issues, but oh my gosh it didn't matter! You had me at the dream! Monica is such a dear, lovable character I bonded with her immediately. She's so charitable, to the point of her own demise. (the least shall be the greatest). So true to life!

This was funny, poignant, and tender.
Marina Rojas05/19/12
This poor MC was just missing out all over this world! Praise God that He never misses one thing in our lives!

I'm glad she knew the REAL important things in life!

Nice story.
Leola Ogle 05/22/12
Ah...I just loved Monica. She has such a good heart. So glad that she got her reward at the end in the adoration of the child. Children usually can tell who's a good person. God bless!