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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Question (05/24/12)

TITLE: Highlight
By Sandra Renee Hicks



Spry seventy-seven-year-old widower Malcolm is in pack mode. He’s leaving his home of forty-nine years, and about to check into the Highlight Nursing Home.

Malcolm isn’t sad. He tells his family, “My peers are mostly gone from here. All of these young whippersnappers have moved into the neighborhood.” Malcolm grins. “They don’t act my age.”

His family laughs. It comforts them to know that Malcolm is in such good spirits.

“I’m eager to go to the Highlight to be with folks that have things in common with me. He winks. “I still play a mean game of dominoes. Some of these youngsters don’t even know what that is. Amusingly, Malcolm shares, “The other day the gal next door told me that she got a new Smart phone. I asked her, “What’s smart about it; does it think and solve problems?” Malcolm chuckles. “She looked at me like I was from another planet!”

Laughing, Malcolm’s son Josh says, “Dad, in some ways, you are from another planet.”

Malcolm slaps his leg and humors his son, “Yeah, let some folks tell it. But I’m not buying what they’re selling. For real, this old chap is more grounded than some of those tech fanatics. Humph, when’s the last time some of them have gone for walks without cell phones glued to their ears? And when was the last time they had their eyes in a book - a PAPER book? I could go on and on but you get my drift.”

The family exchange glances. They ponder the wisdom of what Malcolm has shared.

“Hmm, dad, you sure give us some things to think about.”

He backslaps Josh. “I know. This old locomotive still has steam in his engine.”

The humor cheers them all.


Three suitcases are all Malcolm needs for his transition to Highlight.

His son, Todd, questions, “Dad, are you sure you want to give the bulk of the house contents to the Salvation Army?”

“Yes, son, in my twilight years, I’m traveling light - no desire for all the clutter and vain entanglements.”

“And Todd, you know I’m a Bible living man. Luke 12:15 says, “…for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth.”

Malcolm’s sons have deep love and respect for their father. They’ve been raised by a man of solid principles.

“Yes, sir," says Todd.

Weeks before his move, Malcolm sits down to go through his large photograph collection. One photo leaps off the page at him. He smiles broadly. “Well, looka here. That’s me and my first girlfriend, Trudy, headed to the prom. I wonder what happened to dear Trudy.”

Joy stirs in Malcolm as he remembers his good times with Trudy. He glances down and notices goose bumps on his arms. He smiles and thinks, “You old ticker. What’s gotten into you?”


Moving day has arrived.

Malcolm whistles as he rides to Highlight with Josh.

“Dad, you’re really happy about this move, huh?”

Malcolm’s eyes twinkle as he answers, “Yes, indeedy, son. I suspect they need more lively residents up in that place.”

Josh grins.

They arrive at Highlight.

Josh helps Malcolm get settled in his room.

They hug and make plans to dine the following week.

Malcolm reads his Bible, prays and turns in for the night.

The next afternoon he meets the domino guys.

The best player, Charles, challenges Malcolm to compete. Playfully, he says, “Show me what you’re working with, Mr. Malcolm.”

Malcolm teases, “You sure you wanna know?”

Robustly, Charles answers, “Sure, let’s do this.”

It wasn’t easy but Malcolm won the game.

Charles is a great sport. The two become fast friends.

The next morning, after breakfast, Malcolm walks in the garden. From a distance, he sees a woman sitting on a bench.

As he approaches, the Holy Bible can be seen in her delicate hands.

She looks up.

Malcolm’s eyes widen. He shakes his head as if to clear it. He thinks, “Could it be?!”

Joyous recognition stirs within the woman. “Is it him?!”

Eagerly, she asks, “What’s your name?”

With vigor, Malcolm replies, “Malcolm.”

“And yours?” His heart throbs as he awaits her answer.



They reacquaint themselves…

One day, as he and Trudy relax on the patio, Malcolm gets on bended knee with a family heirloom ring in his hand.

Trudy blushes with exhilaration.

Malcolm asks this life altering question, “Will you be my virtuous woman in holy matrimony?”

Trudy embraces her man.

“Yes, of course, yes.”

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This article has been read 346 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Hiram Claudio05/31/12
My goodness, what a sweet, wonderful, and lovely story! This was so heart warming on so many levels. From the overall tone of genuine respect this family has for its patriarch to the loving renuion of Malcolm and Trudy, ... this touches the heart in so many ways. Simply ... a beautiful piece of writing. Thank you!
Genia Gilbert05/31/12
This is fun and uplifting without being sticky sweet, if you know what I mean. Great entry.
C D Swanson 05/31/12
Awww. So sweet. I wanted more. It needs to be a mini-series. Thanks for this lovely and touching entry.
God bless~
Sharon Laughter06/01/12
This makes me want to meet Malcom myself! This a great story of hope - it's not all over yet! Truly a fun read.
Leola Ogle 06/01/12
I just love this, and especially Malcolm. I love his line: This old locomotive still has steam in his engine. What a character! Reminds of my visit with mom in the nursing home this week. She has met a "fella" and that makes her happy. Cute story. God bless!
Frances Seymour06/01/12
Such a fun article to read. Thanks for sharing! Blessings...
Laura Manley06/07/12
Throughout your entire entry, I was wondering when you would reveal the "question" that was to be on target for this week's entries. You did an excellent job in a so matter-of-fact manner of introducing Trudy to your audience and then putting nothing further about her until the end of the story. I like stories like this; they warm my heart. You did an excellent job of presenting Malcolm's story and the added twist at the end was just a little icing on the cake.