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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: PICNIC - deadline 7-12-12 @ 9:59 AM NY Time (07/05/12)

TITLE: Basket Case
By Sarah Whitaker
07/07/12


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"Gaaaah! What if she's a vegan? These sandwiches will kill her!"

Tom looked over the subs that he packed in the basket one last time as he checked his watch. A blustering wind fluttered over the grassy field in the park as the would-be Casanova turned his attention to the blanket.

"Is this really how it's supposed to be done? Aw man! Did she want champagne? Oh God! This is only our third date! This has to be perfect!"

With shaking hands, he unfurled the plushy blanket, fanning it out three or four times before laying it down on the ground. Pressing down with his hands, it was as if the blanket was a business suit as he pressed out every last crease to the best of his ability. He took a deep breath and raised his hands, bobbing them up and down in assurance that his work was good.

"Okay, the bottled water is sparkling, the sandwiches are made from butcher shop baloney... oh no..."

Running his fingers through his hair, his skin grew cold and his heart felt as if it landed into the pit of his stomach.

"The chocolates have nuts... what if she's allergic to nuts? It wouldn't matter if I picked out the 60% cocoa dark chocolates! The walnuts would kill her! Tom, how could you?!"

"Babe?"

Tom swallowed and slowly looked behind him at his beloved Nancy. He fidgeted with his hands in front of him and laughed with a nervous tone.

"Ahhh... Princess! How long have you been there?"

"... Ten minutes."

"Gaaaaaaaah!"

Falling backwards in shock, he landed in the middle of the blanket, resting his hand on his head. Nancy just smiled and folded her arms in front of her.

"You're such a dork, Tom!"


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This article has been read 264 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jess Capps07/12/12
That was awesome! I never knew guys obsessed that much--till hubby confirmed it.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 07/12/12
I knew when I read the first line and had to stop because I was laughing so hard that I was going to enjoy this story and you didn't disappoint!

The only bit of red ink I might offer is to let the story set for a bit and then read it again or have someone check it for you. I didn't see many typos but this sentence is a tad awkward -- Pressing down with his hands, it was as if the blanket was a business suit as he pressed out every last crease to the best of his ability. Just by restructuring it a bit you can eliminate repeating the word pressing and tighten it up some. For example, Like one might smooth a business suit, Tom pressed out every last crease or wrinkle with his hands. That may not be perfect but hopefully it helps show what I mean.

When I saw this topic, several ideas went through my head. Having a romantic picnic was one of them. I thought it might be a tad too sappy for my taste. However you did a brilliant job of it, not a touch of sap in it. I laughed again at the end when you brought the story full circle. I truly enjoyed it and it left me with a warm fuzzy feeling in my tummy. (See why I thought I'd make that idea sappy? :) But yours was delightful!
Genia Gilbert07/12/12
Love it. Short but pointed and complete. Great writing.
Laura Hawbaker 07/13/12
Great first line! Caught my attention right away. However it seemed like you told us about too much hand motion. His hands were "bobbing up and down, fidgeting in front of him, and resting on his head." You did a good enough job portraying Tom's nervousness through his conversation with himself, excessive hand motions might have best been left to the reader's imagination. One other tiny thing bugged me. Can a blustery wind flutter?
Good ending and funny story!
Hiram Claudio07/13/12
A very enjoyable read and fun from beginning to end. I liked the way your showed the anxiety the MC had about wanting everything to be "perfect." Yes ... guys do obsess about things like this. Well done!
Camille (C D) Swanson 07/13/12
Thank you for this fun and enjoyable piece. I love sweet stories with humor and punch. This one had it all.
God Bless~
Noel Mitaxa 07/13/12
Enjoyable read, with all the appropriate anxiety poking through in all directions. Well done
Leola Ogle 07/16/12
I enjoyed this story told from the guy's POV. Cute story that made me smile all the way through it. God bless!
Leola Ogle 07/16/12
I enjoyed this story told from the guy's POV. Cute story that made me smile all the way through it. God bless!