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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Savory to the Taste (07/26/12)

TITLE: Bea Braves the Storm
By Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom


Lightning zigzagged across the sky. Nora dropped her doll and scurried into Mommy’s lap before the crack of thunder reached her little ears. Clamping her hands over her head, she wiggled into a ball, with her chin on top of her knees. “Mommy, I’m ah-scared.”

Mommy rubbed her four-year-old daughter’s back. “Hush, there’s nothing to be scared of. The lightning can’t hurt you as long as you stay inside cuddled up in my lap.”

Nora swiped the back of her hand across her nose, catching any snot that might be lingering on her face. “But it’s so bright and loud.”

Smiling at Nora, Mommy brushed the hair out of Nora’s eyes. “I heard we might have a storm today, so I bought you a surprise. It’s on the counter.”

Nora jumped up and made a beeline to the kitchen, grabbed the bag and sprinted back to the safety of Mommy’s lap. “It feels like a book. Can I look?”

Nodding, Mommy helped ease the book out of the bag. She tapped her finger over the title. Bea Braves the Storm.

Nora pointed to the bugs on the cover. “It’s ‘bout lightnin’ bugs. They’re my favorite.”

Snuggling into the couch, Mommy opened the book. Once upon a time, there was a lightning bug named Bea. She lived happily in the lilac bush. But she had one problem. Thunderstorms scared her.

Nora’s eyes sparkled. “Just like me!”

Mommy kept reading. Her husband, Del, tried to convince her to come out and frolic. “Bea, there’s nothing to be afraid of; the lightning can’t hurt you.”

Bea clamped her six legs tightly to the stem of a leaf. “I’m staying home until the storm passes.”

Del flapped his wings and flew around her. “You’re silly; you shoot lightning out of your bum. We’re named after it, for Pete’s sake.”

Waving her right front leg in the air, Bea shook her head. “First, I don’t shoot lightning out of my bum! Second, some call us fireflies. Next you’ll want me to fly into a flame for the thrill of it.”

Dell flapped his wings. ”You’re being ridiculous. Fire is dangerous. However, I’d love to have you come out and see how delicious the nectar tastes during thunderstorms.”

“Now who’s being silly?” Bea flew to another leaf.

Del followed her. “Remember when the storm caught me by surprise and I didn’t get home until late?”

Flittering away, Bea shouted, “Why do you think I’m scared? You left me here worrying for hours.”

Del tried to cuddle with his wife but she flitted from leaf to leaf. “I’m sorry you were worried but I was hungry. I landed on a flower and discovered that the lightning produced an electrical charge that made the nectar scrumptious. Plus its warmth soothed my nerves. Ever since then, I’ve been waiting to take you out to dine on the finest flower juice in the world.”

That grabbed Bea’s attention. She’d often wished for something warm to soothe her cold bones on a stormy night. “But what will the neighbors think when they see that we’re out in the storm?”

Del waved his leg. “Who cares what the neighbors think? I’m offering you a once-in-a-lifetime chance of dining on the most savory concoction known to beetles.”

Nora slapped her hand on the book. “You mean they’re not flies?”

“Nope. If you say Bea Del fast, it sounds like beetle.”

Nora giggled and tapped the book.

Mommy turned the page. “Well, maybe, if we keep close to home…” Bea stretched out her wings.

“Bonza!” Del shouted and together they flew straight to a daisy. They took turns slurping from the center of the flower.

The thunder rumbled above, but Bea didn’t feel afraid at all. After their bellies were full, Bea turned to Del. “Thank you for encouraging me to try new things and for helping me learn not to be afraid of thunderstorms.” She leaned over and planted a sticky kiss on his cheek.

Del shouted, “Bonza!” and they lived happily-ever-after.

Mommy closed the book. “It’s important to remember that bugs belong outside. But little girls should always come inside during a storm.”

Nora hugged the book to her chest. “The next time lightnin’ scares me, you can read me this book.”

“And when we have something new for dinner, you’ll be brave like Bea and taste it.”

Wrinkling her nose, Nora handed Mommy the book. “Read it again.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Dannie Hawley 08/02/12

Adorable and fun! This story has all the elements I just love to see in children's stories... all in one single article... suspense that has the expectation of something good, kindness and understanding in the adult-child interaction and the interface with the MC using a book to tell a story, plus a terrifically good couple of life lessons! How'd ya ever capture all that in just 750 words? Great job!
C D Swanson 08/02/12
Wow - well done, and filled with all kinds of messages and meanings throughout. Good job, I really enjoyed this. Thanks.
God bless~
Amy Michelle Wiley 08/03/12
Awww, I love this story. So cute. The only red ink I have is that I don't think beetles have bones or cheeks, so those parts gave me pause. But otherwise I loved it!
Edmond Ng 08/05/12
A lovely story that is well written and an enjoyable read. Good job!
Laura Manley08/07/12
This story is absolutely adoreable! Your character building is phenomenal, not only in your creatures, but the people as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this well-written, descriptive entry. The only thing I saw in my perusal was that you spelled Del(l) two different ways. Excellent writing!
Sarah Elisabeth 08/07/12
Cute ending! I liked "Bea" and "Del" the beetles :)
Ellen Carr 08/08/12
A really creative approach to this topic and a heart-warming story. Well done.
Loren T. Lowery08/08/12
A cute, well-told fable that I'm certain would be a comfort to many wee, little ones. Maybe to even some not so wee and little, too. : ) Nice jobs
lynn gipson 08/08/12
I think beetles have their own kind of bones and their own kind of cheeks and I absolutely loved this story. My grand daughters would love it too. Great writing, Shann, as always,

God Bless, Lynn
lynn gipson 08/08/12
Meant to say my grand daughters WILL love it, Im gonna show to them!
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/08/12
"Charming" is the perfect word for this story. . .and I loved the last line!
C D Swanson 08/09/12

God bless you Shann~
Barbara Lynn Culler08/09/12
Oh this was really cute! I like the down-to earth vocabulary used instead of being "PC"! Congrats on EC.
Hiram Claudio08/09/12
Congrats on a well deserved 2nd place ribbon and the EC standings as well!
Leola Ogle 08/09/12
Yay Shann! Congrats on your well deserved placing! :)
Genia Gilbert08/09/12
Super congratulations! So happy for your placing in the number 10 spot. Well deserved.
Myrna Noyes08/09/12
Oh, I loved this charming story and story-within-a story! :) Very well-written with nicely-drawn characters! CONGRATULATIONS on your E.C.!
Leah Nichols 08/09/12
Love the story, and I'm SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!! Congrats, my friend! You deserve it!!!!!!!
Danielle King 08/09/12
A whopping big congratulations Shann. I love this cute tale and you told it soooo well!
Dannie Hawley 08/09/12
Two-Four-Six-Eight.Who do we count among the greats? Shann and her lightning bugs! Okay a bit of high school nostalgia invading there. Even-so, it is true. Congrats big time. See all those little bums glowing your way... that's lightning bug applause with a flying ovation!
Noel Mitaxa 08/09/12
Congratulations Shann, for your EC and for your ministry of encouragement to all of us FaithWriters. Great little story within a story. Excellent work.
Ellen Carr 08/09/12
Congratulations Shann! You deserve your 2nd placing in L3 and your EC placing too. Well done!
Patsy Hallum08/11/12
You are on a roll, friend. I love the MC's problem and the way you overcame it.
Congratulations on a well deserved placing.
Kara Dunham 08/11/12
Such a cute and lovely story! Well done! I love the little story within a story.
Suzanne R09/10/12
You've put we readers in the scene very well,educated us at the same time and left us with a take-home lesson that we can apply in life. Well done.