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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Note (02/07/13)

TITLE: Dora's Salty Saga!
By Danielle King


Dora sliced the cucumber and tomato and left the washed lettuce in the colander to drain. The Spanish onion remained in the fridge until last. Dora never fathomed why something so necessary to a cheese salad sandwich could reap such havoc on the lacrimal glands.

The bell suggested she get a move on. Those hungry workers would be queuing around her tiny portacabin shortly. She took a large bread-cake and began to slice it in half. Just the one; Dora liked to cut things fresh for each of her men.

“Hey sweetheart, you’re looking sumptuous this morning.” Dora’s cheeks turned the colour of her scarlet tabard. She’d never quite grasped how to a handle a complement from a man. So she bumbled; from chopping board, to sink, to pantry; and again.

“They do it all the time.” She told Jean.

“Of course they do.” Jean agreed. “They’re being flippant. Take it with a pinch of salt.” Hum; salt. Okay.

“Your usual, Brian?” Dora asked, taking the ferocious onion from the fridge. By the time she’d popped Brian’s order into white paper bags, the lunchtime queue was hotting up. So whoever it was that flipped the pink folded ‘post-it’ note over the counter had waited until onion tears assumed anonymity.

Later, when ‘Dora’s Lunch Box’ was closed for the day, she locked the door and leaned heavily against it. Had she misread the note? She took it, crumpled from her pocket and flattened it out on the work top. The words she re-read impacted like a sharp slap on the face. She needed to talk.

“Dora, poison pen letters are from lily-livered wimps and intimidators.” Jean said. “Carry on as if nothing’s happened. Remember… a pinch of salt.”

Salt? Huh. Salt for complements… salt for insults!

The next morning Dora manoeuvred her pleasantly plump flesh into unforgiving black pants and red frock. The mirror reflected dark circles under the eyes: “Look what he’s done to me Lord,” she whispered. “And I don’t even know his name.” Salt. Take it with a pinch of salt, she remembered.

Dora unlocked the portacabin and the bumbling began. Eggs set to hard boil, carrots peeled and grated--and beetroot, messy stuff but goes well with cheese. Stay positive. God’s looking after you. He’s given you a job that you love and don’t struggle with.

Brian was first as always: “My regular order, gorgeous,” he teased. “Whoa… love those tight pants.” Dora was glad that she wore a tabard.

“No onion today Brian.”

“No onion?”

“Sorry. Need to keep my eye out.”

“Huh?” Strange bird, this one. But she makes a cracking cheese and ham double decker. And on the industrial estate, as companies broke for lunch, the little cabin busied up.

Dora deduced that someone in-between Syd’s Autos and Tommy’s Trucks was the culprit. When the first Print and Design employee joined the queue, she pulled the note from her pocket and pinned it to the front of her tabard. There were stifled laughs and leg pulling, until the lanky guy with jug ears and a lazy eye placed his order. He spied the note and his spotty cheeks burned brightly.

“Would you like a pinch of salt with this?” He nodded. “Good!” Dora took the salt pot and laced it on the ham; and the tomato; and the beetroot; and the lettuce… and finally on top of the bread cake, before opening the white paper bag. She stared at him all the while. The man next to him was quick on the uptake.

“Hey Boss-Eye, you wrote this?”

Dora stopped. The jibes were coming thick and fast. Jeering; mocking; ridicule… she knew how that felt. The sandwich fell apart on the floor as she intentionally missed the bag: “I’ll make another,” she said. He’s targeted me, because of his own gremlins. He feels ugly; insecure. He can’t hack it.

Later, she rang her advocate: “Jean, I tell you, this bloke’s got nothing going for him.”

“So you laced his lunch with salt?”

“I did, but…”

“Dora. Go read ‘Luke 6:31.’”

The following day, Dora wrote a short note on a white paper bag and hoped lanky guy would show up …

‘You--me; more in common than you know. Fortunately, God sent me a buddy to teach me about Himself; to show me I’m loved and accepted. Do you think we could become friends? I would love to share who I know with you.

PS: I’m out of salt!’

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This article has been read 596 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Margaret Kearley 02/18/13
This is fun to read - your descriptions and your characters are great and there's quite a message here, 'salted' with humour! I got a bit lost in the story plot, though that might be just me, but the message you portray, and the Bible verse you quote, is strong and clear. Thankyou
Cheryl Harrison02/18/13
I enjoyed this. Good development of your characters. Good lesson. And now I want a grilled cheese sandwich! Keep writing.
Terry R A Eissfeldt 02/18/13
I enjoyed your story. Very true to life. What courage Dora has. Well done.
Judith Gayle Smith02/18/13
So enjoyable! Love to hear more about Dora! The only pinkish ink to use is for the word complement - did you intend compliment? And may you blush heartily at all the compliments you receive for this delightful entry!
Susan Montaperto02/18/13
A very entertaining and well developed story. I enjoined all the little tasks that your MC went through. Thank you. Keep writing.
God Bless.
Bea Edwards 02/19/13
Gee I kinda wanted to know what was on that note...
Lively story with a MC that I would like to meet as I like salty folks!
Colin Swann02/20/13
I liked your story telling, but not your food ingredients. We've just started slimming and I'm informed there's salad for lunch - I hate salad and I abhor onions - so I wouldn't be queueing for one of those sandwiches. I saw the complement mis-spelling but wondered if it was a USA spelling, but then remembered you are a good old Yorkshire lass. Thanks for the enjoyable and amusing read.

Colin Swann (Gold Membership)
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/21/13
I really liked this. It was quite the realistic lesson we must all learn at times. I think you did a splendid job of building the suspense. At first, I thought you used the wromf complement (compliment) but now after thinking about it, I think it was a major hint to the type of culprit we should be looking for. Okay after rereading it, I decided you did mean compliments definitely the first time but it's possible that complements the second time was a hint. (What can I say I've been in the hospital for a week. They say it slows down my brain. :))
Congratulations on ranking 30 overall!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/21/13
Again I blame the hospital or the numbness in my left side for wromf instead of wrong. Ooh boy time for bed. HUGS<3
Loren T. Lowery02/22/13
Loved so many or your word choices it makes your writing unique and definitely adds depth. The story line was good, too. I especially liked the conundrum: taking both the good and bad with a grain of salt. And, finally what we all should be: salt that all should thirst/hunger for salvation. By the way, yes it was WW II : )