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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Sharp (03/07/13)

By Lillian Rhoades



The Golden Palace Ballroom was packed tighter than a football stadium at the Super Bowl for the Junior Guild’s annual gala affair. Broad shouldered young men decked out in bow tie and tux with drama queens primped in sequins and lace hanging on to their arm, mingled about waiting to be seated.

As he sat on the fine linen tablecloth surrounded by an array of gold—edged tableware, the tip of Natty Knife’s edge pointed toward a giant, bursting floral arrangement, but he only had eyes for the stunning, prima donna that sat next to the precisely folded brocade napkin.

“Excuse me,” said Natty Knife. “You’re looking pretty nice and shiny today. The golden glow of the chandelier seems to accentuate your sheen. Are you ready to dig in?”

“Why thank you,” Ms. Fancy Fork replied. “Are you ready to cut up?”

“My, I see you have a sense of humor.”

Fancy giggled and wiggled her prongs.

“Yes, I like poking fun just as much as I enjoy jabbing potatoes, Oh, by the way, I hope you’re prepared to cut the roast beef into pieces small enough for me to punch a hole through. You know I’m not as sharp as you are.”

“ You’re sharp enough for me.”

Even though they were separated by a gilded edge plate, Natty Knife inched as close as he could without rattling the plate, hoping to get a better look at Fancy.

“I’d do anything for you,” he crooned. “Can I call you Fancy?”

Fancy blushed. “Yes, of course.”

“You know,” Natty Knife continued, “I think we’re going to work well together. What do you think? Will we get a lefty or a righty tonight?”

“I don’t know, “but I never feel comfortable being held in the left hand.”

“Oh I don’t mind the left hand,” Natty Knife replied. “It’s those pointed, painted fingernails digging into my handle that gets to me. Hope I get a gentleman this time.”

Hmmm, Ms. Fork muttered softly.

“It’s not the manicured spikes that bother me. I’d rather have those than the cutting words I have to sometimes listen to, even in an elegant, crystal splendored place like this.”

“Yep, I know what you mean. I remember one man who kept banging me on the table as he argued with…well, I guess it was his wife. Apparently they’d had words before they left the house. I was hoping he’d look at her while he was cutting his meat so I could take a slice of his finger.”

“That bad, huh?”

“Yes, but after a while I felt more sorry for her than I did for myself. That poor lady was so close to tears. Have you ever seen someone trying not to cry while pretending to have a good time?”

“Too many times,” Ms. Fork replied. Sharp tongues and harsh words cut deeper than you ever could.”



“I have a plan. Would you like to hear it?”


“I think there’s a way we can put an end to guests who speak hurtful, sarcastic words that cut to the heart.”

Fancy’s prongs sent a glimmer towards Natty. “Tell me what you’ve got in mind.”

“Okay, but we have to work together.”


“Let’s punish anyone who speaks unkindly to the person next to them.”

“Okaaay, but how do we do that!”

“Whenever you get close enough to the tongue, give a good poke, and I’ll find a way to nip the finger. Wait, I think the guests are being seated now. The burly fellow with the button bursting tux is taking the seat in front of us. I wonder if the lady walking behind him is his wife.”

“I think it is,” Fancy responds. “I hope she doesn’t trip on that gown trying to keep up with him.”

“Yeah, such a pretty face, but it looks as if she’s just sucked on a lemon. That doesn’t exactly say ‘happy couple’. I thi…n…n…k this just might be our first job together.”

Will you please wipe that frown off your face! Like it or not, this is where we’re sitting. Get over it!”

“Did you hear that, Fancy?”

“Sure did. I’m ready when you are.”

And that’s how Fancy Fork and Natty Knife began their lifelong mission together turning the tables on people who speak stabbing words by making them say, “Ouch!”

“There is one who speaks like the piercings of sword, but the tongue of the wise promotes health” (Prov. 12:18).

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This article has been read 441 times
Member Comments
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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/14/13
Oh I love this! It is so creative. You had me mesmerized from the very first word to the very first poke. I think this is brilliant and very different but in a great way.
C D Swanson 03/14/13
Hahaha. What a different approach...so clever and fun.

Nicely done.

God bless~
Bonnie Bowden 03/15/13
Clever and entertaining. I liked your pair of MC's.
Joseph Veseli03/18/13
This was witty and charming! I felt like I was reading a Disney book.

I thought it was awesome!!!
Christina Banks 03/18/13
This made me smile, but the underlying message wasn't lost. We all must be careful with our words. I enjoyed your characters.
Cheryl Harrison03/18/13
Clever twist! I enjoyed this. Reminded me of Beauty and the Beast. :o)
lynn gipson 03/18/13
Totally unique,fresh, and entertaining. You have not wasted anyone's time here. Rather you have given us a great time reading this delightful story. I will remember to pay attention next time someone nips their finger or stabs their tongues with a fork! Delightful and excellent!
Alicia Renkema03/19/13
Perfect Title! You set the stage beautifully with your description of the ballroom and then you got into the "meat" of your dialogue which entertained and was thought provoking at every turn. I loved this delightful story. It would be one that so many different age groups would both enjoy and learn from. I can just see this in an nicely illustrated book for for third through fifth graders, although it is wonderful for adults as well.This piece was perfect from start to finish, having both my attention and smile. Thanks so much for sharing, and you write great fiction! Blessings...
Judith Gayle Smith03/19/13
Fantasytastic! Sheer novelty. Imaginative, fun - and with a good moral worthy of "Aesop's NEW Fables", yes? Thank you for making my heart laugh . . .
Ellen Carr 03/19/13
Very creative! This is a cute story - a knife and a fork hatching a plot. Well done.
lynn gipson 03/21/13
CONGRATULATIONS! And you thought this once was wasting time! Time writing is never wasted, especially when it produces an excellent story like this.

Congrats again on this HC!
Alicia Renkema03/21/13
You are much too modest. This was a wonderful piece. I loved it when I first saw it, when I read it here, it stood out to me again as being exceptional, and it still does! I love the way you are always thinking out of the box with your POV. Your writings are certainly an inspiration to me. Thank you for the way you always use your writing to teach an important truth about the kingdom of God or how we should treat one another. Many Blessings and Congratulations!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/22/13
Congratulations on ranking 11 overall! That is an Ouch!! The lower levels were really impressive this week. We Masters need to keep on our toes. I don't think I ever remember seeing a HC in Masters not being an EC too. It just shows how great the competition is and how powerful your piece is! I think this will always be one of my all-time favorites. You are so creative and I loved this. I had cartoon images like the Beauty and the Beast in my head and believe this could make a great kids' book. I do hope you will pursue that avenue because this piece is brilliant.