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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: "Splash" 4-11-13 Deadline (04/04/13)

TITLE: Hey Lady, Your Dress is on Fire!
By Lori Dixon
04/09/13


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On a holiday, not too long ago, as I sat poolside watching the sunset, a beautiful young woman walked by. Her long dress swooshed as she sauntered through the resort like a pink peony swaying in the wind. Suddenly the corner of her scalloped hem came a bit too close to a tea-light candle. Glowing embers flickered from the melting poly-blend . . . soon a little flame, not much bigger than a birthday candle could be seen.

I watched as she continued her walk along the deck. A gorgeous girl, all eyes were glued to her hot pink dress. It was hot alright! Waiting anxiously for someone near to pat out the fire or at least say something, I sat incredulously watching as the flame slowly crept up her skirt. Finally, a kind elderly lady leaning heavily on her cane shuffled over and managed to intercept her.

Cupping her hand as if to whisper, her hard of hearing voice declared loud enough for all to hear, “Darlin’ your dress is on fire!”

Glancing in disdain over her shoulder at the sweet senior, the clueless young girl shook her head in denial, dismissing the advice of the wise woman’s warning.

Continuing on her journey, the flame was now rising up past the back of her knee. Surely she could feel the heat now?

“Maam!” a pool attendant, busily folding towels yelled out from the cabana, “Your dress is on fire!” He waved a towel over his head, animating all the more his warning. Others, now empowered by his brashness, chimed in and all sounded the alarm.

This time, still moving, she took a moment to look behind her to see why everyone was raising such a raucous. For a moment she almost saw the flame, but then, shrugging her shoulders, she continued on her catwalk.

By now she was no more than three feet between me and the pool. With a yell like a linebacker, I rushed her and with one quick shove, pushed her in.

Splash!

Rising out of the water, the look of shock on her face was priceless; mascara trailed down her cheeks, her carefully sculpted hair now hung in a matted mess.

Leaning over, I came as close to her wet dripping face as I could and whispered, “Sweet thing, your dress was on fire.”

Glaring, she swore and stomping up the pool stairs, (with what was left of the back of her dress barely covering her rear-end) threatened me with all kinds of legal action as she disappeared into the sunset.

Crazy story, huh? Which is why of course, it never actually happened. But I have seen similar scenarios acted out again and again.

Why? Because smart girls have been known to do very stupid things.

Some of us women like to ‘play with fire’ and while a few ‘friends’ choose to turn a blind eye to our foolish choices, the others who do give warnings all too often are ignored or even chastised for getting involved. Arrogance seems to rule the day as we reject the advice of those who have gone before us. They are old. Or narrow minded. Or just don’t get it.

Then, there are those of us who see the flames in other people’s lives but are so paranoid of ‘offending’ we allow them to burn rather than call their attention to the obvious! Besides, it’s so much easier to watch them ignite and then talk behind their scarred backs.

How do I know this to be true? Because I have a whole wardrobe full of singed garments! I can be as stubborn as the girl in my story. And, sad to say, there have been times when I have seen my friends catch fire and instead of yelling, tip-toed around them in some kind of un-Godly political correctness.

No more.

We need to stop playing around with fire. So often we think that what we are dabbling in is harmless. But, like the girl in the story, something that starts out tiny can slowly engulf us.

In the meantime, if I see you’re in danger of burning up in flames, I’m going to go to you quietly . . . then I’ll yell . . . and if push comes to shove, I'll throw you in the pool.

I pray to God you’ll do the same for me. (Note to self, buy some waterproof mascara . . . in bulk!)


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This article has been read 940 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sheldon Bass 04/11/13
The style of this piece puts me in mind of a good advice columnist and friend. You got your point across well--creatively, while entertaining. Good work.
Dana Anders04/12/13
Push me into the pool? Love it! Great call to action in this writing.
lynn gipson 04/12/13
There have been many times I now wish someone had pushed me into a pool. I really enjoyed this fine write and the message you send is priceless!
Alicia Renkema04/13/13
Now this is my kind of story! The fictional part of this story had me on the edge of my seat and wondering how far things would go before she realized what was going on / heed the advice given. The language you used to describe this girl, the way she walked, was dressed and carried herself were priceless. But my favorite part of this piece was the truly authentic, vulnerable, devotional ending you gave to it. This piece is so publishable (as is) and needs to be in a magazine somewhere. I hope FW will recognize that and you will receive and EC. Well done -- just loved this.
Camille (C D) Swanson 04/13/13
Hahahahaha...Great last line! Enjoyed it!

God bless~
Sarah Elisabeth 04/14/13
Interesting way to do a devotion piece. I haven't read one that starts with a fiction story, and uses it to illustrate the message of the devotion. Good job with tying it all together.
Bea Edwards 04/14/13
Priceless piece of writing.
You had me grinning ear to ear and then whoomp you snuck (oh what is the past tense of sneak) in a bit of sage advise.
Perfect!
Christina Banks 04/14/13
Your title caught my attention, and the piece kept me reading to the end. You impart some wonderful wisdom. We've all needed to be thrown in the pool a time or two. Thank you for the call to action.
Judith Gayle Smith04/14/13
I am so glad you threw a brick! I can only echo the other reviewers - and if this does not receive an Editors' Choice Award, I may give up writing. This is so delightful and so true.
Judith Gayle Smith04/14/13
I must add that my heart is offering firm friendship to you as we totally share the same values.
A B04/15/13
This was brilliant. I think if we are all honest, we will admit to having a closet full of singed dresses!
Myrna Noyes04/15/13
What an intriguing title! What an exciting story! What a powerful message! What an amusing ending! :) Your powers of description were "on fire," too, and I especially loved the line: "Her long dress swooshed as she sauntered through the resort like a pink peony swaying in the wind." Great job!
Michelle Knoll 04/16/13
This was excellent. A wonderful parable and explanation. Good job!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/18/13
Congratulations! I am doing my happy dance for you! This was out of the box and a terrific message. Your transition from story to message was fantastic too. Well done!
lynn gipson 04/18/13
CONGRATS ON YOU 1ST PLACE WIN AND YOUR 2ND PLACE EC! OUTSTANDING!
Myrna Noyes04/18/13
Hearty CONGRATULATIONS on your E.C. win for this excellent piece with its powerful message!
Alicia Renkema04/18/13
Yea!!! The judges saw what a gem of a piece this is. Way to write. I would so totally buy a book of yours! Have a blessed day in the marvelous dance of life our Lord has given to us, each one.
A B04/18/13
Congratulations on a worthy win
Nancy Bucca04/18/13
Wow, what an interesting story; keeps you at the edge of your seat. And what an important message too!
Vince Martella04/18/13
Brilliant piece of writing. Congrats on your EC and 2nd place win. From the title to ending the entire story was outstanding. Loved the fiction to devotion style. The descriptions were vivid and the message hard-hitting. So well done - congrats again!
Christina Banks 04/19/13
Congratulations on you EC! Great job!
Judith Gayle Smith04/20/13
Fantastic! Congratulations!
Claudia Thomason 04/22/13
I enjoyed this very much and appreciated the humor mixed in with the important message. Congratulations.
Janice Kelley07/15/13
Great story, great truths!! Thanks so much and CONGRATULATIONS!!