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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Drip (04/25/13)

TITLE: Chinese Water Torture
By Christina Banks


It started off small, like a tiny drop of water falling onto my forehead.


Darren mentioned his friend, Cody, was getting a car for his birthday. The comment hadn’t meant much to me at the time, just a bit of teenage news, but it was the beginning of an obsession.

Sunday, on the way to church, Darren did the honors of pointing out every car with a For Sale sign in the window. i felt each hint drop.


The next Saturday, after returning from errands, I found Darren sitting on the couch studying the newspaper. My heart smiled for a minute, thinking he was finally taking an interest in the world outside of his circle of friends.

“Hey Mom, look.” He turned the page to show me a full page color advertisement. “The Ford dealership is having a great promotion right now.”


Friday night, Darren wanted to meet some friends at the pizzeria. They were going to catch a movie after. Darren asked to borrow my car, but I was already planning on driving over to see my parents. I offered to drop him off instead.

“You know, it would make your life so much easier if you didn’t have to taxi me all the time,” Darren said. He might be right, but I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of knowing. Instead I handed him the keys and let him drive me.


When Darren called me that night, after the movie, I was relaxing with a book.

“Do you mind if Cody drives me home? He’s swinging by the ice cream shop on his way.” After verifying that it would only be the two of them in the vehicle, I gave my permission. Cody was a responsible kid, they would be fine. Besides, I was reaching the end of my novel, and I really didn’t want to put it down.

Darren started telling me about Cody’s car the minute he walked in the door. Perhaps I should have picked him up after all.


My parents invited us to dinner on Sunday afternoon. We no sooner walked in the door, when Darren asked my father the question I had been dreading.

“Papa, when did you get Mom her first car?”


“I believe it was for her high school graduation. Your Mom loved that car. She had been asking for one for months.” Dad winked at me.

“My buddy just got a car for his birthday. It’s sweet.”


“My folks gave me a car for my birthday.” My husband chimed in. “But I had to prove I was responsible first.”


“Really?” Darren looked right at my husband and grinned. “You know, my birthday is a few weeks from now, and graduation is just around the corner.”


Thankfully my husband didn’t make any promises, and the conversation turned to Darren’s future plans.

That night, as my husband and I prepared for bed, I brought up the subject.

“You know Darren has been driving me crazy with this whole car thing.”

“What car thing?”


And that’s when I knew I was enduring the torture on my own.

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This article has been read 349 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Noel Mitaxa 05/03/13
Insanity is hereditary - we get it from our kids, until we recall those times we got just a bit too much for our own parents. I love the way you built this totally believable story. Great work.
C D Swanson 05/03/13
Wonderfully written and intense in meaning. I enjoyed this so much, loved the tie-in. God Bless~
Claudia Thomason05/03/13
Ahh - teenagers! Loved this trip down my own memory lane. Good job!
Cinda Carter05/04/13
Your article seemed so real. Each time you mentioned the word Drip I could feel how annoyed the mother was feeling over her son who was constantly annoying her about getting a new car. It was very well done. Great job.
Cheryl Harrison05/04/13
Hehe... been there and now I know what it is called... "Chinese Water Torture". Ha!

Creative take on the topic. Good job.
Allen Povenmire 05/04/13
Anyone who's dealt with teenagers has had this type of 'torture' ! Can't decide whether to commend you or complain about reminding me of those days! In either case you did it well. Thanks...I think.
lynn gipson 05/04/13
Great take on the topic! Drip dropping hints. I loved this. You do have a way of telling a great story. I only saw one mistake, but you already know it. Excellent writing.
Judith Gayle Smith05/05/13
This drip splashed right into my heart!
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/06/13
Delightful story!
Bea Edwards 05/06/13
Your title alluded to what I assumed would be a brother straddling his little sister with a turkey baster full of water. Your story was much more creative and interesting!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/09/13
Congratulations on placing 9 in your level and 17 overall!