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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Expire (08/01/13)

TITLE: No "Expires On" Label
By Linda Berg


"Girls, did you get the stuff out of the back of the van?"

"Yes, it's on the kitchen counter."

"Thanks," I replied from the bedroom where I was putting the sleeping baby to bed.

Returning to the kitchen I heard our three daughters discussing the day's events while getting ready for bed.

"I loved the games we played. I knew right away that was our youth minister in the secret baby pictures. He looks just like he did when he was a baby, Baby Cheeks." Giggles erupted from the girls room.

"Jennifer, can I have some jelly beans? You were lucky to win them."

"Yeah, you can have five.

"Ah, come on, five? questioned Jessica.


"I thought I'd never stop laughing when I saw dad get mom with the raw egg at the toss. Yoke running right out of her hair, down over her eyes into her mouth. It was hysterical," said Janell.

More outbursts.

"Can you believe she just went over and gave dad a hug and a kiss after that?"

"We're almost ready mom," said little Jessica, always ready to sleep.

I heard the scurry of last minute details as daughters brushed their teeth.

"Well now, wasn't that a nice Sunday School picnic we had today?" I said, stepping into their bedroom.

Giggles again.

"Mom, you still have egg yoke stuck all ugly like on the left side of your head. Yuck. It's plastered your hair down."

"A quick shower will take care of that. Now, anyone have anything they want to share before we pray?"

"Oh mom, I was so nervous when it was time for my solo during the Jr. HIgh Choir. Could you hear I was nervous?"

"No Janell, dear. You did wonderful.

Thank you for helping Susan with the twins by playing with them Jessica, that was very kind.

Jennifer, thank you for befriending the new girl and introducing her to your friends.

Now let's pray. Morning will soon be here."


(The Friday morning following Sunday afternoon Sunday School Picnic)

"Hurry girls, only five minutes 'til bus time."

Turning to my husband, just exiting the back door for work at the nearby farm, I said, "I'll leave some chicken in the crockpot for lunch plugged in near the sink."

"Thanks hon," he said planting a quick kiss on my lips."

Jessica, "Let's go, bus is coming."

"Bye, have a good day at school."

The door slamming behind them made the baby cry.

"It's okay little guy," I said to our two month old boy. Walking over to him I cranked the swing.

I finished putting the chicken, vegetables and chicken stock in the crock pot, plugging it in near the sink.

Gathering up diaper bag, purse and items needed for errands, I headed out to the car. I need to hurry, I only have three hours to get all the shopping and errands done and be back for Jessica's arrival from the kindergarten bus.

Opening the back door of the station wagon, I was overcome by a putrid smell.

I began to look under and between the seats. Slid back under the reversed back seat, was the remnants of Sunday's chicken in a small crock pot. Oh, my.

Grabbing it up, I quickly returned to the house and placed it at the far end of the counter.

Picking up the sleeping baby, I carried him to the station wagon where I secured him in his infant car seat.


(Later that afternoon)

I began to cut the homemade bread. The back door opened. In walked my husky man, looking worn from a hard day's work.

"Hi babe," I said.

He threw his cap in it's usual resting place on the bench.

"Well, I see you tried out a new recipe on me this morning. I appreciate the effort but let's just say, I don't want you to ever make that again."

I was at the counter near the sink. As he spoke those words, I dropped the knife I was cutting bread while turning slowly to him. My heart pounding as the possibity of what he had eaten for lunch ran through my mind.

Looking at him, eyes wide with eager anticipation of getting the right answer, "Which crockpot did you eat out of? Was it the one near the sink or the one at the end of the kitchen counter?"

"It was the chicken in the one at the end of the counter and did it ever taste rotten."

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Member Comments
Member Date
Brenda Rice 08/08/13
Your entry gives a good example of a happy family. Your humor is enjoyable.

The husband reminds me a bit of mine. I guess some men have a taste something rotten to appreciate the really good stuff.

Thanks for sharing.
Sheldon Bass 08/10/13
Great "every-day-life" story. Always easy to relate to. Humorous and light. A good family feel. I thought your finale was a bit too predictable. Maybe you could re-do it in a way that we can't see it coming, when he eats out of the wrong crock pot. Maybe start with the discovery of the rotten pot. And not saying what was done with it, or that it was chicken too, until he eats from the wrong one? Just a suggestion. Still, a nice feel good story. It just would have been so much better if I didn't know what was going to happen.
Keep up the good work!
C D Swanson 08/10/13
This made me smile wide. It was so well done, and well placed. Great ending!!

God bless~