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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: First World Problem (04/17/14)

TITLE: The Beast
By Joe Moreland


The beast eyed me menacingly from across the room. Anger welled up inside me. I had been living in fear far too long. I grabbed the closest weapon I could find, a hammer.

“You are never taking anything from me, ever again! You hear me?”

It all started earlier that day with a cup of coffee at the corner shop. Okay, maybe a cup of coffee and a scone. Sue me. As I was leaving the store, I overheard two people discussing an opening for an accountant at a nearby office.

I'm an accountant. I'm out of work. Divine intervention.

“Excuse me, were you just talking about a job opening?”

A short, dark haired woman turned to face me. “Yes. Are you an accountant?”

“Yes. I have a degree and everything.” This was my disarming banter. Works every time.

“Are you certified?”

“As in 'CPA'?”

“No, as in 'lunatic'.” She smiled as she said it. Drats! Out bantered.

I smiled back. “Yes. I am a CPA.”

“Perfect. Maybe we can salvage something on this project after all. Assuming you are acceptable, that is.”

“Oh, I'm acceptable alright. I've been housebroken and everything.”

The woman inclined her head to one side and seemed to take a harder look at me. Slowly her eyes widened and her mouth came open slightly, as though a new realization had just dawned on her.

“You think you're witty, don't you?”

“And clever. Witty and clever.”

She studied me some more. Finally she let out a small sigh. “I guess I really don't have much of a choice. I need to move quickly. My name is Ms. Jenkins.” Just like that, a business card was in her hand, extended towards me.

“You can meet Mr. Davenport here at 1pm. Do not be late.” Her eyes flicked quickly down to my sandaled feet. “And wear shoes and socks.”

I pocketed the card before she could change her mind and snatch it back. On my way home, I tried to think.

Where was the last place I saw my socks?

I was pretty sure I had seen them just the other day. Or at least one of them. I practically ran home. Well, I walked quickly, sipping my coffee.

In no time I had made mincemeat of my closet, bedroom and livingroom – trying to find both of my black socks. Once I had them and started to lay clothes out across my bed, I got a whiff of the socks.

Later, when I regained consciousness, I realized that laundry would have to be done.

This is where the “DUM-DUM-DUMMM” Mystery movie reveal music gets played. Laundry is my nemesis. The washer is evil and the dryer...well, the dryer is Satan. That's why it's so hot in there.

I had managed to clear the complicated hurdle of laundering my socks (yes I ran the washer with just my socks in it), but now I had to face the daunting task of drying them. I know, most people think that washing is more complicated; measuring out detergent, selecting a cycle (is it warm, or is it cold?), and applying softener – and I'm sure I messed up each and every part of that equation - but, for me, it's the dryer that is truly cringeworthy.

Things go in there without ever coming out. Where do they go? Nobody seems to know. There is a Bermuda Triangle in my dryer! I could not afford to lose a sock right now. I figured my chances were better if they were the only items in the load.

I eyed the beast from across the room. Slowly the rumbling began to slow and soon the machine was still. Nervously I walked over to the dryer and reached for the door.

The mouth of the beast.

The phrase made me hesitate. What if they were gone? I could hardly be surprised if they were – it was Satan, after all.

I took a deep breath and calmed myself. No sense in getting worked up yet. Carefully I opened the door and reached my hand into the mouth of the beast and pulled out...a single sock.



Mr Davenport shook my hand and eyed me carefully. Head to foot. It was at my feet he stopped.

“Good heavens, man! What happened to your sock?”

“Heh.” I snorted with some satisfaction. “You should see the other guy.”

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This article has been read 348 times
Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 04/25/14

This was funny. I loved the part about regaining
from whiffing the sock!

Clever and well done.

God bless~
Glynis Becker04/26/14
Great voice, great piece, very enjoyable and perfectly on topic.

I, too, loved the comment about the whiff of the socks. I had to read that whole paragraph to my 11-year-old son because it fits him to a tee. He didn't appreciate the humor as much as I did :)

Loved this one!
Cheryl Harrison04/26/14
Hysterical. I enjoyed the entire read... especially the last line! Blessings.
Sarah Elisabeth 04/28/14
Ha, great ending to a well done story.
Mar  04/29/14
Very funny, I enjoyed this, a great read and clever ending!
Mar  04/29/14
Very funny, I enjoyed this, a great read and clever ending!
C D Swanson 05/01/14

God bless~
Glynis Becker05/01/14
I knew this one would be up there! Congratulations!
Francy Judge 05/01/14
You are witty and clever...this was much fun to read. I can relate to making "mincemeat" out of the closet. I often have to hunt for a baseball sock that could be anywhere if our dog finds it first and hides it. She likes the dirty ones. Great writing and congratulations!
Tracy Nunes 05/02/14
Oh Joe, this was such a hoot! It takes a lot to make me laugh out loud at something written. It has to be really funny. This was spot on! And, I agree about the identity of the dryer. :)

Sheldon Bass 05/02/14
Very entertaining piece. Had me laughing clean through. Thank you for giving me a morning pick-me-up to go along with my Starbucks. And Congrats on the EC!