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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)

TITLE: Sticky Note
By Jan Ackerson


I awoke before the alarm went off. Bad Kitty was kneading her paws on my tummy, purring loudly. Time to fill my dish, please. See how cute I am? With a moan of protest, I glanced at the clock: 5:32 a.m. It was way too early to start the day, but I knew that my beloved tabby would never let me go back to sleep. I stepped into my slippers and shuffled to the kitchen, yawning while Bad Kitty wound around my legs and peeped.

“I hear you, kitty. Just hold on a second…” I filled her dish with kibble, then turned on the coffee maker and settled into the couch to wait for the coffee to brew.

All thoughts of recapturing sleep quickly fled as I eyed the living room, still displaying a few reminders of last night’s memorable date with Bob. A single pink rose was starting to open in its bud vase. The end table held our empty popcorn bowls; I had been too drowsy to wash them after he left. Our Scrabble game was still on the table. We had laughed until our stomachs ached at Bob’s attempt to play ‘squoze’ on a triple word space.

“It is too a word!” Bob feigned indignation. “It’s the past perfect participle of 'squeeze!'”

“Bob, I was an English major. There’s no such thing! Use it in a sentence.”

“I squeeze my sweetie, I squoze my sweetie, I have squozen my sweetie. So there! That’ll be…let’s see…75 points for ‘squoze,’ plus another... 27 points for adding the ‘s’ to ‘home’…102 points!” He pumped his fist in victory.

Remembering our mock-argument, I smiled. Lord, I love Bob so. We have such fun together—I’m just sure he’s The One. Won’t You give him just a little nudge for me?

We had been dating for almost a year—we had both committed to pray about our relationship—but still, Bob had never once brought up the possibility of a lifetime together. I was beginning to despair.

Just a poke, Lord, that’s all I ask…

Bad Kitty wandered back into the living room, stopping to sniff at a scrap of paper on the carpet. She touched it with a tentative paw, then trotted off to her basket, satisfied that her world was not in danger. It was one of Bob’s ever-present sticky notes. He was endearingly clumsy and absent-minded; his numerous notes to himself were the only way he managed to get everything done. Must have fallen from his jacket pocket. Feeling slightly like an eavesdropper, I read the note; it was simply a list of chores in Bob’s nearly illegible scrawl:

1. Drop off movies
2. Buy herring
3. Call Tony E. about computer
4. Oil change

I drew a heart pierced by an arrow on the bright yellow note and stuck it to my refrigerator. He’d see it when he came for our weekly Pepper-Pepper evening later today (it was my turn to provide the pepperoni pizza and peppermint ice cream). With thoughts of Bob filling all of the empty spaces in my heart, I tidied the living room.

Several hours later, Bob arrived, looking even more flushed and anxious than usual. As he kissed my cheek, I saw his eyes flick over to the colorful note on the fridge. Strangely, he started, then smacked his forehead, looking stricken. “Oh, no! Sophie, I’m so sorry! I wanted it to be a surprise! Now it’s all spoiled!” He tore the note from the door.

Puzzled, I mentally reviewed the contents of the list. What was he going to surprise me with? Fish?

“Bob, I don’t…”

He interrupted me by taking my hand and dropping to one knee. My heart lurched—then he upset Bad Kitty’s bowl. I watched, my pulse pounding, as he tried ineffectively to pick up every morsel. After a few moments, he gave up, straightened, and knelt amidst the remaining kibble. He fumbled in his pocket and produced a little square box.

“If you saw that list, you know that I bought you a ring yesterday. Sophie, I wanted to surprise you, but—will you be my wife?”

I was still trying to wrap my mind around this, when I burst out laughing—not, I think, the reaction that Bob had expected. Not “buy herring!” Buy her ring!

What a huge, marvelous difference one little space makes!

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This article has been read 2965 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sally Hanan01/31/06
Haha, cute ending.
Stevie McHugh01/31/06
A well-written, fun story -- and a wonderfully creative concept.
Jessica Schmit01/31/06
I really enjoyed this. I loved how it kept my attention throughout. You didn't use excess words, but still wrote beautifully for the genre of story written. Gret ending! good job.
Lynda Schultz 02/02/06
This is priceless—and wonderfully written to boot! Blessings on you.
Corinne Smelker 02/02/06
One space makes all the difference - well done - too funny!
Pat Guy 02/02/06
Okay! Why didn't I see that coming! Great stuff! This was really a good and fun read! Marvelous!
Lynda Lee Schab 02/02/06
Well written, as always. Clever story, great surprise at the end. Left me with a smile...
Blessings, Lynda
Shari Armstrong 02/02/06
What a wonderful story!!!! That's great! :) I loved it.
Cheryl Harrison02/02/06
How sweet! Very creative. I love the name of your kitty...bad kitty was probably hoping it was herring that he was buying...hehe. Loved it.
Linda Watson Owen02/03/06
Oh, I agree! How priceless! I love this wonderful story! You're a real storyteller, had me hanging on every word! A real gem!! (Pardon the very apt pun! :)
Garnet Miller 02/03/06
How creative! I like this article. Pretty soon, Bad Kitty will have another stomach to paw at in the mornings!!!:)
T. F. Chezum02/03/06
Funny story. Well done.
Maxx .02/04/06
First ... get a clue, woman. He would have asked you 6 months ago except you take a cat to bed! ;-) lol!

I was wondering where space would come in and you played it perfectly at the end. Great work that. The writing was well paced and smooth.
janet rubin02/04/06
Awwww. Very sweet and creative. Good job.
Shannon Redmon02/06/06
I loved this! Congrats!
Cassie Memmer02/06/06
LOL! You got me! I didn't catch 'the herring' and wondered how you were going to get the job done in so few words. You did good! I loved it. Oh, CONGRATULATIONS!
Anita Neuman02/06/06
Too funny!!! Congratulations on a GREAT job!
Linda Germain 02/06/06
Excellent! Very clever. Congratulations. :0)
Marilyn Schnepp 02/06/06
Congratulations on your 2nd place win! I was going to say something about your cat "peeping" instead of "meowing"...but best leave well enough alone! Who would mess with a Masterpiece? Nicely done!
Crista Darr02/06/06
Bravo! Fun, creative, and written with excellence. Congratulations, Jan.
James Clem 02/06/06
Congrats Jan! This was fun. Especially pleased to see one of the great comment-leavers get a barrel full back.
Deborah Hale02/06/06
Oh, that is just so cute! Loved it!
Virginia Gorg02/06/06
Love the way he wrote "buy herring." Very well done!
Teri Wilson02/06/06
I loved this story! It was my favorite if the whole week. Exceptionally creative. Congrats!
Val Clark02/06/06
Left me smiling. A truly wonderful funny story, masterfully written kept me going till the very last word. Loved your character. A well deserved second place. Yeggy
Debbie OConnor02/07/06
Great fun! I love this little, lighthearted story. Congratulations on a well-deserved win! :) LOVE Bad Kitty!
Suzanne R02/07/06
This is just gorgeous! Space in heart / space in the word ... I too didn't see it coming until the end ... thought the filling of spaces in hearts was slightly forced, but of course, that was only a red herring to stop us looking for the REAL space! Well done! And congratulations on your win - well deserved!
B Brenton02/07/06
Love it! A sure winner Jan! :D Too cute for words!
Joanne Malley02/07/06
Smooth writing without the excess! Your story line is priceless as someone said before and I was very entertained! Great job! Jo
Valora Otis02/07/06
What a blessing to have read this! Bravo!
Grace Sempa02/07/06
Congratulations on your win.And thank you for the comments, critiques and advise you give on Faithwriters,You are a Blessing.
Julianne Jones02/07/06
Ditto to all of the above. This was wonderful and creative and definitely a masterpiece. Congrats on your well-deserved (very well-deserved) win!
Jan Kamp02/08/06
What a cute story. Light, fun, enjoyable and with a happy ending. Love it!
Sara Harricharan 12/21/07
LOL! This is just too funny! I really enjoyed the happy ending with the twist on 'herring'. Heehee. The cat was my favorite though. ^_^
Debbie Wistrom12/21/07
Loved every bit of this, nice to have it out on the web in another site! Happy Christmas.
Bonnie Bowden 10/20/15
Bad Kitty is so similar to my cat, she meows until she is fed. It is funny how someone's life can be changed by one space on a sticky note.

I'm glad FaithWriters has chosen to post the top 400 entries, so I have the change to go back and read them.