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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Inner Strength (04/20/06)

TITLE: The Feminine Slingshot
By Jessica Schmit
04/21/06


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“Remember to take your crafts home everyone!” Miss Graham, the grade one and two Sunday school teacher, called out to the crowd of excited children running towards the stream of parents coming through the bright blue door.

Matthew and Jordan Smith, “the terrible twins” as they were most commonly known, weren’t among the excited group. They walked somberly to the door and waited for their mother. A poorly constructed popsicle slingshot dangled in their hands.

“How was Sunday school?” Jan Smith asked after she managed to maneuver her way through the mob of children to her sons.

Matthew looked up at his mom with terror in his eyes, eyebrows furrowed. “I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Just take us home.” Jordan echoed.

Oh great, what did they do now. Nothing could be worse than when they decided to glue Martha’s dress to her chair. Or the time Jordan was asked to play Jesus in the Sunday school Christmas play and he came out naked. I remembering him screaming to the teachers escorting him off stage, “I wanted to be exactly like Jesus.”

“Boys,” Jan sighed, “What did you do?”

Two sets of beautiful blue eyes peered up, shocked at such an accusation.

“Mom, we didn’t do anything... We don’t want to talk about it. Can we go home pleeease?”

Jan grabbed the twins Spiderman coats hanging on the coat rack and marched her two sons to the car. By the time they arrived, the entire trio was angry.

“Boys. If I get a call from a parent telling me that one of you…”

“Mom, you have to believe us! We didn’t do anything wrong! “

“Jordan’s right mom.”

Jan let out an exasperated sigh. She glanced in her rear view mirror as she backed out of the church parking lot.

Minutes later they were home.

As the miserable family walked into the house, Jan caught a glimpse of the weapons they were trying to conceal under their shirts.

“Halt! What are you hiding?”

The boys, embarrassed, showed their mom their popsicle slingshot.

“What were you doing with this at Sunday school?”

“Mom, we made it in Sunday school. We learned about David and Goliath.”

“It should really be called Davita and Goliath.” Jordan muttered. Matthew smirked.

“What is that supposed to mean?” Jan replied. A look of confusion spreading across her face.

No answer.

Both boys turned and began walking slowly up the stairs to the bedroom they shared.

The door slammed shut.

What on earth is wrong with those two. Maybe I should phone their teacher. Well, I could always…

Before Jan could finish her thought, the boy’s door opened and out flew Jr. Asparagus.

The door slammed shut again.

Now Jan was thoroughly confused. She walked up the stairs, grabbed the stuffed toy and gently knocked on the door.

“Boys, can I come in.”

“I guess so.” Came the muffled responses.

Jan opened the door and stepped inside. Both boys were sitting on the bed. The Bible was opened to Genesis. They had their eyes glued to the pages.

“What are you boys reading?”

“We’re trying to find the story of Daniel, you know, from the Lion’s Den. We want to see if he was a girl.”

Jan tried to muffle her giggle.

“Boys. Daniel was a man. You know that.”

Jordan looked up, his chin quivering, “You also told us that David was a boy, but that was a lie!”

Jan looked at her boys. Both had their arms crossed and were giving her the evil eye. She had no idea how to respond to this accusation.

“Boys, David was a boy. He was never a girl. What makes you think that David was a girl?”

“Miss Graham told us today that David was a girl.” Matthew replied confidently.

“Are you sure she said that?” Jan inquired.

“Yep. She said that David had incredible strength. She said God gave David the muscle strength to beat up those bears and it was in her strength that made David a great King. She said her strength! Her meaning David! That’s why we hate Jr. Asparagus. Jr. played “Dave” in that VeggieTales movie about David and Goliath. Why would anyone want to play a girl? That’s gross.”

Jan looked at Matthew and then at Jordan. Why on earth…In her strength, in…inner strength!

A smile crossed Jan’s face.

“Boys, you know when I’ve talked to you about the importance of listening carefully?”


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This article has been read 1254 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Marilyn Schnepp 04/27/06
Cute story...AND right on topic! Smile!
Teri Wilson04/27/06
This was great. I loved this twist. You have a few sentences that are really questions and should have question marks - just be careful with punctuation. Good job.
Helen Paynter04/27/06
This is really funny - I absolutely loved it. I think your first paragraph is a little convoluted, and the odd tiny punctuation slip...but fantastic!
Kenny Blade04/27/06
Excellent! I am very impressed with your ability to describe minutia in the story so we feel "front row" while reading it. The thing that makes it impressive is that you never bore or slow down your reader while doing so. Good idea. Good pacing. Good visual. Great piece!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz04/27/06
What a cute ending. This was a good twist on this week's topic.
Jan Ackerson 04/28/06
This was adorable, and utterly charming. What a fun twist on the topic! I thought the boys sounded a bit older than 1st or 2nd graders, but that's a very minor quibble. Your creativity, and the mother's exasperation, were both abundantly evident.
Jean Elizabeth 04/30/06
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. Your characters are very believable and well developed. One minor point: when the twins first come out of class the slingshot is dangling from their hands, then as they go to the car it's hidden in their shirts. It confused me a little - I would expect the mother to have seen it right away. Not a big deal - the story is wonderful and very well written.
Pat Guy 05/01/06
*chuckle, chuckle* Of course something like this could happen! So perfect! And so enjoyable!
Jesus Puppy 05/01/06
And I thought typos could be bad.... should listen more... well done.. except for the "I remembering him scream"
Anita Neuman05/01/06
What a cute story! I can really see this happening (the twin boys in my daughter's SS class help ;-) )

So, you've developed your characters, you've placed us in the scene, you've given good flow to the piece - my critique is that the point of view isn't quite specific enough. You seemed to start in Miss Graham's POV, and then shifted to the mom's.

Love the fun, creative take on the topic!
Rita Garcia05/01/06
Adorable story! Well written!
Debbie OConnor05/02/06
Great fun here. The line about one of the boys coming out naked when he played Jesus had me laughing out loud. The end was great, kids do misunderstand us big people that way sometimes. Well done.
Maxx .05/03/06
Nice cute believable. I agree with all those. I think this is a real winner ... but is perhaps one rewrite short of being a homerun. A few places where words could be snipped (like looking in her rearview mirror) to refine the story down. Other than that,you have the rest of the elements nailed. Great job!
James Clem 05/04/06
Congrats Jess! Welcome to Level 4!
Jessica Schmit05/04/06
I just wanted to thank all of you for your incredibly kind words and helpful hints. I appreciate them so much! And to the judges.....You guys rock! Thanks for all your hard work and for giving me this honor. I'm very excited!