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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Love (04/27/06)

TITLE: No Love Lost, For Phyllis


Lucy loved just about everything. She loved her parents, her two sisters and brother, her husband Joe, delicious food, going to church—well I think you know what I mean…

Lucy was feeling especially great today, for it was her birthday and Joe was having a birthday celebration for her.

But, there was one thing that Lucy didn’t love and that was her neighbor, Phyllis. Actually, she loathed her and the loathing came from something so silly, so ordinary that it would seem peculiar to many why she developed such a distaste for the woman. But, there was no denying it; loathing Phyllis took up much of Lucy’s time..

While preparing for the birthday party, Lucy began thinking back on when her dark feelings for Phyllis began. She remembered an incident that happened around Christmastime, two years ago. She and Phyllis always exchanged gifts and Lucy once again looked forward to the exchange.

As always, Lucy marched over to Phyllis’s house two days before Christmas and gave the treasured gift to her friend. But that year, Phyllis didn’t give her a gift and never said why..

That’s when the loathing began….Thereafter, the relationship was never the same. Oh, there were outings and phone calls and such but the friendship was never quite the same….

Then, she remembered another time two months ago when they both decided on a trip to a nearby mall. They were to meet at one o’clock in the main mall area. Lucy waited and waited…Two o’clock came, then three—and still no Phyllis. Once again, no explanation, no “I’m so sorry. Something came up.” Absolutely, nothing!

The resentment inside of Lucy was strong but still she wanted and needed Phyllis’s friendship.

Well, Phyllis had said earlier that she would be at the birthday party and Lucy was hoping that this time her friend would keep her word. Whatever happened at the party, she thought, would “tell the tale” for her friend. If Phyllis didn’t turn up, that would be it!

Everyone showed at the party—friends, family and fellow co-workers…Everyone that is, except for Phyllis..

Well, that was the straw that broke the camel’s back! Lucy made her excuses, left in a huff and decided to do some serious “pay back.”

It was dark when she began hatching her plan. (Lucy knew of a contest Phyllis entered months ago; and decided to use the contest as a way to get even with her friend.)

She called Phyllis on the phone, covering the “voice piece” with a cloth. She tried this affect once before with a disgruntled neighbor and it worked. She would use it again, tonight..

“Hello, Phyllis? This is Wanda Windstrom from Prize Headquarters in Illinois. I have some good news for you!”

Phyllis was excited. Her breathing was excited and sporadic. “Yes? Oh please, what is the news?”

“Phyllis, you have just won “$2,000 dollars in our “Bake a Quick Meal Contest!”

“Wonderful! When can I expect the check?”

“We will be hand delivering your check tomorrow, around 11 in the morning. Is that O.K. with you?”

“Perfect! I’ll be right here!”

Well, tomorrow at 11 came and went and still no check, and no one from “Bake a Quick Meal,” came to her door. The only one who was at her doorstop two hours late—around 1 that afternoon was Lucy, with a big smile on her face and an envelope, filled with fake money from a friendly Monopoly game.

It was payback time and Lucy felt great!

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Member Comments
Member Date
david grant05/06/06
This would be a great story if the subject was "loathing."
Feels like it needs a few more paragraphs to settle things.
Helen Paynter05/07/06
Hmmm...uncomfortable story - not quite sure what it was saying to me. Not that every story has to have a moral, but every story does have a message, and I'm not quite sure I agree with the message of this one. Well written, though.
Virginia Gorg05/08/06
"Lucy marched over to Phyllis’s house two days before" makes it sound as if Lucy was planning something even before anything happened. I'm not sure what the message is, though. I just feel like something is missing. I see potential in this.
darlene hight05/08/06
Nicely written but it is lacking in message. However, your talent as a writer is evident.
darlene hight05/08/06
Nicely written but it is lacking in message. However, your talent as a writer is evident.
Marilyn Schnepp 05/10/06
....and the moral of the story is... the writing is very good, I just didn't get into the "pay back" bit, I guess. Thanks for sharing, however.