Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)
TITLE: The Squawking Fish Who Liked Spam
By Pat Guy
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Lizzy walked by ‘The Room,’ looking away to avoid that which was demanding her attention. <I>No! Not now!</I> she groaned to the dust awaiting her in the bedroom where she was initially headed. <I>I WILL do this!</I>
The gentle hum followed her, embraced her, to lead her back to its abode.
A swish, swish here – a poke, poke there, and she was done with the orange feather duster. But that meant one more pass by … ‘The Room.’ <I>Hmmm … okay …no peeking! Out of sight, out of mind, right? Ha! Yeah, right. Get-a-grip Liz!</I>
She zipped by ‘The Room’ chiding herself for looking so ridiculous. ‘This would make a great sitcom.’ she grumbled as she swiped at the nervous sweat on her top lip, agitated. ‘Man! If they only knew! This is torture!'
She quickly walked outside to get some fresh air – to clear her brain of these tempting thoughts. <I>Water the plants. Yes! That’s a good idea!</I>
Lizzy’s hand trembled as she reached for the spicket. Her breath came in shallow puffs. She leaned into the warm, brick wall trying to ease the anxiety building up within her chest – the noon sun on her face. Breathe in … breathe out … in … out … easy and slow. <I>Wide open spaces, wide open spaces.</I>
‘I bet it’s been about ten minutes already … I can’t take this! I’ve got to know … now!’ She pushed off the wall – in a hurry.
Blinded by the blaze of high noon, (or was it the hope of glory) she nearly tripped over the hose and grabbed a hold of her beloved sundial. She caught it just in time before it smashed into the grungy metal table of red geraniums she picked up for $2.00 at a garage sale.
Reality slapped her in the face. Get-a-life Liz! You can’t live like this! You can’t let IT control YOU! Can you? Liz? Are you listening?
‘Oh yes I can!’ she snapped back at Reality as she ran into the house.
The gentle hum welcomed her back with opened arms – peace eased Lizzy’s mind. She relaxed into the seat of no return, content – joy tingling down to her fingertips. She stared at the computer screen, unsure, palms damp – she wiped them on her jeans.
One click away! Can she handle the disappointment … again? What will it be this time?
A deep cleansing breath reverberated through dry lips.
Click. Mailbox – 7, Spam Folder (10).
‘Ten? It can’t be! Ten? Wow! What if it’s just …?’
She can’t stop now! Eyes bulging, heart racing, she hesitated all of one second.
Spam Folder – click!
Rows and rows of, ‘Feedback@FaithWriters.com…Your article has been reviewed at FaithWriters.com.’
Gaping like a fish out of water, she squawked, ‘What … what … wait a minute …somethin weird’s going on … is it … <B>that</B> good?’
She had to know! Dare she dream?
Two quick clicks, then one more to enable links, and she was at her entry! And there they were! A seemingly endless row of yellow boxes! Woohoo!
Maxx, the first one! Wow! <I>Whoops,</I> she braced herself, <I>there’s no telling what <B>he</B> might say …</I>
Blinking away the blur of anticipation, she began to read, “Wow! Awesome! This entry is perfect, a joy to read in every way. No nit-picks on this one. What more can I say? Better than last year’s ‘Best of the Best’ in my book. (Maxx’s kiss of death can’t touch this one!)”
On and on she read – “Perfect! A Masterpiece! Awesome! A winner! A joy to read!”
All her friends and peers loved it! This was Happy Dance time for sure!
Her heart soared! Joy filled every tear that splonked onto the keyboard. She shook with wonder – soaking in each glorious comment.
Shaking … what was that? Her arm … someone pulling…
‘Mom! Mom! Wake up! I’m home. You’re mumblin’. Are you havin’ a bad dream or somethin’?’
Lizzy woke to a kid who had that look of hope in his eyes. He didn’t fool <B>her.</B> He was hoping she was through with the computer. <I>Fat chance on <B>that</B> one!</I> ‘Oh, hi Stephen.’ she stirred. ‘How’d school go today?’ she insincerely inquired, pushing herself off the daybed. ‘And no, not yet, there’s something I need to check.’
‘Yeah right, Mom, I know. Dream on why don’tcha?’
But it was too late, Mom had already taken the bait – Spam gleamed in her eyes.
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