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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Abundance (06/08/06)

TITLE: The Reunion of Misplaced Love
By terri tiffany


“Are you ready to go home yet, Vick?” Dick sucked on his straw and pointed to his watch in the dim of the band’s lights. “You’ve seen everyone you wanted to.” His bleating tone grated on her thoughts.

Her old boyfriend was across the room ladling the punch bowl for the fourth time. She knew because she had counted. Unfortunately, a tall blonde was leaning into his side wearing the dress Vicki had passed by at Sears because of sticker shock. She wished now she could have charged it.

He still had all his hair. A shiny black mass, making her wonder if he ever stopped using the stuff that must have taken two washings to rinse out after one of their dates. At least he no longer wore the black frame glasses held together with white adhesive tape. He hadn’t even gained the twenty pounds a man his age usually carried around like a three month old baby. She winced when she noticed him wipe his hand on his pant leg.

“Not yet, Dick. I’ll tell you when.” She twisted in her satin covered chair. “I need to see someone else. Stay here.” Without waiting for a response, Vicki lifted the linen tablecloth and squeezed past reuniting classmates at the neighboring table.

“Vicki, how are you, girl?” Claw-like fingers hooked into her right elbow. She remembered that grip. It would take forever to shake it off and she didn’t have that much time.

“Tina, how are you? Rita told me about your unfortunate divorce. Sorry it worked out that way.” Tina loosened her grip and caught her balance on a center post. Tipping her goblet, she drained the amber liquid.

“Haven’t changed, have you, Vicki?” Vicki shot her a measured smile and continued her progress across the room. His six foot four frame was now leaning against the back wall under the Exit sign. Three other classmates of ‘72 surrounded him. People had always surrounded him - they couldn’t seem to get enough of him.

She skirted the dance floor with a backward glance at Dick. His straw was almost completely chewed in half and she knew he would be more comfortable at home in his recliner in front of his wide screened TV than here. She turned her attention back to her lost love.

She watched him wipe his hand on his pant leg again. Two more ample bellied classmates sidled up to him. Their roars could be heard over the band’s pitiful rendition of seventies music. She willed him to look at her. It would be easier that way.

He granted her wish and locked his baby brown eyes on her own. She was transported back to his locker when his final words had tumbled to the gum spattered linoleum floor beneath her feet. In her nervous haze, she watched as he leaned in to the blonde and whispered. His attention then reverted to her, along with his stride, as he closed the remaining ten feet between them.

“Vicki.” She’d waited thirty years to hear her name spoken from his lips. Now she could barely hear it over the beating of her heart. She hoped he didn’t notice the slight tremor in her arms as she reached toward his neck for the embrace she had dreamed about for just as long.

His right hand crept to his pant leg. She wanted to shout “don’t” but it was too late. Her arms froze in space as she watched him carefully wipe his hand and then stretch it towards her own. “Vicki, I was hoping to speak with you tonight. Can I introduce you to my wife?” It was then she noticed his wedding band. But it wasn’t only his jewelry that sparkled - it was the glint centered in his clear eyes. He motioned his wife over. “Cindy and I met on a mission’s trip when we were in college. I pastor a church out in California now. How has your life been?”

A handshake. The remnants of her twelfth grade dreams evaporated as she settled her hand in his - a grip that was as firm as ever. He used to call it ‘reaching out for Jesus’. Vicki remembered pushing the offer away thirty years ago convinced Jesus would never be enough for the kind of life she dreamed to have.

“Please, I’d rather hear more about what you do.” Vicki returned his grasp.

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This article has been read 1111 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Stefanie Noonan06/16/06
I like your very real characters. Your wording choices painted them so clearly I felt transported. It kept me wondering how it would end. Now I know why I've avoided the 'ole highschool reunion thing. Good job. Keep wriing.
Phyllis Inniss06/20/06
What a great writer you are. Your characterization and setting are so vivid that I could see the whole scene before me and wondered how it would end. Good job.
Jan Ross06/20/06
I agree ... what a wonderful writer. You're gifted with conversation and painting realistic pictures with words. Great work!
Helen Paynter06/20/06
Good story with an unexpected twist. My only comment is that I missed 'abundance' - probably just being obtuse. Good descriptions really brought this to life.
Pat Guy 06/20/06
This was really very, very good!

Good strong characters, voice and dialogue! A plus writing!
Brenda Craig06/20/06
Seems to me she missed out on the abundance of her present life, holding on to some illusion of the past. Wonderful lesson and excellent writing. Great Job!
Lisa Vest06/20/06
This is very excellent writing. There are so many good lines in this, I'd take up too much space to quote them all. You've done a great job of building up to their "contact" and showing the reader her what her expectations of that contact was going to be.
The ending was great...you wrapped it up quickly and said a whole lot with just a few words.
Sherry Wendling06/20/06
You really captured her transition from vanity to a tiny spark of spiritual awakening! Some excellent attention-grabbers here, like the hand wiped on the pants leg to illustrate his uneasiness in that setting. You may want to think about awarding each spoken part in your dialogue its own paragraph, just to make it easier for the reader to follow. Well done!
George Parler 06/20/06
Can't help but get caught up into the story. I sat at a nearby table and watched the whole thing. Very nice. Check please. :-)
Suzanne R06/21/06
I love the details - the half chewed straw, the four trips to the bunch bowl, the sweaty hands etc. Well done!
Sally Hanan06/21/06
I agree with the others - you did a great job with this. I think it will near the top of the list because of the fact that you took us there, you made it so real, and you reminded us all of situations we have been in in the past where our expectations ran high for foolish reasons.
Jan Ackerson 06/21/06
You did a great job of putting us under this character's skin. My only quibble was with the "Sears" paragraph, as Sears isn't known for its fine merchandise...I really liked the twist at the end, and your knack for "showing, not telling."
dub W06/21/06
Realistic and empathetic, great dialogue work, I hope this does well.
Dr. Sharon Schuetz06/21/06
This was very well done. I could feel the emotion. Your characters were great. Good job.
Trina Courtenay06/21/06
I'm with George! I love it when I am able to read a story that plays like a movie in my mind.

Once again great job!

Sandra Petersen 06/21/06
I loved this look at class reunions and old dreams, partly because I chose not to go to my 30th anniversary class reunion. I did, however, have a hard time relating this to the topic. Nevertheless, you told a wonderful story!

Your character development in 750 words was good, even with the minor characters like Tina and Dick. Thanks for sharing!