Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)
TITLE: A Time to Shine
By Lynda Lee Schab
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Ted loved the attention. Microphones thrust in his face, screaming fans shoving paper, diaries, even underwear at him on which to sign his name. Items they’d likely be offered huge amounts of money for in online auctions.
It felt great to be famous.
Ted had become a household name almost overnight. His very first film had been a blockbuster and now he was about to step out in front of thousands of people for an entertainment press conference. His co-star, Angelica, was currently fielding questions that the public demanded to know. Questions like, “What was it like working with Ted Bradley, America’s hottest male star?”
Someone informed him he had five minutes. He hurried to the bathroom for one last mirror check. He quickly relieved himself, washed his hands and glanced at his reflection. Leaning in close to the mirror, he focused on his face, inspecting skin for blemishes, teeth for food, nose for mucus, hair for stray fuzzies or – gasp – dandruff.
Perfect, as usual.
Ted returned side stage where he waited for Angelica to finish up her interview. He had a good glimpse of the crowd and caught sight of his girlfriend, Cammi, sitting in the front row. Her red mini skirt showed off her gorgeous, tanned legs and once again, Ted felt a swell of pride. Dating beautiful women came along with celebrity status. In Ted’s opinion, it couldn’t get much better.
He caught Cammi’s eye and watched her blue eyes light up. She smiled seductively and Ted knew she felt important simply because she was dating a movie star. He stood a little taller and puffed out his newly chiseled chest.
“One more minute,” someone said from behind.
His gaze turned back toward Cammi. She was giving him a strange look, her eyes wide, as though trying to send him a message. He kissed the air and winked, assuming she needed reassurance that his eyes were only on her in this crowd filled with attractive women.
Cammi shook her head vigorously, a horrified look on her face.
What on earth was wrong with that woman? She was stressing him out.
Angelica was now walking off the opposite end of the stage. The crowd applauded enthusiastically.
“Okay, Ted. You’re on.” He felt a light shove from behind as he heard his name announced. He stepped from behind the curtain to blinding camera flashes and screaming girls held back by security. He maintained an easy smile as he stepped center stage.
He noticed Cammi making weird gestures with her hands, her eyebrows wildly raised. He deliberately looked away, avoiding eye contact. This was his time to shine and she was ruining his moment!
Ted scanned the crowd. Everyone was smiling, which didn’t surprise him. He smiled too when he looked at himself. But, as Ted looked around, it seemed as though people were chuckling.
Were they laughing at him?
Cammi was now slouched down in her seat, staring at the ground.
Ted was confused. He’d expected the questions to be flying by now but the only sound he could hear were camera’s clicking and people snickering. He felt his face grow hot.
What was going on?
“Ted! I have a question for you!” someone hollered from the back.
Finally! Ted smiled, puffed out his chest some more and grinned. “Go ahead,” he said smoothly, trying to appear unfazed by the crowd’s strange behavior.
“Boxers or briefs?”
Ted utilized his acting skills by breathing a fake laugh and plastering the smile on his face. Famous movie stars never revealed their discomfort. “What’s that?”
“I’m guessing boxers!” the man called. The crowd broke out in laughter.
This time, Ted couldn’t disguise his confusion. He looked helplessly at Cammi, who was now slowly shaking her head in obvious disdain.
“X-Y-Z-P-D-Q!” some woman shouted. The people roared.
The childhood phrase came back to him.
Examine your zipper pretty darn quick.
Ted looked down to his red and white striped boxers peeping through his open zipper. Horrified, he yanked it up and bolted off the stage toward the bathroom.
He didn’t feel so great.
“But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall…” 2 Chronicles 26:16a (NLT)
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