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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Great (07/06/06)

TITLE: A Time to Shine
By Lynda Lee Schab


There had been a few great moments in Ted’s life but none that topped this one. He’d worked his tail off for this day and it was finally here. All of his hard labor and butt-kissing had paid off. And the best part was he’d done it on his own, with no help from anyone. The only person he had to thank for his achieved greatness was himself.

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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This article has been read 1469 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sylvia L. Green07/15/06
You really made quite an impression on me with this story. You developed the setting and character well. You used good descriptive imagery. Your ending was powerful and very effective in developing the theme. I think this is a finely written piece.
Melanie Kerr 07/15/06
A haughty spirit comes before a fall perhaps? I felt his girlfriend’s desperation and his embarrassment when he realized the cat was out of the bag so to speak!
Rita Garcia07/17/06
Delightful! As always your writing is superb!!
Brenda Craig07/17/06
An absolute delight. Excellent and very real. Great writing.
Jan Ackerson 07/17/06
I love it! I used underwear as a kicker for my story, too, but yours is just ever so much more effective! One of the best applications of Scripture that I've read.
Donna Haug07/17/06
Ha! WAY too much pride happening there! I thought he'd be standing there with NO pants (or trousers for those who prefer that term). You know - that dream of showing up at school... served him right!
Pat Guy 07/17/06
Perfect! I didn't read this one. (been tooooo busy) but if I had - I would have KNOWN it was yours. The gross stuff gives it away dear Lynda!

And as always - perfectly delightful in every way! *chuckle, chuckle* Don't we wish this would REALLY happen to them all? ;)
Ann Grover07/18/06
Tooooo funny! He had it coming! A very fun read!
Dan Blankenship 07/18/06
Very cute. I think this happened to me in high school a few times. Grrr...

Helen Paynter07/18/06
Excellent. I say it coming, but I still laughed out loud. And a brilliant ending. A big truth told with a light touch. Well done.
Joanne Sher 07/18/06
Wonderful! You captured each character's feelings (even the minor ones) just right! Wonderful lesson, well woven in. I truly enjoyed this!
Suzanne R07/19/06
I would have picked the author right away had I read this before the hints page - your fun-loving style of writing shines right through, Lynda! Fun! I love it!
T. F. Chezum07/19/06
Funny. I really enjoyed this one. Great job.
Trina Courtenay07/20/06
One of my favorites!
Congrats on your win Lynda!
Rita Garcia07/20/06
Lynda, Congratulations on your EC win!
Julianne Jones07/21/06
Had a chuckle when I read this one. Congrats on your EC win.