Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Yellow (11/12/09)
TITLE: Things....In A Hotel Lobby
By Leah Nichols
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The murmur of a dozen voices dropped off as we turned our attention to the front of the room. I sat up straight and prepared to concentrate.
“Alright,” Leah began. “Things that are yellow. We have....'some autumn leaves,' 'creamed corn,' 'Gramma's homemade mac 'n' cheese,' 'movie popcorn with gobs of butter,' 'buttercups,' 'jaundiced babies,' - which is totally something I would say! - ” She paused as we laughed, then continued. “Moving on - 'a child who, when bored, found a bucket of yellow paint,' - ha! - 'we stopped thinking about such things when the colors quarter ended in December,' and, 'bananas without chocolate on them, which is totally crazy, because who would eat them without chocolate?' ”
As the hushed whispering among the teams began in earnest, I stole a glance around the room at my fellow writers, wondering which teams wrote the more detailed answers. This was my first writers' conference, and although I had never met anyone in person prior to today, I felt like I knew them already. Over the past several months, I had learned about their personalities through their writing, and now, here in the hotel lobby, I could see them fleshed out. From the moment Karlene picked me up from the airport that afternoon, I found every moment more fun than the one before.
Diana nudged me from the right. “Which one do you want to focus on?”
“The whole 'colors' one,” I whispered in response. “Sounds rather sarcastic, and I bet we can figure out who said it.”
Cat leaned in from the left. “Yeah, but there are at least three teams here with highly sarcastic people. It could be anyone.”
“Well, at least we don't start. Maybe we'll pick something else to guess after the other teams go,” I said.
Scott piped up from the other side of the room. “We're going with 'Gramma's homemade mac 'n' cheese' to the couch girls – and guy.”
Josh leaned forward on the couch. “So much for an alliance, huh?”
“Hey, man, you already broke the alliance on the last round,” Scott said, holding up his hands in defense.
“I had no choice!” Josh protested. “It was game point, and we had to win!”
As laughter rang around the room, I observed the joyful faces. The couch girls – and guy included best friends Laury and Mari, with Josh and his new bride Jamie. Across from us sat Scott, creator of Faithwriters, with highly talkative Shari and Amy, who refused to be on separate teams lest they defeat each other in the first guess. To the right of them sat bubbly Joanne, with Karlene and Allison and Ruth. To the left of my team was the infamous Jan, with Lisa and Beth and Tilman. And on it went, around the room – faces to put with names – Vonnie, Sunny, Carol, Sonya, Sara, Chely, Pat, Stephanie, Dee, David Ian, Cori, Patty, Lynda – even native Australian Chrissy and her husband, Norm, had flown all the way to a Detroit suburb for a weekend with friends.
Mari spoke for the couch. “No, 'Gramma's mac 'n' cheese' wasn't our answer. Sorry, Scott. Now we know we can get you when it's our turn.”
As the team protested loudly, the rest of the room laughed in response. I had never seen so much fun among such a random gathering of people. Truly, all we had in common was our writing, and our faith. I was amazed at how quickly everyone seemed like perfect friends, and even accepted me, the newbie.
“Nice!” Leah looked to Joanne's team. “You guys are up next. You need me to read them again?”
“No, we're good,” Joanne said. “The bananas in chocolate one – that's the couch girls – and guy.”
“HEY!” The chorus rang from the couch. Josh stood up this time. “That's it! You guys are all against us!”
Hysterical laughter echoed in the hotel lobby. Most of us had been up since early in the morning, and were well past bedtime. But no one wanted to miss this kind of fun, and bonding with fellow writers.
The couch girls – and guy – admitted their love for chocolate, and Joanne's team celebrated their correct guess. They huddled together, deciding their next guess, as everyone smiled for the cameras capturing the moment.
The game continued, and I sat back, reflecting on the topic. Things that are yellow....hmmm....how about JOY?
Author's Note: This is, of course, a shameless plug for the Faithwriters US Conference 2010.
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