Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: ROAD TRIP (vacation) (07/02/15)
TITLE: Punch Buggy No Paybacks
By Catrina Bradley
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"Punch-buggy no paybacks!"
I fake-glare at a giggling Ruthie and rub my arm. "No fair! I was writing! I wasn't ready."
"That was your first mistake, Aunt Sara. You should always be ready."
"Gotcha. Thanks. I'll make a note of that." I turn to a new page in my journal, and over-enunciate the words as I carefully pen: "Lesson one when traveling with pre-teens: Always be ready."
Ruthie is scanning the street, already on the lookout for the next Volkswagen Beetle. "Don't forget, Aunt Sara, on the ride home, I'll be a TEENager. And I decided want to be called 'Ruth' instead of 'Ruthie'"
"How could I possibly forget your birthday? You've only texted me about it me every day for about a million days. But "Ruth" is new. I like it - it suits you now. Don't get mad if I slip up a lot at first. You've always been my "Ruthie."
The blow comes from my left this time.
"Punch buggy!" Little Leslie must have looked up from her book long enough to take a turn.
Ruthie (I mean RUTH) leans across me to high five her sister and both erupt into giggles. I'm beginning to regret my seating choice, and the day's only just begun. At least they aren't punching each other, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of those girly giggles. But, like I said, the day's only just begun.
"Hey, you know who invented Punch-Buggy No Paybacks?" I ask. "None other than Jesus."
Ruth turns her attention away from her bug hunt long enough to roll her eyes. "Yeah right. Whatever."
"No, seriously, he did!"
"How? Like, Jesus didn't even live when there were cars. There's no way he invented Punch-buggy."
"Punch-buggy! Gotcha!" I might have giggled like a girl myself. "Yep, He did. Well, at least the 'no paybacks' part. He said if someone punched you in the face, instead of paying him back, you should turn your head and let him punch the other cheek too."
"What?! I would never do that. That's stupid. Why would He say that?"
"Because Jesus was all about love. If you hit someone back, you're showing them hate. If you forgive them and don't fight back, you're showing them love. Same with words. Words can hurt you just as bad as punching. When someone says something hateful, it doesn't do any good to say something hateful back. 'If you can't say something nice, don't say nothin' at all.'"
"Did Jesus say that too?"
"No, Thumper did, in Bambi. Punch buggy!"
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