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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Graduation (08/30/04)

TITLE: The Trial Graduation
By John Hunt


The endless stream of cars glimmered in the evening sun as they bottlenecked onto the entrance ramp. Anxious and irritated, Bill spewed a fountain of obscenities that hung over the traffic like a gray smog.

“I can’t believe I’m doing this!” he shouted as he glanced in the rear view mirror toward the back seat. “You know I never liked you. From the moment you were born, I never liked you.”

Sandy was sitting quietly, unassumingly gazing out the car window.

Bill knew that Sandy probably didn’t understand him, nevertheless he still regretted the words from the moment they left his mouth. You see, when Sandy was born, her genes were drastically askew from that of her parents. Because of this distinction, she would forever be incapable of developing to the same cognitive or physical level as they; there were many things that she simply would never be able to do. Really, Bill considered it a miracle that she was even graduating.

As traffic finally thinned and his vehicle began to crawl onto the expressway, Bill glanced to his right at the passenger seat. Lying colorfully wrapped and neatly tied with a pink bow, was the graduation present. Next to it was a bouquet of assorted congratulatory balloons. Rolling his eyes, Bill silently chided himself for giving in to his persistent wife, grumbling again about having to leave work early and purchase the gifts.

Sandy seemed oblivious to it all. The road wind whipped through her blonde hair as the vehicle entered the expressway and picked up speed. She seemed to be thinking about all of her experiences at school – her good days and her bad, her difficulties and her successes. Perhaps she remembered the time she bit the teacher on the arm, or the many times she had barked insolent replies without any regards for the consequences. Those days were all behind her now; she had come a long way. Finally, her day had arrived.
Despite their initial brush with traffic, Bill and Sandy arrived at the school with time to spare. Bill’s wife, Claire was standing in the parking lot with her arms folded, anxious for their arrival.

“Did you get the gift?” she interrogated.

“Yes, dear.”

“And the balloons?”

“Of course.”

Claire smiled and grabbed Bill’s arm as they walked toward the makeshift grandstand while Sandy hobbled along beside them.

“You’re such a wonderful dad.”

Bill was not warming up. “You know, Claire; this really is quite ridiculous.”

“But Bill,” she said, pausing as she lightly tapped his arm. “You know how important this is to Sandy.”

“She’s a dog, Claire! It’s an obedience school graduation for goodness sakes!”

Claire affectionately rested her head on Bill’s shoulder. “Now Bill, someday we’ll have children, you know. Consider this a trial run.”

“Oh, it’s a trial, all right!” he thought to himself. “And I have to say, 'I object!'”

Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 09/07/04
Oh my gosh - ROFL - I totally didn't see that coming! That was great - I love surprise endings!
Awesome entry!
Joanne Malley09/07/04
Funny, funny, funny! Love the creativeness and the surprise!
Teresa Lee Rainey09/07/04
John, You had me going there too. I was all set to really, really not like this Bill character and then all of a sudden it hits me - It's a dog! That was a fun read. Thanks.
darlene hight09/07/04
What fun! You old meany she does too understand!
Rene Uys09/07/04
Sneaky and creative. You have my vote! Enjoyed reading it.
Rose Gingerich09/07/04
LOL! This story had me ready to punch Bill for his insensitivity, till I got to the end and then I laughed. Good one!
Blessings, Rose
L.M. Lee09/08/04
well you certainly took my emotions all over the place with this piece! good job!
Corinne Smelker 09/08/04
NO FAIR - I cry foul! I was ready to get into the computer and beat this guy up, and then you take the wind of out my sails!

Excellent out of the box thinking!
Jennifer Deibel09/08/04
Wow! Incredible! I, too, was sucked in!! At first I thought, "I bet its a dog or something" but then, your descriptions made me change my thinking. I loved your descriptions, I especially liked the bit about the profanity hanging over the traffic, very visual!! You have my vote!!
B Price09/08/04
Cute... CUTE.... a loved the twist to it...
Phyllis Inniss09/08/04
This is so, so very good, so creative and so humourous to the end. I certainly wasn't expecting this.
Linda Germain 09/08/04
What is more wonderful than a CHRISTIAN man who is funny? This was terrifc!! It reminded me of the first day my Lucy Dog was in obedience school. 15 other dogs and owners were lined up facing the instructor. Miss Lucy turned around and was perfectly happy facing the wall. Things have gone downhill ever since. (Well, she IS a G.Retr.) Looking forward to reading more by John Hunt. God Bless.
addie mattern09/09/04
John, you write so well! The ending definately shocked me! I went back and reread the beginning, and found that you had left little clues that didn't contradict the end. Very clever article!
Zillah Williams09/09/04
What a clever idea!!!
Lucian Thompson09/10/04
WILD! That was fun! You go, John! You da man!
Margaret Reed09/10/04
Cute twist.