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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Insulted (11/01/04)

TITLE: And Eve Thought She Had Problems
By Deborah Anderson
11/07/04

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It was a Sunday afternoon. I was driving to pick up my 85-year-old mother. She lives with my husband and me, but had gone to spend the weekend with my brother, Mike. She stated her reason for doing this was
“to give me a break.” I nearly got broken all right.

When I arrived at Mike’s place, the front door was wide open. There was no screen door attached, so anything could venture inside. I informed him rodents would see this as a welcome mat to come in and visit. Mike is forty-seven years old, so he nodded and grumbled something. It was his objection to my correction. I told him I loved him before driving away.

Mom and I arrived back at my house shortly thereafter. I entered, carrying two bags on each arm. I trudged through the foyer and down the hallway juggling them. I was thanking God under my breath for making me a strong woman, while trying not to get cranky. I put the bags down, and helped Mom to her room so she could unpack.

I proceeded back down the hallway and into the foyer. As I was walking, I stepped on something with my right foot and nearly twisted my ankle. I turned, thinking I had dropped something from one of Mom’s bags. I erred in my assumption. I hadn’t dropped anything. Something had crawled out of one of her bags. Lying before me, writhing on my hardwood floor, was a long, slimy, gray snake.

I don’t know if you’ve ever heard a “whisper-scream” before, but I produced one quite effectively in that moment. You know the type. The kind you try to bellow out in your dreams when something’s chasing you. Your mouth opens, yet nothing escapes but a squeak followed by a gasp of air.

I didn’t want Mom to see this, and have a stroke. I thought I was going to have a stroke. I hated snakes. I also had five cats, and didn’t want them bitten. I tried stomping on the snake with my foot. It still moved. I decided to go and get my husband.

I ran breathless into the kitchen where my husband, Tom was. We have a small television on the countertop, and he was entranced in a program.

“Homer…here…now!” I said. Homer was his nickname.
“What is it honey?” he asked. God was with me, because he looked up from the television to begin with. That usually didn’t happen, so I knew help was on the way.
“S-n-a-k-e,” I said pointing my finger towards the foyer. I even pointed my leg the same direction. What pointing my leg was going to accomplish, I didn’t know, but I did it anyway.
“Yeah right,” he said grinning, and went back to watching television.

I couldn’t believe his response. I was insulted. After 23 years of marriage, you would think this man could have seen the terror on my face, and taken me seriously.

“Tom, I’m not kidding,” I said a bit louder. “I just stepped on it.”
“Honey, there’s no snake in the foyer,” he replied.
I was now beyond insulted. I was mad. The same leg I had pointed with earlier was now stomping in unison with my voice.
“Thomas Alvin Bernard, I’m telling you, there’s a snake in the foyer!”
I had addressed him by his full birth name at the top of my lungs, so he knew I was serious. He got up, walked into the foyer, and looked at the floor.

“Oh wow, a snake,” he said.
“I told you!” I yelled. He began laughing. “What’s so funny?” I asked.
“Honey, this thing is practically dead already.”
“What?”
“You’re big feet must have killed it,” he said. I wasn’t laughing.

He bent down and picked the snake up. It was no longer writhing as it had before. I felt bad. I guess my big feet had killed it, just like he said. Even though I didn’t like snakes, I would never deliberately kill one.

He tossed the snake outside. I still shuttered at the thought of the snake slithering under my foot. Mom later came out of her room. I was thankful she was hard of hearing.

“Honey, did you enjoy your break?”
“Yeah Mom, I sure did,” I said.

Mom didn’t have a stroke, and my cats didn’t get bit, but I was still insulted. I would deal with my husband later. But first…I had a phone call to make.

“Hello?”

“Mike?”


Member Comments
Member Date
Lois Jennison Tribble11/08/04
This is a very fun piece, Deborah. Extremely realistic -- it reminded me of a few of my own snake encounters. I love your subtle interaction with Mike throughout. Great ending.
DeAnna Brooks11/08/04
This is terrific....I'm all too familiar with those breatheless screams. Sorry, I laughed. Hope your not insulted!!!
Corinne Smelker11/08/04
LOL - Loved the title, and the story didn't disappoint either! Why is it husbands won't believe us when there is an emergency. "Honey, I'm going into labour."
"No you're not."
"Really."
"No way!"...
Betty Shattuck11/08/04
Good story but where was the insult? Or was it implied when she called her brother to complain about the snake? I enjoyed it despite not being about the topic nor did the story have a spiritual lesson.
Karri Compton11/08/04
This is such a great story! Very funny. The only confusion I experienced was with the sentence: "Mike is forty-seven years old, so he nodded and grumbled something." The two parts of this sentence are unrelated (so far as I can tell) and should be separate. Otherwise, fantastic writing.
Lynda Lee Schab 11/08/04
Deborah,
I loved this! Great story-telling laced with humor - although the snake incident was not humorous at the time, you can laugh about it now! (right?)
My husband also has a hard time believing me when I tell him there is a huge spider on the wall. Of course, "huge spider" to him is a tarantula. To me, it's a baby daddy-long-leg (LOL).
Great entry, Deborah! I always enjoy reading your work.
Blessings, Lynda
Lucian Thompson11/08/04
Oh girl, you are so hilarious! This article was so much fun. I can just see the leg pointing toward the snake, perhaps doing a little trembling or twitching. LOL, I hate snakes, also. The only good snake is a dead snake! ROFL
John Hunt11/08/04
I enjoyed this article, from the title to the very end.
Very nicely done.
BTW, great nickname (Homer). Doh!
darlene hight11/09/04
Hysterical! Loved the God was with me he looked up from the TV.
Melanie Kerr 11/09/04
That was incredibly funny! Oh I have just seen the connection with the title - really witty! I loved the dialogue.
Robert Drury11/09/04
Loved the story! The second sentence of your introductory paragraph was a hilarious attention grabber. I also loved "whisper scream" ... Great wordsmithing. I wondered how often God wants my attention when I am watching TV or some other form of entertainment(Idolatry?)

Rita Garcia11/09/04
Deborah, Great Entry! Attention grabing and entertaining, like the ending. Blessings, Rita
Karen O'Leary11/09/04
Great piece. Well written. Good job!!
Verlie Ruhl11/10/04
Deborah, my heart's still pounding from the snake encounter! Great job, very readable, realistic, and so funny! ("Homer" is actually a family name which was passed down to my unfortunate brother--he introduces himself as "Al.")
Linda Germain 11/11/04
Nicely done, . It IS an insult not to be taken seriously. In my case, there was no interest in why three firetrucks were in front of the house and there were big ole fireman swarming all over trying to find the cut off to the natural gas. It's as if they were invisible! Anyway, I like your style and what you have to say. BTW, my little brother's middle name also is Homer...a GOOD thing in baseball. :0)
Phyllis Inniss 11/13/04
Great story. You were brave to stomp the snake with your foot. Were you wearing boots? I hate and fear those slimy creatures. Very hilarious and decriptive writing. God bless.
Debbie OConnor11/13/04
Lots of fun, here! I was right with you all the way.
Kenny Paul Clarkson11/13/04
well done