Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: This Side of Paradise (not about the book) (07/14/11)
TITLE: Jumpy Jane Jehoshaphat
By Nancy Bucca
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"We don't know why you persist in penning such priceless puzzles for impossible people," they would politely prattle. "Pablo Peccadillo, Pundit of Performing Arts at People of the Perfect Public Opinion Poll, Papa's pick for devout pew-hoppers, is too pathetic to peddle your play."
"Ah, but to me," protested Jane, "to have them publish even one pontifically improper masterpiece would be the perfect prize this side of Paradise. Ever since you pulled the plug on my participation in The Progressively Penitent Pentecostal Palace, I have been proactively prohibited from practicing my passion - while Peter persists in playing piano for those pew goers at the POPPOP."
"Hey, no hopping on Pop," replied the pumpkin-eater, passing her a plate of prickly pear peelings. "Now please deposit those in the disposal and pick me a pot of pickled peppers."
Despondent and displeased, Jane disposed of the prunes and pedaled with her script to Peewit Pastures, a place of perfect repose. Perhaps now she could plot in peace.
Little did she suspect (to her poor peril) the plucky prank plotted against her by that unprincipled principality the Pied Piper and his perniciously impish puppet, a porky poltergeist named Pan.
Pan put sleep dust in Jane's pupils. Then while she slept the Pied Piper surreptitiously poured a pouch of maple syrup on her pate. Afterwards the two pitiful powers emptied her pockets of every pittance, pouncing upon her apnea.
"Help!" yelped Jane, leaping up to perceive her penned script plopped in a mud puddle. A poisonous spider espied her from its placid pine perch. She paused precariously, prickly as a porcupine in a pigsty.
From that moment Jane's penchant for perfect play perception began to rapidly peter out. Soon penning prose was like pumping petrol from a turnip. For every time she sat down with pen and paper, she got jumped on.
"Please fix this pie," "Please put a postage stamp on this package," "Please peck another pick of pictures for the POPPOP and his pumpkin eaters. Oh, and by the way, how's that play progressing?"
One by one her "patrons" pummeled her with platitudes. Such as, "Plugging away at pleasure is no way to perfect your performance," and "The path to Purgatory is plagued with hypocrisy," and "Perhaps penning a play is not your perfect profession."
Without pity did they persecute her lack of progress. Perhaps that's why her puns became pugnacious, her pen perfunctory.
Then one day she was perusing the story of jumpy Jehoshaphat, the splendid emperor and persistent pursuer of the impossible publisher - namely Emperor Ahab, whose aspirations often put his poor pals in pickles. In his plan to recapture Ramoth Gilead, Ahab persuaded Jehoshaphat to appear in princely apparel while he, Ahab, put on pauper's plunder.
Jehoshaphat performed as planned, and nearly perished.
Trying to please perplexing Ahab had made him jumpy - which is what happens to Christians who prefer to please people rather than God. Along comes the Pied Piper with his porky poltergeist and plop goes the script - straight into the goop of their pigsty.
As for Jane, she soon perceived that the pundit at POPPOP was too posh. She quickly repented for trying to pen for him the perfect script. As she did so, she became less jumpy and her ability to pen prose picked up perfectly. In the end she composed an appealing masterpiece that pleased a far less persnickety pastor. But best of all, she knew it pleased the Lord.
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