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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)

TITLE: Sure it's a Bad Day
By Dawn Garcia


Katie overslept. She couldn’t believe it. The glowing red numbers on the clock read 7:30. She should have crawled out of bed half an hour ago. She groaned as she swung her feet over the side of the bed and glared at the alarm clock again, willing the numbers to change. They didn’t.

She rushed through her shower, brushed her teeth, threw on some makeup and blow-dried her hair—all in record time. She chewed on her lower lip for ten seconds as she debated what to wear. She grabbed a freshly pressed pantsuit that required no ironing. She was desperate to cut corners to make up for her lost half hour.

She sat on the edge of her bed and began pulling her pantyhose on, one leg at a time. By the time she got to the second leg, her fingernail poked a hole through the thin nylon. “Darn it!” she exclaimed as she tossed the ruined pair on the floor and grabbed another pair.

Finally dressed, she darted down the hall to get the baby ready. Thankfully, Alyssa slept through the night and allowed Katie to have a full night of cherished sleep. “Good morning, sweet Alyssa,” Katie cooed as she picked up her sleeping 12 month old baby. She especially loved cuddling with Alyssa when she was first waking up. Her cheeks were always so rosy and her little body so warm and toasty. “Mommy’s in a big hurry this morning.” Katie explained as she set Alyssa gently on the changing table.

Alyssa stretched her little arms over her head and then tried curling back into a ball. “No time for that. We’ve got to get you to Grandma’s house so Mommy can get to work.” She removed her sleeper only to feel a wet spot on her daughter’s back. “Oh, no,” Katie cried. “Not this morning!”

She looked over her shoulder. There was a large dark circle in the middle of the bed. It would only take her a minute to get the bedding into the washer. Katie groaned again. “What am I going to do with you, baby girl?” She gave her a quick bath with wet wipes and dressed her. She carried the sleeping baby into the kitchen and strapped her into her carrier before she rushed back for the soiled bedding.

“Okay, I think we can go now,” Katie announced as she shut the lid on the washing machine. She grabbed her briefcase and the infant carrier and started heading for the door when the phone rang.

“Mom, it’s Eric. I forgot my lunch for the field trip today.”

“Oh, Eric, of all days!”

“Sorry, Mom.”

“I know you didn’t do it on purpose.” She took a deep breath, glanced at the clock on the microwave and exhaled slowly. “I’m on my way now to drop Alyssa off, and then I’ll be there.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

Katie snapped the infant carrier into the holder in the car and climbed into the driver’s seat. “I guess I’ll get to work sometime today.” Could this day get any worse?

Her cell phone rang and she glanced at the screen to see who it was. She didn’t recognize the number. She flipped the phone open while racing out the driveway. “Hello?”

“Katie, are you okay?”

“Hi, Mom. I’m just running late, that’s all. I overslept then poked a hole in my nylons. Alyssa wet the bed and Eric forgot his lunch for his field trip. It’s been a crazy morning.” She heard a sniffle and a choked sound through the phone. Was her mother crying? “Mom, what’s wrong?”

“I heard the sirens, and I waited and waited and still you didn’t come, so I finally walked out to the road to see what all the fuss was about. They said a young woman was killed, but I can’t see the car—it’s in the ditch and I didn’t know--I mean I thought that maybe—and this nice young man let me use his phone—and the baby--surely she would have been crying, so I thought maybe--but they said there was no baby, but I still thought--I thought it was you!” her mother broke into sobs, her breathing ragged through the phone.

“Mom, I’m fine. Alyssa’s fine.” Katie’s throat tightened, capturing a sob that choked her. Tears ran jaggedly down Katie’s cheeks. “I can see the flashing lights. We’re almost there, Mom. We’re almost there.”

Today wasn’t such a bad day after all.

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This article has been read 653 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 03/06/08
Very good writing, and a wonderful example of God's timeliness.

I was a little bit confused as to why she slept through Eric getting ready for school--wouldn't he have awakened her? If he's elementary age, it seems like he would have needed her help, and if he's older, he would have known she needed to be up...or maybe I'm missing something...

I like your title, your lively pacing, and your realistic dialogue.
Patrick Whalen03/06/08
Interesting story. I know it is hard in a short story but the character development could have been a little deeper. Your use of the word "she" did throw me off a few times. I didn't count exactly but I believe you used "she" over 30 times which is a bit repetitive in such a short piece.
Holly Westefeld03/07/08
This fast paced story kept my attention. I enjoyed Katy's tenderness with her daughter, despite the rush.
I think what grabbbed me, and made me forget to question how the son fit in to the picture, is that I have lost count of the times we have run late and encountered a very recent accident.
Karin Beery03/10/08
Very good example of the week's topic. It would have been nice to see more attention to the description of the character instead of her circumstances (perhaps her thoughts, emotions). However, it was an easy read and quite appropriate.
Shirley McClay 03/11/08
Good story! Sure makes being late for work seem terribly unimportant ..lol. Looking forward to your next story.
Yvonne Blake 03/11/08
Wow! I wonder how many times God delays us to protect us.
Good descriptions, good dialogue. I could feel her mother's anxiety.
Great writing.