Home Read What's New Join
My Account Login

Read Our Devotional             2016 Opportunities to be Published             Detailed Navigation

The HOME for Christian writers! The Home for Christian Writers!
The Official Writing Challenge



how it works
submission rules
guidelines for
choosing a level


submit your entry
read current entries
read past entries
challenge winners

Our Daily Devotional HERE
Place it on your site or
receive it daily by email.



how it works   Submit

Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Key (02/14/13)

TITLE: Hot Pants, Sardines, and Baseball


Charles carefully stacked the cans of sardines on a table in the window of his father’s grocery store. He watched as a game of baseball got underway in the dirt road just outside the store. As captain of his high school baseball team this would have been great practice for him but he had to work. Soon the game swapped from the boys to the girls. The girls would be playing softball no doubt. Charles liked watching the girls play and it wasn’t just because they were pretty and he liked to see them run. That was the only reason all the boys hung around afterwards anyway. He actually enjoyed the game. There were a few hard hitters and one strong arm. The strong arm belonged to Marietta.

Marietta was a fierce player and preferred fast pitch softball. When she stepped up to the makeshift plate, her tanned skin and brown hair shone in the afternoon sun. Charles recognized her from school. She was a sophomore and he a senior. He recalled this year’s beauty pageant and Marietta had entered. She didn’t place in the pageant but he will never forget what she wore that night. All the girls had worn light pink or white dresses but Marietta had stepped on stage in a bright red dress. A wide black belt had cinched her tiny waist. She was probably a foot shorter than him but he could tell she made up for it with personality and plenty of spunk. Although Charles was an all-star athlete and voted best looking boy in school, Marietta didn’t give him the time of day. Her favorite thing to do was play ball and cause mischief.

“When you’re done there, take out the trash, son and we’ll close up shop.” Charles’s father, Bryant, directed from behind the counter.

“Yes, sir.” Charles answered as he stacked the last can and put the sign in the window that read, ‘five cents per can’.

It was a beautiful summer afternoon as Charles took the trash out. The girl’s game had come to a standstill and everyone was standing in the road looking at old Mr. Garner’s tack store across the street.

“What’s going on over there?” Bryant asked as he came out behind Charles to lock up for the day.

Charles studied the situation for a moment and said, “I think their ball is stuck in the eaves on old man Garner’s building.”

Seconds later Charles saw a flash of bright yellow and realized it was Marietta. She was climbing up the side of Mr. Garner’s store on a makeshift ladder and wearing yellow shorts. Her legs looked long and lean as she climbed without fear to retrieve the ball. Once she got to the top, she held up the ball triumphantly for all to see.

“I’m going marry her one day, Pop.” Charles told his father.

He was good to his word. They were married for fifty years. Charles and Marietta were my grandparents and they possessed the only the key that fit each other’s hearts. My grandparent’s love for one another got them through years of alcohol and substance abuse, troubled children, and financial woes. It was ultimately their love for God in their later years that made their relationship even stronger and solidified their eternal union. In today’s society, too many people give up on each other and on their marriage. Marriages, like my grandparent’s that lasted for fifty years are dying out along with the people that had made it last for so long. Married couples today are encouraged to seek the guidance of the Lord and of our nation’s older generations instead of tossing away the key to their spouse’s heart by getting a divorce.

The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
If you died today, are you absolutely certain that you would go to heaven? You can be right now. CLICK HERE

JOIN US at FaithWriters for Free. Grow as a Writer and Spread the Gospel.

This article has been read 319 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ann Menschel02/22/13
50 years of marriage is a wonderful thing -- especially these days, as you point out. It is great to read the details of the beginning of that lasting relationship. Perhaps the ending would be more effective if you stayed in the third person and just related the longevity and gave a challenge instead of going into the first person.
Virgil Youngblood 02/23/13
A "Catchy" title and interesting family history. Definitely a fun read. I agree with the previous comment about the ending needing a little rework to keep from interrupting the flow of your story. All said, great job.
Judith Gayle Smith02/24/13
I love this!
C D Swanson 02/24/13
Good job with this entertaining and well written piece. I truly enjoyed it from start to finish. Thank you. God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/26/13
I was drawn in immediately by the awesome characters and descriptions. It was obvious that love was brewing.

I think sometimes in the challenge, it can be tempting to make a story fit the topic. I know I did it quite a bit in the beginning, but it can feel forced.

Your story in the beginning was great, but not on topic. Perhaps you'd want to consider expanding it to a novel, so you do justice with the rest of their story. I wanted to know about how they got through the substance abuse and other troubles, but of course there wouldn't be enough words to do all of that.

The fact that the MC was stacking canned sardines, it would have been possible to somehow use the key in the can to make it on topic. Maybe a key could have fallen off the canned sardines and the MC could have somehow connected it with his love. I know if this is based on a true story, that it's harder to fictionalize parts of it, but often that makes the best stories. I'm not saying your way was wrong, just giving you an idea for another way to work out the ending.

I did really enjoy it. I loved how she climbed up the roof. I was half expecting the guy to step in and so loved that he didn't. It's obvious that both characters have a lot of spunk and I truly enjoyed this romantic tale, which says a lot because romance isn't my favorite genre. overall, I think you did a grand job and I'm eager to read more of these inspirational characters.
Alicia Renkema02/27/13
I loved the "story" part of your story. But when you got to the end was when it weakened for me. I would have liked to see the story end with the words "eternal union." That would have struck a strong chord and letting the 50 years that they had together convey the message that their marriage was an unusual treasure worth striving for. In other words, you didn't really need to say what you already had so beautifully pictured. Also, it would have been a stronger piece as well if key could have been more of an integral part of the piece or at least mentioned somewhere besides the very end as Shann mentioned with the sardine can. Yet I always love true stories and this one was a gem, what a great generational story you have to tell! Blessings...