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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Angry (08/02/07)

TITLE: Chocolate Fix
By Catrina Bradley
08/08/07


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When Mary heard the front door slam and angry feet stomp down the hall, she grabbed the pig-shaped cookie jar and stationed it strategically in the center of the kitchen table. She had made Chewy Double Chocolate Fudge Delights today, and Piggy was filled to the snout.

Her 16-year-old daughter stormed into the room, threw her backpack on the floor, and flopped into a chair with a huff.

“Rough day, Casie?”

“Don’t wanta talk about it.” Her silvery blue eyes narrowed, daring her mother to press her.

“Pick up your backpack, hon. You know better.”

With an exaggerated sigh and a groan, Casie leaned over and snagged the heavy bag by a strap. She dragged it toward her and looped it over the back of her chair. She crossed her arms defiantly and her eyes shot daggers at the empty place across the table.

Mary pitied the person Casie imagined sitting in that chair. She lifted the back off of Piggy, releasing the aroma of chocolate into the air. “Would a cookie help?”

Casie looked at her mom. “Help what?” She turned away again, but couldn’t help stealing a peek at Piggy.

“What ever it is that has you in a snit. Chewy Double Chocolate Fudge Delights…?”

“Fine. Whatever.” Casie sulkily plucked a cookie out of the jar.

“Milk?”

“Mm hmm,” she mumbled, her mouth full of Chewy Chocolate Fudge.

Mary set two glasses of milk on the table and joined her daughter.

When Casie had polished off three cookies and was working on her fourth, Mary tried talking to her again. “Did you get your Lit paper back yet?” Mary asked and nibbled at her own cookie. She knew how much time and effort Casie had put into this assignment. Casie’s Lit grade had been a sore subject this year. Mary knew her wanna-be writer daughter could do much better than the numbers reflected, and was glad she finally decided to take the class seriously.

Casie stopped chewing and her eyes narrowed again, some of the Delight going out of them. She took a big gulp of milk, and banged the glass down. “Yep.”

“And?” Mary purposefully ignored the sloshed milk on the wood of the table. It took an effort.

Instead of answering, Casie twisted in her chair and unzipped her backpack. She rummaged for just a second, then pulled out a thin, stapled stack of pages and flung it at her mom. Mary’s own eyes flashed anger, but she saw tears swimming in Casie’s, and caught herself before she exploded. Instead, she picked up the report, and looked at the big, red, circled number in the top right corner.

“This is out of how many?”

“A hundred mom, a HUNDRED.”

Stunned, Mary looked at the paper again, and read the note the teacher had made.

“This is a well thought-out and well written report. You have never turned in a paper of this caliber before. ‘A’ -level work. After careful consideration, I am deducting 15 points; this is clearly not your own work.”

“What is this, a joke?”

“Nope. I asked him that. He’s very serious.”

“I…I cant believe it. THIS is what happens when a student works hard to improve? How DARE he accuse you of cheating! I cannot believe this. I am OUTRAGED! I’m calling him, right now.”

“No, mom! Don’t do that!”

“Oh, I’m doing it. I am going to give him a piece of my mind. This is unacceptable.” Mary started to get up.

“NO! Do NOT call him. You’ll just make it worse!”

“How can it be worse?”

“It’s just not worth it. Forget it.” Tears were silently running down her cheeks now, and her voice was quavering.

“Your grade IS worth it! Your REPUTATION is worth it!”

“What would happen to my REPUTATION if my mommy asks the teacher to change my grade?? I’ll take care of it - just stay out of it. I’m sorry I even told you.”

“I want to help you!”

“Then STAY OUT OF IT!”

Casie sprung from the chair and the weight of her backpack made it tip and crash to the floor. She snatched up the bag and ran sobbing from the room.

Red blotches burned on Mary’s cheeks, and her hand shook as she reached for another cookie.


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This article has been read 1107 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 08/09/07
The intensity is, well, intense. :) You got this emotion down PAT. Dialog seems right on, too. Excellent.
Christine Dunn08/09/07
This was well written. It's just a pity about the 750 word limit, as I would love to have seen the outcome of this, and if justice was done. It seemed to be developing into a good story by the end, but I just wanted that satisfying conclusion!
Lynda Schultz 08/10/07
Sequel, please! And include the recipe for Chewy Double Chocolate Fudge Delights. My mouth was watering so much, I could hardly concentrate on the story. That was, until I got to the reason that precipitated all the anger — the paper the teacher judged was not your MC's work — suffered that myself, so I identified with the emotions. Good work. I'll wait with eager anticipation for the conclusion.
Kristen Hester08/10/07
Okay, you've done it. You've made me angry! I felt all the emotions. Excellent writing. Great dialogue.
Ed VanDeMark08/11/07
The total frustration of unfair treatment is well told here. I understand this one well. My son was given a writing assignment. Tell a story about the questionable death of a real or a fictional character and provide a new ending. Dan's classmates wrote about Jimmy Hoffa. Dan wrote about Humpty Dumpty. His teacher wrote a note next to the "F" that appeared at the top of his paper. The note read "I expect you to take my assignments seriously." I thought he deserved an "A" for subject selection alone. She gave him a chance to rewrite it for an improved grade. He held his ground and took his "F" without so much as a whimper. My wife and I were proud of him for his stand. You stired this memory, your story has the ring of reality. Good job.
Verna Cole Mitchell 08/11/07
Ok, I'm angry, but I'm hungry, too. You described the anger and the cookies too perfectly! This is really an exceptionally well written story.
Mo 08/12/07
Wow, excellent!
Jan Ackerson 08/13/07
You were very real with the emotions here--teens have such a keen sense of injustice.

I will say, though, that I believe the vast majority of teachers would just google key phrases in the paper, and would not accuse a student of plagiarism without proof.

Love the title, and I'm a firm believer that chocolate is a great soother-over! I want that recipe!

Sharlyn Guthrie08/13/07
Yep! Chocolate always helps, no matter what the problem. I was angry for both of them, but I smiled when Mom reached for the cookie at the end. Well done.
Dee Yoder 08/14/07
You really tapped into the emotions parents feel when someone hurts their child. I'd have wanted to talk to the teacher, also! Good story!
Julie Ruspoli08/14/07
You showed the emotions of both characters well. The ending was so real. Great writing. I hope you finish the story some day and the teacher finds out how wrong and terrible he was. : )
Joy Faire Stewart08/14/07
You captured a teens emotion perfectly as well as mom's. I felt I was right there in the scene...love the details. Excellent writing.
Loren T. Lowery08/14/07
Right on point with the characterization of the teen and the feeling's of the parent. I liked the open dialogue between them as well as it showed a trusting relationship. I, too, think I would have called the teacher any way.
Leigh MacKelvey08/14/07
I said ( to myself and my computer) "All right, Cat!" at the end. The ending was just so good! so subtle and the picture of mom taking another cookie was just wonderful! I loved the line about the Delight fading from her eyes! You done good, girlfriend.
George Parler 08/15/07
Wonderful job of capturing the mixed emotions of an outraged teenager and her peer pressured reluctance. Not to mention the anger swelling up in the mother like a hen protecting her chick.

Good job!
Brenda Welc08/15/07
Can I have a cookie? This hit home, hard. I got so angry at the teacher myself! Great job! Well written.
Patty Wysong08/15/07
Sheesh! I'll call the teacher for her!! You did an excellent job of conveying the anger and frustration of both of them--especially Casie. Super job, Cat!! :-) Hugs!
Janice Fitzpatrick08/15/07
Great writing with emotion depicted in dialogue. This certainly is a great piece filled with "sweet" home-made comfort and a painful circumstance.
Many of us can relate to this having faced this type of pain either personally or when our own children have been treated unfairly.
Keep up the great writing-I could smell the fudge delights in the oven and wished I could have snuck a tasty morsel myself.:0)
Joy Faire Stewart08/16/07
Congratulations, great job & well deserved!
Bonnie Way08/16/07
Wow, great story. Congrats!
Dee Yoder 08/16/07
Woo hoo, Cat! Great story and congratulations on placing 3rd!
Loren T. Lowery08/16/07
Way to go, Catrina - this was a pleasure to read and once again congratulations on your placement! Loren
Seema Bagai 08/16/07
Cat, are you going to give us the recipe? On the boards, maybe? Congrats!
Sara Harricharan 08/17/07
Wow. I'm glad I got a chance to read this! Absolutely loved it, I am still mad at that teacher for not recognizing some pretty awesome writing! ^_^ Very well written, the dialouge, the chocolate bit-right on. Congrats on your win!
Jacquelyn Horne08/17/07
Good shot on anger. The writing was good. Congrats on the win.
Peter Stone09/25/07
Awesome article - you are a talented writer and kept my attention throughout.
I also could not believe the story content - this exact thing happened to me in Year 10. We got a new art teacher and I was the only student to take her seriously and I spent hours studying the text books. But when I did so much better than anyone else in the class in the mid-year exam the teacher accused me of cheating (plagiarism) and failed me. I got so stressed that I fell ill and could not face school. My mother rang the Year Ten Co-ordinator, who not only was a Christian but knew that I was one too. Later that day the art teacher was at my front door. She apologised and gave me an 'A' for the exam. The art teacher and I became really good friends following this incident.
Chely Roach09/09/08
Wow, Cat...this was excellent! Loved it!