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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Writer's Challenge (NOT the FaithWriters Challenge) (06/10/10)

TITLE: Insert Title Here
By Sara Harricharan
06/16/10


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Open new word document.

Stare at screen.

Wait for inspiration to strike.

Think about stuff. Think about more stuff.

Wait for inspiration to strike.

Type one sentence.

One sentence seems so lonely.

Type another sentence to keep it company.

Realize both sentences are lousy.

Overwrite file. Save as. Add a “2” to the end of the title.

Cut all text

Start over again.

Wait for inspiration to strike.

*****

“Hema, whatcha doin?”

“Mm? Nothin’…”

“Nothing takes forever.”

“…I know.”

“Did you finish your how-to article?” Her twin sister curled up on the bed beside her, arms wrapped around a plush teddy.

“Would you let me wear your tiger earrings tomorrow if I answered that?”

“…no. You can borrow the zebra ones though.” Cilla reached for the laptop. “Give up?”

“No.”

“Stubborn.”

“Shut up. I can write much better than you.”

“Well, yeah, but you take such a long time doing it, that it’s pointless. We were supposed to turn this column in yesterday. The class prez is gonna squawk at someone and I’d hate for it to be me.”

“Why’d it be you?”

“Because I’m always sticking up for you.” She rolled her eyes. “C’mon, just hand it over! I’ll pull something out of my head and you can clean it up, how’s that?”

“That’s what we always do.”

“And it works! What’s the problem? Just gimme!”

“That’s the problem.” Hema said, darkly, pushing her glasses further up her nose. “And I’m tired of always being the-”

“It takes just as much work and effort to edit as it does to write, it’s shared equally so don’t start up on me about-”

“Can you just give me a chance for once?”

“Not when it’s midnight and we both need sleep.”

“So you’re saying that at midnight, under these circumstances, you can pull something out of your head after I’ve been sitting here all day busting my brains over-”

“Hema.”

“Cilla.”

“Hema…” Cilla drew the name out with a touch of sweetness. “I’ll let you wear my tiger earrings…”

“Too late. I’m over that bribe now.”

“Ah, but who’s bribing? We’re sisters…twins, even, why of course it’s natural to share things like-”

“I just wanna do this on my own.”

Cilla snorted. “Sure. Go for it. See if I stop you. Did you even think past the topic?”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean, are you just turning words around in your head or did you have an actual purpose in mind?”

“I had a purpose…sort of.”

“All right, I get it. You want to be different. You want a chance. You have a dream.” Cilla huffed. “But would you get over it already? Now is SO not the time for time for this!”

“But-!”

“Don’t but me!” Cilla rolled off the bed, whacking her twin with the teddy-bear. “Just hand over the laptop and no one will get hurt.”

“You’re not even-”

“Please and thank you!” Cilla dropped the toy in her lap, lifting the laptop out from under her twin’s fingers. “Look, I’ll even be nice and let you get to bed before me. I’ll write and edit it. Go brush your teeth.”

“But Cilla-!”

“No, buts! Good grief! You’d think I was the older one…just go already okay? If I wake up with a headache tomorrow, it’s gonna be your fault!”

“I-!”

“GO!”

Hema sat, dumbly in the chair until she heard her sister’s fingers clacking over the keyboard. She closed her eyes, willing her body to cooperate and tighten the security that would keep the floodgates from bursting open. She could already see the beautiful, precise black letters parading across the screen, an elegance unmatched as they filled the blank word document.

She slowly shifted to her feet and took her nightclothes to the bathroom to begin her usual routine. She brushed her teeth, watching the tears travel down her face and disappear into the shadows of her pajama top. She combed her hair to hide her face and slicked her bangs with water, then carefully cleaned her glasses for the next day.
In the bedroom, she tossed her laundry in the hamper and paused to kiss her sister’s head. “g’night, Ci.”

Cilla grunted in response.

Hema climbed into bed and pulled the covers over her head, turning to face the wall. She’d found the perfect idea for the stupid topic.

The writer’s greatest challenge is to accept themselves…without comparison…to their fellow writers.

Hot tears spilled over again and she buried her face in the teddy-bear.


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This article has been read 508 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lizzy Ainsworth06/17/10
Awww, I love this.
Such a real struggle when there are several good writers in the family.
I'm not a twin but it is something that I have to accept that my younger sister often writes better than me.
Joanne Sher 06/19/10
LOVE that title. I can feel that poor girl's angst. Great job with the dialogue.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/22/10
This is perfect. I felt such empathy with both of your characters. It seems to run true in most families-that feeling that a sibling is better than you. Oh how that hurts. You did such a great job of pulling me into the story. These characters would make a delightful YA book or even an entire series.
Catrina Bradley 06/22/10
Oooh, yeah, that IS the writer's biggest challenge!! GREAT ending, well-developed characters, and the title is so good, I was going to read this one even if there was no hint for it. :)
Sarah Elisabeth 06/23/10
I agree, PERFECT title! I was completly engaged from the beginning. Your ending was right on, excellent take on the topic.
Carol Slider 06/23/10
I've never had a sibling; even so, I certainly understood the emotions here. You developed this story beautifully and powerfully from beginning to end. Very well done!
Susan Montaperto06/23/10
I was pulled right into the story. The dialog and the twins seemed very realistic and very touching. I also would like to read more about them. Keep writing. God Bless.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 06/25/10
Congratulations on placing in the top 15 of your level and the top 30 overall.