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Monthly Short Story Contest > November - Power of Forgiveness

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message 1: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
 photo Forgiveness two-children-hugging_zpsplqwl7f4.jpg

Highlights:
* A grudge / subject that causes pain and unforgiveness
* A biblical character or a famous person
* A stone
* An antagonizer

Random first sentences:
"They say everyone who looks into their family history will find a secret sooner or later."

"I dread the sound of his key in the lock."

"Are you kidding me? We're not 'fine'!"

"Oh yeah, you really told him, didn't you?"

"Do you think he crashed the car on purpose?"

"Why didn't he come and talk to me himself?"

"I might forgive you, but I'll never forget!"


Setting – any

Plot – your choice

Length: 500 to 1,000 Words

Deadline: Saturday November 26 at 11:59 pm EST.

Voting will start 12:01 am Nov. 27th and end 11:59 pm on Nov. 30th. Winners will be posted in this thread on December 1st.

Challenge Guidelines

For this particular challenge I would encourage you to stick with true to life stories; if true, please write as fiction based on true events. This challenge is in place to hopefully provide stories for the Forgiveness anthology.

Genre: Fantasy, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Mystery, Crime, Comedy, Romance, or a mixture (BASICALLY, anything but erotica)

Purpose -
Some fiction writers are looking to win a short story contest, keeping in touch with making deadlines, and/or simply sharpening the skill of writing fiction. The main purpose of this contest is to sharpen plot and character skills, collect your own short stories, receive good feedback, make a good connection with other writers, and take a short break from your current novel to get a fresh view when you return to it.

Rules and Directions -
* Type in English - a minimum of 500 words; a maximum of 1,000 words; no erotica, no profanity.

* Post your title, by line, and word count total in the first line of your story posting.

* Writers are responsible for their own copyright. Authors keep all rights. PRIVACY POLICY IS ENFORCED. COPYRIGHTS AND INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS BELONG TO INDIVIDUAL AUTHORS. THIS CONTEST DOES NOT GRANT ANY PERSON THE RIGHT OR LICENSE TO COPY OR USE OTHER STORIES. EACH STORY IS PROTECTED BY THE COPYRIGHT OF THE ORIGINAL AUTHOR.

* ONE entry per person, must be writer's original work, a final revision, and a new piece of writing. Please do not delete and repost since this becomes confusing to the readers. Try to post your final revision.

Judging: The story will be judged on creativity, proper grammar, good punctuation, and overall good quality for story.

Voting: Please vote for first, second, and third place. You are not allowed to vote for yourself. If posting this month, you MUST vote, in order for your story to remain eligible.


message 2: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments My life is slowly becoming my own again so hopefully I will be able to dedicating time to my writing again.


message 3: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (furyanhound) | 89 comments Got my story all ready to go, Glenda! I'll actually post it on Nov 1st, but I needed to get it written ahead of time so that I could focus on NaNoWriMo. :)


message 4: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
Wow! You're on the ball!


message 5: by David (new)

David (drussell52) | 0 comments Forgiveness Takes Time

David Russell
945 Words
This story is a fresh imagined account based on the Bible narrative of Joseph and his brothers recorded from Genesis chapter 37 through chapter 45. Outside sources such as www.torahclass.com were considered to add depth.
-----

At the outset it appeared my big mouth got me in trouble, but the hand of Almighty God was there all along. My 10 brothers had it with my ability to interpret dreams, and one day while out, they slew an animal, covered my coat in its blood, dropped me in a hole and told our father I had been murdered. Soon after, I was sold into slavery, wrongful accusations gained me twelve years in jail. During that time, I was given occasional leadership roles that eventually led to Pharaoh adopting me as his foster-son and making me viceroy in Egypt. With God as my witness, I provided Pharaoh the right interpretation of a dream he had that would affect Egypt and Canaan. A major famine was to occur, and my role was to ready the nation for this 7-year dilemma.

For a couple years a real sense of somber pervaded in the household of Jacob and throughout the land of Cannan as a famine was ongoing. This was largely due to low rainfall that affected the water supply from the Nile. Trade relations between Egypt and Cannan had been quite sufficient up to the time of this famine. When food supplies were low in one region, the other negotiated agreements to provide for the other.

"Gentlemen, why do you sit here looking dumbfounded? Our supplies are again low. Go down to Egypt and purchase us more food."

"Dad, we will go. But the ruler in charge of the food stores, next in line to Pharaoh wants us to bring our youngest brother, Benjamin."

"Benjamin? You gotta be kidding me. He is my second son by Rachel, and I'll not lose him as I did Joseph."

Judah then spoke up.

"Dad, If anything happens to Benjamin, I will be the fall-guy."

Arriving in Egypt a few days hence, Joseph knew his brothers were there and prepared a banquet.

"Is this a trick? Will he cast us into prison?" Simeon asked the steward.

Meantime, Joseph had a test of his own to measure the sincere intent of his brothers. He put a sack of money in one of their bags, and when it was found out, that brother was held hostage by Joseph until the youngest, Benjamin was brought as a sort of ransom. A kind of turning the tables from Joseph being the one left, to perhaps the brother that instigated that incident being the one to repay the misdeed. The steward of Joseph exclaimed,
"No. He just wants to honor you and your faithful stewardship."

The banquet was held at noontime the next day at the home of Joseph. Custom of the time dictated He and the servants ate separate from one another and also from those for whom the banquet was being held.

Once the meal was finished, Joseph dismissed the servants, came into the room and approached his brothers.

Recognizing Judah, Benjamin, Simeon, and the others he began to weep. The brothers too looked at each other, around the room and were disconcerted over Joseph revealing his identity to them. Was it their day of reckoning?
Within minutes they were embracing one another as it had been 20 years since they sold him into slavery.

"We didn't know it was you," Rueben said.

"You look Egyptian. You even speak Egyptian as you had an interpreter when we first met you," Simeon observed.

"Brothers, don't be angry with yourselves or with each other. I understand how this has all been overseen by Adonai, the King of the universe. I know your intentions. I want to see our father. Our grandparents didn't necessarily treat their offspring royally. After all, Avraham almost sacrificed Yitzshak. Uncle Esav tried to cheat dad out of his birthright. Maybe dad had something to do with my last two decades."

"Not at all. Dad was deeply grieved by our story," Judah said.

"Tell me, is our father living?" One could hear sniffles and occasional gestures being made within the group to wipe tears from their face with their hands.

"Yes, he is old but still alive," said Rueben.

"I want you to leave Benjamin here and go pack up your households and our father. Bring him here to see me. Pharaoh and I will let you re-establish yourselves in Goshen. You'll be on the fringe of Egyptian territory, but free to raise your sheep and other amenities that are not grown here," Joseph stated.

The brothers returned home, and laid everything out to their father. Jacob was perplexed by finally knowing the truth. In days, Jacob and his household set out for Egypt to be reunited with his son, Joseph.

As they traveled the terrain, Joseph's
words kept playing over and over in Dan's head,

"Is our father alive?"

He and his brothers knew an unbroken relationship with Jacob. It was at their doing, the relationship between Joseph and his family had been severed. Was it really necessary, he kept asking himself.

As the household arrived, and Jacob was taken to Joseph's private quarters, the men embraced and tears of joy were shared during their reuniting. Through sobs Jacob said,
"It is enough. I am glad to know my son Joseph is alive. I will bless him and all my sons!"

Jacob had not lost his son, and the brothers over time, were being reconciled to each other.

-Forgiveness and reconciliation were not immediate or as simple as saying, "I'm sorry."
-Forgiveness and reconciliation in Jacob's family took time, and there were obstacles to be overcome by all concerned. It was surely aided by Joseph's foster-father providing land in Goshen where the family would resettle.
End


message 6: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (furyanhound) | 89 comments “Understanding Forgiveness”
By: Stephanie Baskerville
1,368 Words



“Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. It has been six weeks since my last confession.”

“Speak, my child.” Fr. Tom’s voice from behind the screen was, as always, a comfort to 16-year old Lara Palmer. In his voice, there was no judgment, no hatred, no scorn.

“Father, I have used my abilities to hurt my neighbor.”

“This is a recurring problem for you, my child,” Fr. Tom said.

“Yes, Father.”

“Would you like to tell me what happened this time?”

“I… really liked this guy at my school and I was so happy when he finally asked me out. But… when he picked me up, he had his girlfriend in his car. He told me that he’d never date a runty little freak and they both laughed at me and threw eggs at me. They made me feel like I was nothing,” Lara said, a tear sliding down her cheek. “So I used my pyrokinesis and set his car engine on fire.”

“Oh, child,” Fr. Tom sighed.

“I couldn’t help it, Father! I just wanted them to stop tormenting me,” Lara exclaimed. “At least I put the fire out afterwards.”

“Child, I have heard many people’s confessions about retaliation against their neighbours,” Fr. Tom said. “And each time it’s the same answer I give. When tempted to retaliate, you must stop, think about what you’re about to do, and determine if it is something that would please God. He died on the Cross for all of us, even this boy who was teasing you. You must pray for wisdom on how to handle these problems in the future.” Fr. Tom’s kind voice brought tears to Lara’s eyes. Tears of shame.

“I’m sorry, Father.”

“Your penance is to say one Holy Rosary for both this boy and his girlfriend.”

Lara gasped.

“A Rosary for both of them?”

“Yes. Saying a Holy Rosary for them will bring you into a deeper understanding of the love God has for them. And as Pope John Paul II said, forgiveness is inspired by the logic of love; the love which God has for every man and woman.”

"I understand, Father.” Lara bowed her head.

“I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Go forth and sin no more.” At Fr. Tom’s words, Lara made the sign of the cross. She rose from the confessional, wiped the tears from her eyes and made her way up the aisle to sit in front of the tabernacle. Pulling down the kneeler, Lara knelt and bowed her head and prayed silently.

“Lara.” So lost in her thoughts, Lara hadn’t heard the priest approaching from behind her. Starting slightly, she looked up and saw Fr. Tom’s gentle, smiling face.

“Fr. Tom, how did Jesus forgive his tormentors?” she asked in way of reply.

“That is a good question, Lara. Do you mind if I sit down?” Fr. Tom gestured to the pew beside her and she nodded. Genuflecting towards the tabernacle, Fr. Tom took a seat beside Lara.

“There are a lot of people who have asked me that question,” Fr. Tom started. Lara waited patiently while Fr. Tom took a breath, then continued. “The amount of love that God has for us is far beyond our comprehension. This love translated itself to Jesus on the cross, and His forgiveness of the people who were trying to kill him. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says that Christ desires in His Church that the gates of forgiveness should always be open to anyone who turns away from sin. I think that Jesus had to be the first to forgive so that He could set an example for us to follow. He forgave people who killed Him… we should be able to forgive our neighbors for the transgressions they reap on us.”

“Sometimes I think that He asks the impossible, Father,” Lara sighed. Fr. Tom’s mouth turned up in a smile.

“I think you’re right, Lara,” he said. “In fact, some of the Popes have equated forgiveness with an act of pure heroism, because of how difficult it is to overcome human nature and forgive someone who hurt us. It’s far easier to plan on how to retaliate and, in most cases, execute that plan, because that’s what our DNA tells us to do. We are wired to get even.” Fr. Tom shrugged and took a breath. “What makes Christians stand out from others is that we are called to forgive, just as Jesus forgave those who tortured Him. But without God’s help, our hearts are like stone, hardened against those people who would hurt us. Forgiveness, therefore, is almost impossible for mere humans.”

“I see,” Lara said, frowning.

“That’s why I said that you must pray a Rosary for your tormentors. When you pray a Rosary, a little of God’s grace is received by you and it makes it just a little bit easier to let go of our pain and start the process of forgiveness,” Fr. Tom replied.

“I don’t know if I’m strong enough to forgive Eric.”

“None of us are strong enough, Lara. Not even priests. And we’re never going to be strong enough unless we allow God’s grace and mercy to pour into us,” Fr. Tom said. He sighed. “I’m sorry that there are people out there, like this boy Eric, who torment you.”

“All I ever wanted was to be accepted for who I am. Why is it so hard for people to accept me?” Lara’s voice caught.

"I wish I had an answer for you on that, Lara, but I don’t know why it’s so hard for others to accept you for who you are. All I can say is that you are always accepted here at St. Luke’s.”

“By you, Father, yes. But not the other parishioners.” A tear slid down Lara’s cheek, which she quickly wiped away. “I have been called a lot of names, Father. I’ve been called a freak, a monster, a beast, a demon, even Satan’s offspring! It seems like everywhere I go, people are terrified of me. Sometimes I start to believe them and I think that I’d have been better off not being born.”

“God does not make mistakes, Lara. He has a purpose for your life. You have extraordinary parapsychological gifts that, when used for good, could change the course of the future,” Fr. Tom said. “But you have to make a decision. If you continue to use your parapsychological gifts to retaliate against people who are mean to you, all you’re doing is perpetuating the evil in the world.” Fr. Tom shrugged. “Either embrace the good that you can do, or embrace the evil you will create. You can’t have it both ways.”

“I’ll try to be better,” Lara said with conviction. She went quiet for a moment. “Fr. Tom, how do you know if you have truly forgiven someone?” she asked.

“Well, personally, I like to say that I have truly forgiven someone when I can ask God to bless the person who hurt me with more blessings than He’s given me,” Fr. Tom replied. “And mean what I say.”

“I think it’s going to take a lot of grace for me to ask God to bless Eric,” Lara said wryly. Fr. Tom chuckled.

“Then I’ll leave you to start your Rosaries,” he replied. Rising, Fr. Tom put a comforting hand on Lara’s shoulder and smiled at her. “Don’t forget to turn to your Mother Mary when things get too difficult. You can always ask yourself what She would do and how She would want you to act. I often find that this helps me to re-focus my thoughts and gain a new perspective on the situations I find myself in,” he said.

“Thanks, Fr. Tom,” Lara smiled back.

"You’re welcome, Lara,” Fr. Tom said. “God bless you.”

Lara watched Fr. Tom walk away, her heart a little lighter. She knew she couldn’t forgive Eric… not yet. But thanks to her talk with Fr. Tom, she knew there was hope that, with God’s grace, she’d be able to forgive him someday.


message 7: by Stephanie (new)

Stephanie (furyanhound) | 89 comments A few notes about my story this month:
- This is an excerpt from my latest novel about a girl with parapsychological abilities who is the descendent of two guardian angel-type beings. She's been an orphan since she was two and was adopted by a doctor at age 10 (Dr. Palmer is Catholic and has taught Lara to embrace that faith). She is disfigured (in this chapter she's a runt with white hair and blood red eyes, although as she hits puberty, she experiences a major growth spurt). She has no friends because everyone finds her too weird looking, and she is constantly the butt of jokes, nasty pranks and downright nastiness.

- even though it is fictitous, Forgiveness is something Lara struggles with frequently, as described in the above story, and so I felt that it would not be amiss to post the story for this month's contest. :)

- The story is over the word limit. I tried to pare it down to less than 1000 words, but to no avail. I was able to cut 600 words, but felt that if I removed anything else, the story wouldn't make sense.

- I hope you enjoy the story! Sorry for posting it a few days early, but I didn't want to forget to post once the hustle and bustle of NaNoWriMo kicked in. :)


message 8: by David (new)

David (drussell52) | 0 comments Hi
Stephanie and others,

This is a nice story because it is an experience for the reader to observe the interaction between Fr. Tom and Lara. I think it flows well and does not get bogged down with either character taking precedent but a nice balance and exchange. I wish you well!
David


message 9: by Shae (last edited Nov 10, 2016 07:23PM) (new)

Shae Hamrick | 284 comments wow, quick start to a sudden stall. Hi all. Like many of you, I have been up to my neck in things to get done the last 5 or 6 weeks. Missed out on the last challenge. May see if I can throw something together for this one. Doing NanoWriMo (very badly) this month so we will have to see. finally getting everything else settled down though... finally. Hope to see many more people posting.

Blessings all and Happy Veteran's day to all my fellow veterans tomorrow.


message 10: by Glenda (last edited Nov 10, 2016 09:33PM) (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
Nice stories so far and I love your takes on forgiveness. Sometimes it's so hard to do. Speaking of...there is a temp to perm lady that works close to me in the office. I had no clue why she started treating me so badly unlike everyone else that she jokes and talks with freely. This has been going on for days. I confronted her before going home saying I was truly sorry if I had said anything that offended her. She lied and said "she was good", it was fine. Then she said she didn't like the way I talked to her. I'm still clueless. But she said she accepted my apology. It was pretty one sided. But our words should heal, not make things worse.


message 11: by David (new)

David (drussell52) | 0 comments Hi Glenda and Shae,
Good to hear from you. Hope the office situation can come to some resolution soon. Maybe a co-worker can stand in as a neutral person to help resolve things?
Looking forward to seeing more possible Forgiveness oriented stories.
David


message 12: by Christene (new)

Christene Britton-Jones | 201 comments Trying to get this one done and one for the anthology as well...


message 13: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
Christene wrote: "Trying to get this one done and one for the anthology as well..."

Yes. (thumbs up) Thanks!


message 14: by David (new)

David (drussell52) | 0 comments Christene, thanks, thumbs up, at least one, other on space-bar.. :) You are in charge...... Well, most the time, right?
David Russell


message 15: by F.F. (new)

F.F. Burwick | 154 comments Forgive or Give Vengeance? by F.F.Burwick, 713 words

"Oh, Jesus, you just wouldn't understand how hurtful he was, without care for how damaged I was for it! Why should I forgive that?" Elidan had brought him near to the crippled wagon now immobile at the bottom of that slope, where Barnathan had stood above overlooking that road and accused Elidan of undermining Barnathan's relation with the premier family of Nazareth, with vicious words putting Elidan down, before pushing the large stone down to roll into his wagon pulled by his beloved Bessi. And there was the stone still leaning into that wagon, showing what had happened to it, and Elidan was left walking with a limp. Barnathan himself was long gone.

Jesus looked at Elidan in his caring way, and told him, "If you continue with anger toward him without forgiveness, it will burn in you and corrupt your soul. It will come between you and God, who has given much to you that you are coming to overlook. There are great things that would be better still meant for you."

"If I could forgive I would," Elidan answered, "but that was Barnathan, who is always hurtful and trying to get the better of me and others I care for."

Shaphat, one of the oldest men in the city, was nearby and came up to them at that point. He interjected, "Barnathan was the one who did this? That no good scoundrel is a grief to many. Hopefully you can retaliate in a great way that will teach him! That's what you should do, if you can!"

As Elidan listened, he saw that this remark made sense, and thought more about it. Barnathan had been hurtful to him, and more than this time too. Others though had been hurt by Barnathan.

As ideas formed in his head, Elidan saw how such retaliation would be desirable. He could blatantly expose things Barnathan didn't want to be known. But then he glanced toward Jesus. Jesus gave a disapproving look, and just said, "It will never just end with that. You can save yourself from that trouble with being the better person as you were meant to be." And as Elidan looked, he saw Jesus departing from him.

He looked again at Shaphat. The older man leaned in, and said, "It will be best to do as you plan tonight, while what you pay him back for is still fresh."

Elidan drew a breath, and then sighed. "I thought of a great way to humiliate Barnathan in front of those he impresses. But I see Jesus is right. I won't be a better person ever if I go through with that. But if I leave it with God justice will still come, and I would be left in the right."

Shaphat scowled and said, "You will regret not going forward with what you thought out."

But Elidan just said, "I have to go find Jesus!" For Jesus had gone on, and was not seen at that location with Elidan by his wagon with the stone there.

Elidan hurried over to the carpenter's workplace, to look for him. His mother came out, saying he hadn't returned yet. Elidan thought, and then remembered Jesus had a place of solitude he went to at intervals, outside of the city. Indeed he was there.

Jesus saw him, and said, "You did right rejecting the thoughts to get even with Barnathan. He is cutting himself off on his own from what betterment there can be with coming to God. But there will be now more for you to respond in. I will willingly help you in that, but for this you should be willing to always come to me. And the time is coming that I will call for you, so you should come then."

This seemed to Elidan to be saying more than what he was hearing just then. But he had talked with Jesus before, and nobody he ever saw was more unlike Barnathan than Jesus. And strangely enough, he had never seen Jesus say anything that was wrong. He decided then that if Jesus called him, he should then go accordingly. And for this he would need to never be holding a grudge and be unforgiving again. He had things in his life needing forgiveness too.


message 16: by David (new)

David (drussell52) | 0 comments Hi Fred,
Interesting story. I like that you make a definite conclusion that Elidan is going to let Jesus influence his attitudes about others in life. The point of view is a bit confusing though. The story starts with a prayer or plea, and then we become outside observers.
Good point about crowd displeasure does not necessarily make a position about something the right one to take.
Keep Writing,
David Russell


message 17: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
Fred, I enjoyed your story. Some of these same thoughts have been going in my head on a personal level. Is it right to fight back when you feel you are in the right, or should you hold your tongue and be prayerful? Jesus said that if we forgive others that He would forgive us our tresspasses. I try to keep this in mind because life is too short and God has much more for us.


message 18: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
today is the last day for your Power of Forgiveness story. Some of the best work can be done under pressure, so get busy and write.


message 19: by Christene (new)

Christene Britton-Jones | 201 comments Glenda I hear you re the pressure...I usually work best at the final deadline...lol! So here tis. I will post my story for the anthology this week as it is finished and needs a final read through before posting...


message 20: by Christene (new)

Christene Britton-Jones | 201 comments “Do you remember a vicious deed done to you years before?”
…By Christene Britton-Jones (969 words)

I might forgive you, but I'll never forget, never!

These words rang in my ears for I lived miserably off the grid in a broken RV, in the mid winter snow, with an angry husband.

As his anger grew it fuelled unforgiveness…
***
11.9.2012 Diary
Wishing I could swing my legs over the bed and just sit upright, but with three cats mewling and begging for food that is an impossibility, however managing somehow to shuffle my feet up to my bum then roll and crawl over to the edge of the bed and manually lift my legs to the floor.

I cannot feel my feet of course as the legs are numb from the knees down again even with my legs wrapped in blankets. It’s difficult to move with the weight of all the clothes so I sit rocking till I get balanced and the room stops swinging wildly around.

Stumbling up and around in the dark after flinging off my point blanket and double fleece over-blanket; almost forgetting to unwrap my legs in the second fleece blanket (yes over my boots and all) in a desperate need to go to the bathroom.

Got to pee, it’s urgent, so stagger drunkenly down the narrow passageway to the bathroom in dawn’s semi darkness.
Deftly kicking the cats litter tray across into the hall (after switching on the light and verifying that it hasn’t been used first…..sheeeeeeeeeeeesh you think I am silly?).

Now the urge is becoming desperation indeed as I fumble with my jeans fastener, then my two pairs of thermal leggings and lastly my briefs. All of this is done in a flash of speed for as the cold air rushes into meet bare skin the bodily functions start to work.

Next comes throwing my body onto the seat, hoping against all hope that I have hauled down clothes out of range of the incoming tsunami. Relief is short lived of course for the skin upon contact with the seat is already burning.

The pain of scorched skin on my bare ass is over ridden by the blessed relief of voiding completely…I sit in stunned silence and breath at last.

Contorting into a torturous form reminiscent of The Hunch Back of Notre Dame I thoroughly dry up every vestige of a splash and am thankfully able to haul up my numerous britches once more.
By this time my de-gloved hands are burning so the thought of icy water to wash them with is furtherest from my mind (I only have to feed the cats first and after seeing them lick their nether regions clean I am sure they won’t mind in the least).

Mean whilst the howling banshees in the kitchen have gathered en mass to greet me as I emerge, ignoring them temporarily I head for the front of the RV and the generator…it splutters reluctantly into life after a couple of attempts.

Back to the kitchen, finding a light switch, I can see the furry foes about to attack me. Finding the bic lighter and burning my thumbnail while I light the first jet and throw on a sparsely filled kettle.

Next is the oven, crawling onto an icy floor on hands and knees. I lie across the open oven door (seriously tempted to just lay there and let the gas do its job) but the chorus reawakens me to reality. I hold the lighter inside and wave it around as best as I can see, till the pilot light takes first. Hauling myself up from frozen cupboards I turn the control up as high as I can and wait till the oven jets burst into life. Of course by this time the top jet has air in it and it’s bellowing away and has to be lowered till it pops and then settled into a calm constant lower flame. Cats dishes, spoon, can opener (of course the metal is burning my skin) and two tiny tins of cat food are put into the oven to warm…and it doesn’t take long.

Three warmed dishes are lined up on the table as I pour liquid juices from one can onto the plate in front of a hovering Pixie doing ballet steps impatiently. This gives me time to start spooning food onto the other plates and bat Clyde’s head out of the way…Rufus feeling left out of it starts climbing up my leg as I place two plates onto the floor mat for the boys. Silence pervades except for the constant slurping down wolfishly of food.

Time to rescue the kettle…my mug is icy cold, so the handle has to be wetted with hot water as does the inside. Tipping that out into a small plastic bowl, I pour fresh water onto my tea bag (remember I still needed to wash my hands … darn RV’s with no running hot water) it is bliss to warm the hands as I wash them in the bowl.

While the tea brews it is time to take off my boots and put my feet into the oven…….yes you heard right. “Toasting the tootsie time”, I rub and massage some life back into them before rebooting.

Now it is time to sit back and enjoy my well deserved cuppa and think of how I got into this situation.
***
Now as I look down upon a dark grey stone engraved with the word ‘believe’ given me at my final session by my therapist I realized that I had forgiven the nightmare (just like Clara Barton, founder of The American Red Cross had when she was asked if she remembered a vicious deed done to her years before. For she replied “No, I distinctly remember forgetting it,”)


message 21: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
Christene - just curious - where's her husband? Did he pass away of natural causes or did she kill him?

When I was a young girl in East Tennessee, I lived with my grandmother. About a quarter mile from her house lived a man in a broken down RV at the edge of the woods in the bend of the road. He had a group of dogs that lived with him. I wondered how he could afford to feed them.


message 22: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments Gleda, let me know if I can make corrections and repost my story. Thanks.


message 23: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments Glenda. Forgive me for misspelling your name. I've been driving for hours and my glasses no longer work.


message 24: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
Patricia wrote: "Glenda. Forgive me for misspelling your name. I've been driving for hours and my glasses no longer work."

Yes, sure. I'm not a hard stickler for not allowing that. Just click on the edit button bottom right at the end of your story your posted. Once you've made corrections, click the "edit post" button on the lower left hand side.


message 25: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
Time for you all to submit your votes to me. Either message me your votes here at Goodreads or email to me at glendareynolds2004@yahoo.com Thank you!
1st place - 3 points
2nd place - 2 points
3rd place - 1 point


message 26: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments Stolen Property. Patricia Fuqua Lovett. Word Count: 612

Bud dreaded hearing the reading of the Will. Looking into the eyes of his ten siblings didn’t help quell the unease he’d felt all morning. He shook his Starbucks’ coffee cup only to find that it was empty which was an apt description of how he’d felt ever since the last parent, his father, died.

Before this dreaded meeting, he’d acquired copies of maps that showed not only their farm but the other three adjacent farms. He studied the current configurations and compared them to maps that were drawn before his parents’ purchase. Their acreage was smaller while one of the other farmer’s acreage showed an increase. He knew there was never a sale of land at least by his family. Farmers worked hard to keep their holdings.

The night before the reading he took one last look, but he kept coming back to the same conclusion. All the land that his parents purchased when they bought the farm was not there. But how could that be? He’d heard the tale of the moonshine running, two-bit farmer who owned the parcel next to theirs paid the county surveyor to redraft his parcel and grab three acres of theirs. While three acres might not seem like a lot of land to some people, it mattered to a poor farmer who’s only source of water was from the unpredictable rain fall or the nearby creek on which the three acres encompassed.

Feeling both sad and angry, Bud remembered advice his dad had given him throughout his life. “Things may not always seem right or equal but in the end, it will always work out. Bud, all you have to do is watch, wait and pray.”

Just as Bud was about to get up and refill his cup from a nearby coffee urn, the attorney entered the room. Bud was startled to see a broken down old man tottering alongside the attorney.

“I’m sorry to keep you folks waiting, but Mr. Raymond Spot called me late last night and asked if he could speak to you before the private session of the reading of the Will began. With your permission, may he speak?”

You could hear a pen drop in the room. Bud was the first to speak. “Mr. Spot, I’d like to hear what you have to say.” The other ten siblings joined in agreement that they too wanted to hear from Mr. Spot.

With tears streaming down the folds of his leathery face and unsuccessfully suppressing trembling but gnarly hands he managed to wipe the drops from his glazed, cataract encrusted eyes. He shook his head and softly spoke the word “no” as Bud’s oldest sister Lois handed Mr. Spot a bottle of water. “Y’all have done enough for me and I didn’t deserve any of it. I was never a nice neighbor. For one thing, I stole y’all land and your Daddy never said a word. He was wise enough to know that I would’ve harmed him if he’d confronted me about the land or anything else. Today, I not only give y’all your land back but I want to leave all my land to you. I’ll be leaving the area soon and I’ll have no more use for it and it probably doesn’t have any more use for me. I’ll have this fine lawyer draw up the papers. When your Daddy was sick, I paid him a visit and asked for his forgiveness. He didn’t hesitate. Today, I’m asking y’all to forgive me too, if you can find it in your heart to do so. With that, Mr. Spot tottered out of the room in much the way he entered. Quietly.


message 27: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments Thanks Glenda.


message 28: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments Are stories missing from this thread? If so, please add links for missing stories.

Thanks.


message 29: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
Here are the total stories submitted as follows:
Forgiveness Takes Time by David Russell
Understanding Forgiveness By Stephanie Baskerville
Forgive or Give Vengeance? by F.F. Burwick
Do you remember a vicious deed done to you years before?
…By Christene Britton-Jones
Stolen Property by Patricia Fuqua Lovett


message 30: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments So sorry I have been missing for the past couple of months. I am happy to finally be back! I will be posting the story guidelines for the December story in a couple of days. I am still torn between the relating it to Christmas or staying away from it.

BTW Great stories everyone!!!!!!!


message 31: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments Thanks, Lynette and welcome back. I hope all is well or certainly on the up swing.


message 32: by David (new)

David (drussell52) | 0 comments Patricia, Great story, and I like the request for forgiveness by the old neighbor which ends the story. The reader is left to speculate further. Can this entry be considered for the Forgiveness Anthology?

David


message 33: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments I would have no problem giving permission but I don't think I can make the decision to include the story in the Forgiveness Anthology. I'm so happy you liked it and I truly appreciate your saying so.

Thanks.


message 34: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments Writers, I just completed reading the November stories "Forgiveness." I learned writing techniques from each story so I'm happy about that and so appreciate of your work and willingness to share in the monthly challenges.

Christine Britton-Jones. Your use of phrasing and word usage is superb. Example: de-gloved and whilst (which is old-English, formal writing). I also like the diary style which allowed you tell your story and pack a lot in a less than a 1,000 words.
F.F. Burwick. Loved the conversational style of telling your story. You presented a problem for the main character (fear) to overcome. You also make the main character take an introspective look (in the end). Great story telling.
Stephanie Baskerville. You carried out this month's theme throughout the story, very clear writing, your story was believable (which not always easy to do for a lot of writers). Great story.
David Russell. Your story provided a lot of teaching moments to your readers. You gave an account in modern day terms yet you were able to maintain the truth. I love the conversational style of story telling. Great job .


message 35: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments Thanks Glenda for hosting the challenge for the month of November. Great job!


message 36: by Christene (new)

Christene Britton-Jones | 201 comments Glenda wrote: "Christene - just curious - where's her husband? Did he pass away of natural causes or did she kill him?

When I was a young girl in East Tennessee, I lived with my grandmother. About a quarter mile..."


Glenda she is still serving time for manslaughter....the frying pan slipped out of her hand........?????


message 37: by David (new)

David (drussell52) | 0 comments Hello Writers,
First, Patricia, thank you for your comments on each of our stories.
Christene, I cannot begin to imagine what it is like to have a loved one behind bars. You have my empathy. We had a pastor who has about served half his time and in the recent past his wife died from a stroke and their daughter gave birth to her first child. He will not get out until the child is at least five years.

I just started reading "The Christmas Mystery" by Jostein Gaarder, a Norwegian writer, and am enjoying this short novella. It is faith-based, written for the Christmas season, about a young lad who finds an Advent calendar in a bookstore that contains 24 hand-written chapters about a young girl, angel, and lamb going back in time and distance to Bethlehem. I like Gaarder's writing style.

David Russell


message 38: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments The December contest is officially open. https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/...


message 39: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
I'm falling asleep on the job here. I have had the votes tabulated, but I wanted to see if any more trickled in at the last minute. I'll post the winners when I get home. Sorry.


message 40: by David (new)

David (drussell52) | 0 comments Sending thanks to Lynette for posting the December story challenge, and Glenda for all the administrative duties you fulfill to make sure things are up and running on an ongoing basis!
David


message 41: by Glenda (new)

Glenda Reynolds (glendareynolds) | 933 comments Mod
Here are the winners for this months Power of Forgiveness:

1st place 2-way tie: Understanding Forgiveness By Stephanie Baskerville and Stolen Property by Patricia Fuqua Lovett

2nd place: Forgive or Give Vengeance? by F.F. Burwick

3rd place: Do you remember a vicious deed done to you years before? By Christene Britton-Jones

Congratulations winners. You make things interesting and shake things up for our challenges.


message 42: by David (new)

David (drussell52) | 0 comments Hi,
Congratulations to Stephanie, Fred, and Christene on your stories placing. Good job!
David


message 43: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments Thank you very much for your vote. November's challenge allowed me to dig deep in my childhood bank of memories about my dad who was a devout Christian, poor, farmer with faulty neighbors. So I allowed the challenge to take me back a few years and relive some our family conversations.

All of the stories were very good and I enjoyed reading them.

Thanks Glenda for managing the November challenge.


message 44: by Lynette (new)

Lynette White (lynettewhite) | 309 comments Congrats to the winners.


message 45: by F.F. (new)

F.F. Burwick | 154 comments Thanks for your votes, and Stephanie, Patricia, and Christene, congratulations to you for your winning stories.


message 46: by Patricia (new)

Patricia Lovett | 341 comments F.F. wrote: "Thanks for your votes, and Stephanie, Patricia, and Christene, congratulations to you for your winning stories."

Thanks!!!


message 47: by Christene (new)

Christene Britton-Jones | 201 comments Many, many thanks for your votes, muchly appreciated....


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