Everyone turned in excellent posts. They were so much fun to read. We hope you'll stop back by in the months ahead and try again.
Congratulations, Samantha Lang, winner of the October Prompt Contest.
Samantha loves reading and writing. For the last seven years, she has worked as a nanny for a family with eight children. She has entered short story and poetry contests and now wants to tackle the challenge of novel writing.
Thanks for entering our contest, Samantha, and may God bless your path toward becoming a published writer.
Here is Samantha's winning entry, in response to our prompt:
Janie stared at the particles of food which coated her once clean kitchen. Could a Crock Pot explode? Hopelessly, she glanced at her pantry and wondered how her guests felt about bowls of cereal for lunch.
“No good deed goes unpunished,” she muttered. Janie picked up her grandmother’s latest letter and scanned its contents again.
"Janie, you should meet my new neighbor, Carla, teacher at Larson High School. We’ve had some delightful chats and I would love to introduce you, dear."
Reading between the lines, Janie knew that was her grandmother’s way of fishing for that elusive invitation to lunch. Surrendering to the hint, she wrote a letter (Gran insisted on snail-mail), inviting both Gran and her neighbor to lunch. How hard could it be to entertain two ladies for a few hours? But as she surveyed her kitchen, Janie wondered if the afternoon was doomed to fail. Her once favorite appliance lay on its side, still plugged into the wall. The makings of Italian wedding soup covered the room, floor to ceiling.
Janie looked up at the clock. 11:30. She had half an hour to recover her kitchen. Throwing her hair back in a sloppy ponytail and rolling up her sweatpants, she set to work.At exactly noon, Janie lifted Gran’s letter and took one last swipe of the counter with her dishrag. Though she herself was less than presentable, the kitchen looked fantastic, perhaps even cleaner than before the disaster. She grabbed a bottle of air freshener from beneath the sink and squirted a bit into the air.
At the sound of the doorbell, Janie took a deep breath and forced a smile on her face, hurrying to the door with Gran’s note still in her hand. As she opened the door, however, her smile faded and her heart dropped.There was Gran, in her floral dress and thick sweater. But the arm she gripped for support was not the matronly teacher Janie expected.
Towering over Gran stood a man. A very handsome man with light brown hair and remarkably blue eyes. His smile revealed perfect teeth and two deep dimples.Words failed Janie.
Gran tilted her head to one side, studying Janie’s appearance. “Janie, I hope you are still expecting us. This is my new neighbor, Carl.”
Carl? Janie scanned the note in her hand, feeling her face burn red as she realized her mistake. Her grandmother’s frail script didn’t read, “Carla, teacher at Larson High School,” but “Carl, a teacher at Larson High School.”
Janie looked up, horrified. Gran’s eyes twinkled in amusement. “May we come in?”