Friday, May 20

Friday Fiction: The Right Thing?

Hello! And welcome to another exciting episode of FICTION FRIDAY!!! My dear friend
Karlene is our hostess today. Visit her blo g "Dancin' in the rain" to find the Linky Tool and lots of great reading!

I'm sharing my most recent Faithwriters Challenge entry, for the topic OUTGOING.  I finished this story one minute before the deadline and entered with 30 seconds to spare. I even got up early that morning to write! (And I am NOT a morning person.) I am very pleased that the judges placed   "The Right Thing?"  7th in Level Four, and 12th overall.

Enjoy, and BE BLESSED!


The Right Thing?

Zach shifted his numb rear-end on the metal folding chair and checked his program for the millionth time. The silly hat threatened to slip, but he was afraid one more adjustment might send it sliding off. He cast his eyes down his row and caught Collin staring at him. Zach swallowed the rising bile and gave him a single nod.

Zach agreed the plan was do-able, but actually doing it was raising more than butterflies in his stomach; it felt like the Radio City Rockettes were dancing it up down there.

I can't do this. Dad's going to kill me! Why did I say yes?

Then he remembered why. The intersection of No way! and Okay. Collin's closing argument.

"If we all go at the same time, he won't be able to stop us. Come on, who's in?"

Zack had wavered at the back of the group of boys as Collin issued the challenge, but when everyone else shouted their assent, he was carried along on the wave of camaraderie and common convictions.

The first pang of regret and the first panic attack collided in his gut when Collin turned the spotlight directly on Zach.

"But it all depends on you, Zach. Are you up to it?"

How was he supposed to say "no"? He'd look like a wimp and a chicken. Besides, he believed it was right. And if everyone else did it, what could happen? Zach didn't trust his voice not to crack, so he just nodded and tried not to vomit.

Three bottles of antacid and three days later, it was finally time.

Zach watched Chris Rheingold, class salutatorian, shake the principal's hand and exit the stage to a round of applause. Zach hadn't heard a word of his speech.

The principal took the podium and, before he'd finished introducing him, Zach was on his feet and fumbling in his pocket for the notecards he wouldn't be using for his valedictory address. He needed something to occupy his hands.

He managed to make it down the aisle and up the steps to the stage without stumbling, and when he took his place behind the podium and looked at his classmates, he was relieved and lifted. Each one had a finger on one eye--the sign--"I'm in."

"Class of 2011, family, and distinguished guests. I would like to take this opportunity to recognize someone who has helped this class through four years of high school. He made sure we all made it here today. In fact, 25 graduating classes flourished under his teaching and mentoring. Coach Jacobson." Zach took deep breaths as the applause and cheers rang through the auditorium.

"I'm going to steal the principal's thunder here--I know he was planning to make this announcement. The Class of 2011 will be the last group of kids to benefit from Coach Jacobson's tutelage." Zach ignored the shuffling and shifting of the faculty seated behind him and plowed on. "He has been asked to resign."

As shouts of dismay and murmurs of disapproval swept through the room, Zack geared up for the hardest part of his impromptu speech.

"It seems that Coach is too old to be a good teacher now. Well if that's true, then the education we received from him is worthless. And if our education is worthless, then so are the diplomas we're about to receive." Zach shook the principal's grasping hand off his arm and hurried on, raising his voice to be heard above the protests of the audience.

"Coach J, we love you, man, and if you're going, we're going with you." Zach was shaking as stepped away from the podium and walked back down the steps. The entire graduating class rose to their feet and, row by row, silently filed out of the auditorium to a growing chant from the crowd.

"Bring back Coach J! Bring back Coach J!"

When feet started stomping, the ruckus shook the building, and the pyramid of rolled diplomas stacked on the stage quaked. One by one, the diplomas slipped off the stack and tumbled to the floor.

© 2011

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Friday, May 13

Friday Fiction: The Insurrection of Procastination Nation

It's my pleasure and honor to host Fiction Friday today!! Please forgive my tardiness!! Add a link to your own fiction at the bottom of this post, or just follow the links and read along. Don't forget to leave an encouraging word to let the writers know you are reading! (We thrive on that, you know.)

This is one of my favorite stories - it was such fun to write, not to mention cathartic. For all the procastinators out there....

Be blessed,

The Insurrection of Procrastination Nation


From: Your Regent, Queen Kathryn, by authority of Our King

To: All Current and Prospective Occupants of Innerland

Let a decree be heard throughout the realm:

We have summoned soldiers to scour the provinces of Innerland. Armed with the prayers of your Regent, they have been instructed by Our King to take up an official census, and to seek out and record all rogue projects, personal or professional, that have joined the insurrection and defected to Procrastination Nation. Tasks that have crossed the border from their home province of To Do into hostile territory currently under the ruthless control of the Enemy will be reclaimed for the Kingdom and put back into circulation.

We hope you have taken notice of the example made of your “hero”, Index.

As you are likely aware, Index, the most notorious offender, has claimed citizenship on our fair isle of To Do for over a year. Although his defection was not rectified, it did not go unnoticed. We have known for some time of the ulterior motives behind his repeated reassurances. We were not amused.

Last night, we dispatched an advance war party who captured Index and returned him to the control of your Regent. He was relocated to In Progress this morning, and, within three hours, he achieved the status of Complete. He would have already sailed for his next intended assignment, Awaiting Final Product, if not for the unfortunate meddling of our nemesis Missing Paperwork. That minion of the Enemy was stopped post haste, and, tomorrow, Index’s promotion will be complete.

Do not underestimate the power Our King has bestowed upon these soldiers.

We have also requested extra security be stationed in Awaiting Final Product, another weak area in our defenses against the Enemy. He and we constantly wrestle for control of this territory, and soldiers are necessary to ensure fortification. Malingerers will be accounted for and dealt with on a priority basis. We plan to be in constant contact with Our King to assure no gaps form in the hedges of protection.

As individuals, you may not be aware of the consequences imposed by the spreading insurrection. The whole of Innerland has been affected to some degree, as have parts of Outerland and the lands beyond. The scourge known as Procrastination Nation must be stopped before it damages you further.

Occupants of Innerland, take heed and take heart: we are not against you. Our desire is the desire of Our King--to protect you from the Ultimate Enemy. To this end, we are requesting permanent placement of armed patrols among you. Their mission is to defend you from attack.

The swords they wield will never be used against you; nay, their sole purpose is to slay the minions of the Enemy. The shields they carry will extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one so no further projects are swayed to the dark side.

Only when you all follow the same path can we reach our destination. If we allow ourselves to be divided by the Enemy, we risk being dominated by him.

Stand firm, citizens, and be strong in Our King and in His mighty Power.

With highest regards,
Your Regent,
Queen Kathryn of Innerland

Written with our hand, in ink on paper, in the year of our King, Two Thousand Ten


Author’s Note: Inspired in part by Ephesians 6:10-18

Catrina Bradley

"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes."
Psalm 18:24 


Friday, May 6

Friday Fiction: 'Tis Better to Give

Hello, faithful readers and new friends! I pulled an old story out of the archives for today's Friday Fiction. I remember writing this in the car, shortly after I joined FaithWriters. The topic was "Volunteer", and I pulled a lot of memories from working in a nursing home. This story is fiction, but is based on true emotions.

Be blessed,




The frigid wind turned Carrie's cheeks into roses. A gust almost ripped the door from her hand as she opened it and ducked inside the nursing home.

"Hi Carrie, I didn't think you were working today." The head nurse looked puzzled.

"I'm not, but Jim and I have exchanged our gifts and had breakfast, so I decided to come spread some Christmas cheer this morning."

Carrie pulled off her mittens and stuffed them in her pockets as she walked past the front desk to the coatroom. She already knew which residents were expecting family today, and which ones would be alone. She decided to start with Mr. Griffin on Wing A. His wife had passed away this year, and they had no children.

Carrie went from room to room, spending time with each of the residents on her mental list. Besides talking with them, she helped a few use the restroom, rubbed lotion on some aching limbs, and helped look through drawers for misplaced belongings. It was rewarding to spend time with these dear people for a change. She loved being a nurse's aide, but she never had extra time for the residents.

She saved Ada Larson for last. Carrie knew she really shouldn't have favorites, but this lady was special. She had been widowed for many years, her friends were all gone, and her daughter and grandchildren rarely visited. She was confined to a wheelchair, her body riddled with arthritis. None of this dampened Ada's attitude toward life at all. She was always quick to point out the silver lining in every black cloud, never complaining. She could barely hold a spoon, but was determined to feed herself as long as she was able. She wanted do all she could for herself; she wasn't ready to give up.

Carrie tapped lightly on the frame of Ada's open door.

Ada lifted her eyes from her book. "Carrie! What brings you here today? You have Christmas off this year."

Carrie walked in and gave her a gentle hug. "I wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas."

"Oh, you are such a dearheart."

Carrie moved aside a large box so she could sit on the bed. "Did you get a Christmas present?"

"Grace sent it. She's a good daughter to remember her old mother."

A "good" daughter would drive four hours to visit her mother for Christmas. "Can I see?" Carrie was careful to keep judgment from her voice.

Ada smiled "Yes, of course."

Carrie removed the lid, and pulled out a beautifully crocheted blanket. "Oh, this is nice. She must have worked hard on it." Carrie stroked the pale yellow stitches, then hugged the blanket to her. "So soft and warm. I bet you love it."

"Yes, it's very nice. I don't think Grace made it herself, though. She was never interested in learning needlework. I tried to teach her, but..." A note of melancholy crept into her voice.

"I'm sorry, Ada."

"Don't be, dear. Grace may not have liked needlework, but she has many other talents. She's a very smart girl. She owns her own business, you know." She started perking up again.

"I've always wanted to learn to crochet. Do you think you could teach me?"

Ada beamed. "I'd love to! You'll be able to make something like this in no time."

"So, how are your grandchildren doing?" Carrie looked at the new photos Grace had sent with the package, and listened to Ada's boasting about the children.

After chatting for a time, Carrie glanced at her watch and reluctantly stood. "Well, Ada, I really should be going. I wish I could stay longer, but Jim's home waiting for me. He should have the turkey in the oven by now, and I've got to get busy with the rest of our small feast. I'm glad we had a chance to talk today, and I can't wait to get started on our crochet lessons."

"Yes, by all means, go home to your husband. Merry Christmas dear. And thank you for coming to visit with me today." Her voice was cheery, but sadness tinged her eyes.

"Merry Christmas, Ada."

Carrie retrieved her coat, and was almost to the front door when she heard her name. She turned and saw Ada wheeling toward her, the big box balanced on her lap.

"Carrie, dear, I want you to have this."

"Oh, no! That's your gift from your daughter."

"I saw how much you liked it. And your love means more to me than this blanket. Merry Christmas, Dearheart."

© 2006

Fiction Friday is a weekly opportunity for writers to share their work and receive a smidgen of feedback. It's also a GREAT place for readers to peruse inspiring and encouraging fiction from up-and-coming new authors. If you're new, don't be shy! Our host this week is Anna K. Jeffrey (Karls to us) at her refreshing blog "Dancin' in the Rain". Add a link or follow a link at the bottom her story.

Catrina Bradley "God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)

Wednesday, May 4

Jewels of Encourgement

Are you hungry? Me too! Join me for a little spiritual snack at Jewels of Encouragement today!!!

Be blessed AND encouraged!!!

Catrina Bradley
"God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes." Psalm 18:24 (Msg)