Jul 12, 2010

Happy Birthday To Me Contest - 3rd Place

Yep, my birthday is coming up on Wednesday the 14th so I had a fun little contest with my writing buddies over on Authors Incognito. In order to enter the contest they had to write in 1000 words or less, a short story or poem using as many items as they could from a list of things I've received over the years for my birthday.

I just have to say that this was VERY hard to judge. There were so many great entries that I almost just posted them all, but then I figured that that wouldn't be fair to the ones I eventually chose as the winners. I promised to choose 3 winners and so I'm obligated. Thanks to everyone who entered. I laughed and laughed. It was the best bunch of Birthday Presents I've had in years. Certainly better than anything on my list.

Here's the list:

pink fuzzy bath slippers
.22 rifle
glass horse
sleeping bag
a journal
white bean bag chair
a kitten (Sheba)
a bouquet of flowers
a Barbie doll
Roller skates
a book (How to Draw Animals)
a 10-speed bike (white)
A stuffed alligator
A Donny Osmond poster (stop laughing)
a lamp for my desk
flip flops
a jewelry box
a cedar chest
a heart locket
a used stereo (with record turn table)

So, out of all the entries, the third place will be posted on the 12th, the 2nd on the 13th and the 1st place winner on the 14th (My birthday).



First Date
by Taryn Taylor

“What do you think about kissing on the first date?”  Steve had himself between a Donny Osmond poster and a record turn table.
“Hmm…no. That’s against first date rules,” I said, feeling the sweat running down my back.  “I’m going to get a drink.”
        “Go ahead.”  He turned back to all the equipment.  I couldn’t tell if his feelings were hurt or not.  He was focused on his system for DJing the institute dances.
        I pulled myself up from the white bean bag chair and took off the roller skates Steve thought I might find entertaining while he was busy.  
I rushed down the stairs, crushing my toes to my favorite flip flops to keep them in place.  The hallway was packed with people I’d seen here and there.  I touched my heart locket and thought of my grandmother.  I’d only been here six months, but every day I missed home more.
        “Whoa.”  A spikey haired, blonde guy stepped in front of me.  He was carrying a stuffed alligator and looked like he’d been playing beach volleyball.  “I think I was first.”   He drank long and deep.
        I let civility rule.  “Nice alligator.”  It was my best imitation of my big sister, the queen of sarcasm.
        He smiled.  “Sorry.”  He held the alligator up.  “I won this, a barbie doll, and a .22 rifle, at the little carnival out there, but I didn’t bring those in the church.” 
        I rolled my eyes and thought of Wayne Shirley from high school; football star, arrogant, and an annoyingly cute smile.  I always wanted him to ask me out so I could tell him I didn’t date nonmembers.  “Hmm.”  I bent down and took a drink.
        “What’s your name?”  He didn’t move.
        “Why would I tell you my name?  I’m not your type.”  I turned to head back to Steve.  I didn’t see the ten speed bike in the hallway.  “Ouch!” I tumbled over it and landed on my stomach. 
        “Here.”  He reached out his hand.
        “Thanks,” I said, knowing my face could go insane amounts of red quickly.
        “My name’s Beau.  Beau Glasshorse.”
        I looked in his eyes and thought he might be smarter than Wayne Shirley.  I put my hand out.  “Anna Taylor.”   He smiled and leaned in.  I thought he smelled like a cedar chest I had at my parent’s home next to my jewelry box.  My heart picked up speed.
        “Want to dance?” 
        “Umm…” I thought of Steve with his long sideburns and the sleeping bag in his backseat he told me we would use for star gazing later.
        Beau sensed my hesitation.  “C’mon.”  He dropped the alligator next to the ten speed and gently cuffed the back of my arm, pulling me to the doors. 
        “Has the cave man act always worked for you?”
        Beau flashed his football hero smile.  “Yep.”  He took my hands and pulled me into an old-fashioned stance.  “So what’s your major?” 
        His nearness forced me to concentrate a little bit on the steps.  “Art Education.”
        He flung me out and pulled me back into him. 
        I was surprised.  “Nice.”
        “I bet you thought I could only play sports?”  His eyes twinkled. 
        I raised my eyebrows a little surprised at his perceptiveness and felt myself becoming fluid with the music.
        He pulled me in close to him.  “I saw you up there.”  He nodded to the stage.  I looked at Steve.  He was snuggled up to his equipment like a kitten against a fireplace.
        “He brought pink, fuzzy slippers for me and a How to Draw Animals book, in case I get bored.”  I shook my head sadly.
        “W-o-w.”  Beau laughed, his blue eyes becoming pools of light.
The song ended and a fast one began.  “Do you want to get some air?”
We walked out and the stars looked dim, like the lamp on my desk in my dorm room.       
“So…do you kiss on the first date?” 
        I paused.  “You heard him?”
        He laughed, nodding.  “I liked how you just told him straight up about the rules.”
        I sighed, rolling my eyes.  “So where did you serve your mission.” Missions were always a good way to change the subject.
        He gave me a look that said he knew what I was doing.  He sat down beside me, his shoulder touching mine.  “Australia.  Where’s your missionary?”
        “Wh—what do you mean?”  His face was close to mine.
        “I’ve seen your type.  You probably only came with what’s his bucket…”
        “Steve.”  He pushed my hair gently out of my face.  “Because you’ve been pining over your missionary and your friends told you to go have some fun.”
        I felt my skin tingle.  “Nope.”  I shook my head, trying to come out of the trance I was in.
        “Hmm.”  He looked from my eyes to my lips and leaned in closer. 
        “I’m pathetic.”
        “Why?” He looked back to my eyes.
        “Cause I’ve just been homesick and sitting in my dorm room.  It’s sad that Steve was probably taking pity on me.”
Beau smiled.  “I haven’t wanted to kiss anyone for a long, long time, Anna.”  He breathed in deeply, as if I was a bouquet of flowers.
        “Well…”  My head was spinning.
        Steve put up his hand. “Remember, this isn’t a date so first date rules don’t apply.”
        I sighed.  His lips touched mine softly, like a whisper kissing a flower.
        I sucked in my breath and tried to stand, feeling unsteady. He grabbed my hand.  “Don’t go.”
        I looked down at him, thinking that I was completely changed by this moment.
        “I’m sorry.  I don’t know why…well, that’s a lie.  I do know why I did that.  I think you’re beautiful and fun and that you should save yourself and come home with me…” He trailed off. 
        I paused, then sat down.  “So that would make you like my rescuer?”
        He squeezed my hand and I knew that I would never have to face a first date again.  “Yep.”


  1. Very good! I wish I'd had time to enter. Happy Birthday!

  2. Ah, Taryn you gave me little tingles at the end. Hee hee. Sweet.

  3. L.O.V.E IT!

    Great birthday idea, Christine! Have a happy one!