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Thursday, September 19, 2013

September 19th Challenge

Hi, it’s Christina – 
 

Good morning! As usual, I got distracted by a shiny object this morning. An article online caught my eye so I read it, then I made the mistake of reading the comments, then I left a comment of my own which I was going to share with you, but caffeine deprivation had me clicking out of the site and then not able to locate the site again.

 
Anyway, it was the article about the 8 year old boy who wrote a letter to Santa, but instead of asking for toys, he asked if Santa could stop his twin sister from being bullied. One of the comments made in response to the article was the girl was probably getting bullied because she was overweight, to which the commenter received a boatload of backlash. Then in the comment right before mine, the woman shamed all the other people who left comments by pointing out how they had become the bullies. The person who made the initial comment probably didn’t know the child’s excessive weight was, more than likely, a side effect of the medication she was taking for the other conditions she had.

 
My comment basically was if we want to stop bullying, we need to start at home. Watch what we say around the kids. Set an example for them to follow.

 
I admitted to having slips – loudly questioning the mental faculties of a bad driver – making an off handed comment about someone’s make-up or clothing. I (someone who was bullied, teased, picked on, ostracized, whatever you want to call it, from 7th – 12th grade) should have known better. I am just as guilty as everyone else. I just lucked out to have children who felt the need to stand up for and befriend kids who were getting bullied.

 
Kids don’t know if that FAT girl has a medical problem or if that boy with the DUMB CLOTHES dresses that way because his dad lost his job two years ago and those are the only clothes he can afford. Kids don’t know if that STUPID boy does, in fact, have a learning disability, or that WEAK girl is just trying to hide herself away from any confrontation because she gets more than enough at home. Bullies only see FAT, DUMB CLOTHES, STUPID, WEAK.
 

If you hear your child teasing someone, don’t yell at them, point out a possible reason behind whatever it is they are making fun of. It will give the child a chance to see things from a different perspective and maybe refrain from tormenting the other kid. It may be fun to pick on someone who’s FAT, but is it fun to pick on someone who’s fat because they are taking medication to shrink a tumor in their brain and they can’t help the side effects? (No, I do not think it is funny to pick on someone who is fat - unless of course I'm poking fun at myself who has become a little "fluffy" over the years.)

 
Bullying is an epidemic that has spanned every race, religion and sexual orientation since the dawn of time, and if you believe otherwise, you’re delusional. If you have ever chanted “fatty, fatty 2 by 4”, ever called someone “four eyes”, “brace-face” or “beanpole” you have bullied. If you were on the receiving end of any of those comments, you have been the victim of bullying. Even if you never did any of those things, you know of them occurring, so therefore you have been a witness to bullying. This is nothing new, but it is well past time it stops. It sad this horrific issue has only recently come to the forefront and is only starting to be addressed.

 
OK, stepping down from yet another soap box. Thank you for your indulgence during my tirade. I hope you have a wonderful day and happy writing!

  

Your Last Challenge was:

Your mission today, should you chose to accept, is to scare me. Even though I am not a fan of horror novels, I would like you to write a scary story and share it.

 

Whether it was the loud thump or the sound of breaking glass which woke Keira, she wasn’t sure, but it rousted her from a sound sleep. She glanced over to the next bed and noticed her little sister had been awakened by the noise as well. When they heard their father run down the stairs, both girls slid out of bed, into their fuzzy slippers, and padded over to their door to see what was going on.

 
Keira pressed her finger to her lips, warning Julia to keep quiet. She didn’t want them to get in trouble for being out of bed. Julia nodded. That’s when they heard shouting from downstairs and a loud POP, POP, POP. Keira grabbed Julia’s hand and raced into the hall. As they reached their parent’s bedroom door, it opened and their mother pulled the girls inside and quickly closed the door.

 
She looked around frantically as she whispered to the girls, “There’s someone one in the house. I’m going to find somewhere for you two to hide, and I want you to promise me that no matter what, you will stay hidden until Daddy or I come and get you. You can’t make a sound. Promise me!”

 
With tears in their eyes and a small whimper from Julia, the girls nodded their promise. Their mom, knowing under the bed or in the closet would be the first places someone would look, desperately tried to think where she could hide her children to keep them safe. Then she noticed the small piles of laundry she had sorted and was planning to wash in the morning.

 
“Come here girl. Lie down. Don’t move. Don’t make a sound.” When the girls laid down on the floor, their mother repositioned the laundry on top of them, completely concealing them from the naked eye, yet keeping the appearance of haphazardly sorted piles of dirty clothes. Before she straightened she whispered, “Mommy loves you.”
 

Keira tried to be brave. She tried not to cry, tried to lie perfectly still. Under the piles of clothes she still held her sister’s hand, and when she felt that tiny hand start to shake, she gave it a little squeeze in hope it would give her sister some comfort. When she heard the bedroom door crash open, her mother scream and then another POP, POP, POP, she squeezed Julia’s hand harder and prayed she would not give them away.

 

Dang, I flew through that one! I will admit, I dreamt about it last night, so that’s what probably made it much easier and able to get so much down in ten minutes.

 

Your Next Challenge is:

 

Write a story containing the following three words: Queen, Computer & Assignment

 

You have 10 minutes (be honest). There is no right or wrong, just write. Spelling and punctuation don’t count and NO ONE is allowed to criticize what someone else has written. Go.