ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Hunting for Christine - Writing Challenge by Chris Mills

Updated on September 21, 2015
brakel2 profile image

Audrey has spread her wings by attempting writing challenges which bring her pleasure and expand her knowledge.

The Challenge

Chris Mills issued a writing challenge with the following conditions:

Drama

One thousand words or less

Walking cane

Coffee Shop

It is my pleasure to be a part of this challenge.

Coffee Shop New York City
Coffee Shop New York City

Surprise Phone Call

As he packed his belongings, he suddenly received a surprising phone call from the coffee shop, Wholly Grounds. The owner said Christine had come in and learned of his hunt for her. In fact, she was there right then. Frank was so excited he grabbed a cab and quickly arrived. He spotted her and saw her get up, using her red cane, and come toward him from her plush seat in the library area. As she threw her arms around him, all ninety pounds of her, in a teddy bear hug, he was both surprised and pleased.

The Beginning of a Friendship

They had met in Germany where he was stationed, five years ago, and she was on a trip to visit relatives. Coffee shops were their favorite meeting places, as she was addicted to peppermint coffee. They had a few dates, and he learned she was low on money and had some health problems and no insurance. Their relationship was just friendship, and he did not lust for her.

Rothelberg, Germany
Rothelberg, Germany

The Hunt

Now back in the United States, he had tried looking her up in the phone book to no avail and tried to contact relatives. The Internet showed no record of her death, and she wasn’t in any hospital. Once, he thought he saw her on the street and ran quickly after Christine. But she quickly disappeared around the corner. She did have that red cane, so he knew it must be her, remembering how fast that cane took her.

He kept returning to the coffee shop, Wholly Grounds, that she said she frequented, as he tried to find her in the Bronx in New York City. Aware, that she sometimes went elsewhere, he looked everywhere. With the look of a frantic man, Frank met many folks along the way who remembered her - Christine, the fiery redhead, who used a bright red cane. It reflected her femininity with a small red and white bow in the middle of the brightly painted wooden decorative cane.

Cane
Cane

Plush Coffee Shop

Wholly Grounds was an elegant coffee shop that might only exist in a large city. It was a large red brick building that seated about one hundred people. A bakery filled with yummy delicacies in all colors stood in the middle of the shop. Books filled one area with various open seating arrangements and a disabled area..

It surprised him that Christine would frequent the shop, but it was actually quite reasonable in price. He knew she liked it because of some German delicacies. He later learned that the proprietors were originally from Germany, and that is how they knew of Christine. He wondered where she could possibly be, almost hiding from her favorite place.

Giving Up

Frank finally talked further to the owners, learning that Chris had recently become engaged to someone she met at the coffee shop and was on a long honeymoon. His face gave away his disappointment, and yet he knew this development might solve all her problems. Preparing to leave the city, he felt his visit was all in vain, until he received the phone call.

Reunion of Couple
Reunion of Couple

Reunion

After all these years, they still recognized each other. He felt his heart skipping a beat, as they sat down to renew acquaintances. It was as if no time had passed, since they last saw each other. He asked about her health, and her look was grim. She said her leg was worse and may be cancerous. She had just broken her engagement, as she did not want her fiancé to bear this burden, and she had some reservations about their relationship, in addition to being without insurance. Her reliance on her lovely red cane was very obvious to him, and Frank remembered the insurance problem.

Money for Christine

Then the whole story came out. Frank, talking as fast as he could, almost unintelligible, told her the reason for his intensive hunt for her. He said, “Christine, I have just inherited a large sum of money from my parents, and I have never forgotten you and your medical issues. I have looked everywhere for you to offer my funds to help in your healing."

He saw tears welling in her eyes and her look of compassion as she replied, “Frank, I cannot believe that our brief friendship led you to such an impossible offer to me, a nobody, who has always walked with a bright red cane. Nobody ever asked many questions about the cane or my health, but you have such a caring attitude to make me feel like I am somebody, maybe even a special person, and not a nobody. I know you mean it, and I will never forget your sacrifice.”

He looked at her in disbelief that she would not consider herself special, as she was one of the most special persons he had ever met. In that moment, he finally realized that fact. Their eyes met, and they both realized how intense their relationship had become. It blossomed in the middle of the Wholly Grounds coffee shop in the plush area near her favorite German delicacies and peppermint coffee. Frank realized he could help return her to good health as a miracle from the Angels. Maybe, she might even discard her favorite red cane with its lovely red and white bow.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • brakel2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Selig 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Pat - I am so glad you enjoyed my challenge, and the story of Wholly Grounds coffee shop. This is like a story of your love, and love is what makes us dance and be happy. I am glad you felt the reality of this story, and those kind words make me feel humble. Have a great day. Blessings, Audrey

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 

      2 years ago from sunny Florida

      O Audrey...what a lovely story. A time of reconnection and demonstration of love at its deepest level...being willing to help someone who is truly in need.

      Well done....I felt I was IN the Wholly Grounds...just off to the side watching this unfold.

      Angels are on the way to you this wee hour of the morning ps

    • brakel2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Selig 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Flourish - I love to write stories with a moral or a blessing to others. That is probably because I try to help others, beginning with my years in social welfare. Thank you for the kind comment about our being a blessing to others. My story deals a little with non-fiction to write what we know. Thanks for stopping by. I miss you when we don't connect. Have a great evening. Blessings, Audrey

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 years ago from USA

      I love the charitable angle you have chosen here. We should all strive to be a blessing in the lives of others -- those we know well as well as those we do not.

    • brakel2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Selig 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Thanks Deb - I like stories with happy endings that show a caring attitude. Thanks for reading and commenting. It's funny how we become attached to these philosophies in our writing. You are so kind to stop by and visit my site. May your day be great up there in Stillwater. Go OSU. Blessings,, Audrey

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 

      2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      How endearing a tale, Christine. It helps renew one's faith in humanity, after all...

    • brakel2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Selig 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Ann - Thanks for your encouragement and replies to my comments. It does help to write about scenes and folks familiar to you. It becomes more personal and passionate. Blessings, Audrey

    • brakel2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Selig 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Drbj - Thanks for your kind words and for reading this flash fiction challenge. It is such fun, almost as much fun as your funny hubs that make us laugh and make our day. What would we do without a place to write? Have a good day. Blessings, Audrey

    • brakel2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Selig 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Tillson - You are such a good writer, and I appreciate your taking the time to comment. You enjoy a happy ending as I do, and one that keeps your interest. It is such fun to do these challenges and improve writing skills along the the way. I remember that you have the skills for the challenges and for creating happy endings. Have a great day. Blessings, Audrey

    • brakel2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Selig 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi Venka - You are the greatest of commenters, and boost my confidence. Calling my story awesome means a lot to me. It is such fun to write a flash fiction story, as a pleasant diversion from non-fiction writing. I know you have already done flash fiction, and these challenges make the site rise and shine. Blessings, Audrey

    • Venkatachari M profile image

      Venkatachari M 

      2 years ago from Hyderabad, India

      Beautiful story, Audrey. You have come up with such an awesome piece for which I have been waiting since many days.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      I think it always helps to use what and who you know; you've got the image and the knowledge on your doorstep so you don't have to invent it!

      I think you have a flair for flash fiction so looking forward to the next.

      Ann

    • brakel2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Selig 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Hi John - I just read your response to challenge which is hard to match. Thank you for your response to my story and your enjoyment of the challenge. I also love rekindled love stories and enjoyed writing it. It is fun to think of ways to make it interesting and fun. I will be back at your site again soon to see what's up. Blessings, Audrey

    • brakel2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Selig 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Ann - I did enjoy this challenge, my first flash fiction. I used the name of a coffee shop in my neighborhood, and used my neighbor as the fictional lady. She does use a cane. It is fun to use what you already know. I appreciate your kind words, especially from someone like you with such expertise. I liked using the cane also, as a part of the character's femininity and weaving it into the story. Have a great day. Blessings, Audrey

    • drbj profile image

      drbj and sherry 

      2 years ago from south Florida

      What a sweet story, Audrey. Well done, m'dear.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      2 years ago from New York

      This is a great response to Chris's challenge! You've written a story with all the required elements, especially hooking us in the beginning and keeping us interested! Very well done right down to the happy ending.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 

      2 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Audrey, this was a great first attempt at fiction. A feel good love-rekindled story with a happy ending, what more could we want? Glad you took up Chris's challenge.

    • annart profile image

      Ann Carr 

      2 years ago from SW England

      I love this response to Chris' challenge. It's fun to do, isn't it?

      The name of the coffee shop is charming and fits your story too. You've done a great job with this; the setting and your characters are alive - we see them and feel their emotions. The red cane is a good, bright thread throughout!

      Well done!

      Ann

    • brakel2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Selig 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Thanks Cam for your kind words and critique. I am really a non-fiction writer with a few attempts at fiction. Your comments make me feel so good, as I know what a great flash fiction writer you have become with lessons, experience, and participation in contests. I admire you for initiating this challenge and have read excellent entries. Good luck in your current contest. You are already a winner in my book. Blessings, Audrey

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      Audrey, the word count is a maximum of 1000 words. You are well under that, which is fine.

    • brakel2 profile imageAUTHOR

      Audrey Selig 

      2 years ago from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

      Thanks Randy - I had trouble with the back stories. I think I might do better a second time. I appreciate your kind comment. Next time, fewer characters, descriptions, and maybe not so long. I thought it had to be almost 1000 words. It was fun writing it. Blessings,, Audrey

    • cam8510 profile image

      Chris Mills 

      2 years ago from Missoula, Montana through August 2018

      Audrey, Who doesn't enjoy a rekindled love story? I certainly do, and I love the one you've written for this challenge. You mentioned you had trouble with the backstory. You'll have to show me where you had trouble because you actually did it perfectly. You began in the coffee shop, flashed back to the backstory and ended in the coffee shop. The whole time period in which the story occurred was mere minutes. Without the backstory, the present story would have had very little emotional impact on the reader. There are certainly places you could have saved words and kept the pace up, but those are minor adjustments you can make to your writing of flash fiction. Congratulations on a wonderful first attempt at this short format.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 

      2 years ago from Southern Georgia

      Great effort in response to Chris's challenge, Audrey. Especially for your first FF try. :)

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)