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Voting closed: January 13, 2007, 12:20:01 PM

Author Topic: VOTE: Challenge 23 - The Resolution  (Read 3039 times)

Offline *Lorraine*

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VOTE: Challenge 23 - The Resolution
« on: January 08, 2007, 12:20:01 PM »
Here are five excellent entries.  Good luck to everyone!   :)


Lydia pounced upon him from the shadowy recesses of the deserted corridor as he made his way back towards the muted hubbub emanating from the party. He had spent the entire evening studiously avoiding her gaze, all too aware on many occasions that he was being stalked around the softly-lit office that was filled with their co-workers. Had he been asked, Jeff might have said that they were almost taking part in a carefully choreographed dance – an ancient courtship ritual being played to an inexorable finale in which the female of the species eventually selects her mate from a throng of brightly-coloured, ardent suitors.
Jeff had excused himself from a small knot of people engaged in conversation in the corner of the room. Avoiding any route which might take him within striking distance of Lydia, he made his way to the Mens’ washroom at the end of a darkened passage of closed doors. Stooping, Jeff filled his hands with cold water which was running into one of the minimalistically-styled basins, splashing copious amounts on his face before straightening to meet his own gaze. He always tried to maintain objectivity when examining his appearance, although he could not deny the faint swell of pleasure in his chest and the resulting smile which formed on his lips from the realization that the years had treated him well – good diet, great genes and a regular exercise regime ensured that he remained the target of much attention from the ladies of the firm, and not a little envy from the men!
‘Aah!’ he thought ‘Attention from the ladies…unlike business, that’s something I’ve never had to chase too hard…but that still don’t stop me from being a schmuck!’  Jeff’s internal voice had abruptly interrupted his train of thought. His younger days had witnessed a penchant for attractive girls and a proclivity for flirting outrageously lead him into many tight scrapes from which he’d only just managed to extricate himself with body and soul intact! Notwithstanding such near disasters, the passing of time never quenched the inner fires which still fanned hotter and more urgently whenever he was in the presence of beautiful women – such as Lydia.
Earlier in the evening, soon after the office party had got going, someone had raised the inevitable New Year’s Eve question concerning resolutions. Jeff had declined to say whether he had made one but, in truth, he had entered into a solemn undertaking with himself. Henceforth, he vowed that he would never allow himself to flirt with a woman to the point where it lead, as it had many times before, to an inability to prevent Nature from taking her course. He had resolved that, for once in his life, he would see this one through – Jeff even enjoyed a small, silent thrill of self-congratulation at this new-found strength of purpose.
And now Lydia had him pressed hard against the wall adjacent to the washroom! One glimpse of her through the crowd of partygoers earlier - her green almond-shaped eyes, the pert body draped in a stunning designer gown – was enough to instantly throw water over Jeff’s best intentions, but not sufficiently to extinguish the familiar flames! He’d been unable to resist the delicious fluttering of butterflies that the vision of her had instantly freed within him and, before he could stop himself, he’d stared at her – left her in no doubt of his purpose.
And so it was that Jeff’s resolution foundered as quickly as it had been forged – but his remorse at his own lack of fortitude was tempered by the close proximity of this stunning woman. ‘Hello, Mrs. Robinson’ he whispered…’Hello, my gorgeous husband…’ she responded.


I stumbled through the front door, loaded down with shopping.

"Can someone help me with this," I shouted.

My son sat at the computer, headphones on. He hadn't even heard me. Sarah rushed into the hall, she had curlers in her hair and still wore her bath rope.

"Sorry mum I was getting ready," Sarah said, taking two shopping bags from me.

"Thanks," I said, smiling.

Sarah dropped the bags on the kitchen floor and ran back to her room. I sighed and started to put the shopping away. Billy had asked me to get him a big chocolate cake to take up to his rugby club, I put it on the top shelf of the fridge.

My eyes slid over the cake box, made with real chocolate it read. No don't even think about it. I'd promised myself that this was the year I would loose the weight I'd gained having the children. Yes I know, that was eight years ago, but this year I would be strong.I closed the fridge and walked away.

I'd only brought healthy food this week, and that delicious cake. No not again its not delicious, its evil. Its calling to me, but I will be strong. I marched up to the fridge and wrenched the door open.

c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e, it whispered.

"Shut up," I shouted as I grabbed a stick of celery. I crunched noisily, each tasteless mouthful scratching as it went down.

" Whats for dinner mum?" Billy said as he made one of his rare appearances away from the computer.

"Steamed chicken and veg."


I forced down the last mouthful of celery and started making dinner.

"Billy come and lay the table please," I called.

"Tch." Billy grunted. He laid the table and then stood staring into the fridge.

"I'm hungry, what can I eat?" he said.

"Nothing I'm cooking dinner."

"Can't I have a bit of this cake?"

Oh no not the cake again. My mouth drooled, I could almost taste it. Almost but not quite.  Mmm milk chocolate with butter cream filling, soft smooth sugary cream.


He grunted and sloped off back to the computer. I busied myself chopping the vegetables.

Sarah rushed into the kitchen. "Have you see my eyeliner?" she asked.

"You left it in the bathroom."

I set the timer on the steamer and sat down to watch TV for ten minutes. I shrugged my shoes off and wiggled my toes. Sarah breezed through, wafting body spray behind her.
My soap opera ended, I sighed and started flicking channels, Car insurance adverts, cold remedy ads and weight watchers ads. Oh here we go, they try to convince me that calorie reduced chocolate is as forfilling as the real thing. I don't think so! Well yes I'm sure I could fit into those trousers that I haven't worn for years, but to give up chocolate. I'm not sure that I could. No be strong, Its only January 5th. Five whole days since I'd eaten chocolate. one hundred and twenty hours since I'd felt that velvety sweetness slip down my throat.

Sarah wandered into the lounge, she  sunk her teeth into a huge wedge of chocolate cake. Crumbs tumbled to the floor, chocolaty crumbs.

" Why can she have some," Billy whined.

"Sarah that was for Billy's club-mates."

"Too late now," she said shrugging her shoulders.

"If she's had some, I'm having some," Billy announced.

"Get me a piece," I said.

Well there's always next year.


He opened his eyes. Blearily recognising the hue of the tobacco stained ceiling and the cheap plastic chandelier, he wanted to curl up and die. What on earth was he doing here? Frozen in his thoughts he tried to move, but every bone and muscle objected and cried out in pain. If not for the burning dryness in his throat and the overwhelming desire to be sick, he could have easily spent  eternity sleeping on her settee. Well maybe not hers. One foot finding the floor, somehow dislodged a blurred memory of him drinking champagne and New Years Eve.
     'She's his-tor-ree.'  The bravado words he had cried out to his pals in the pub, now echoed from the circumference of his brain. God, why had they had to mention her. He'd  finished with that neurotic slapper three weeks ago. Flopping his right foot clumsily aside the other on the threadbare carpet, and after knocking nub ends from an overstuffed ashtray all asunder, he managed to stand up.
     Dizziness, and heartbreak at noticing a splodge of a thick, dark red substance on his best crocodile shoes,  nearly had him reeling backwards to the comfort zone of the sofa. But the quest to quench his thirst, plodded him on methodically to the kitchen, and more importantly to the fridge.
     Another distressing revelation interrupted the broken sereness of his mind. 'I promise as a New Year's resolution, I'll never have anything to do with Janice again.' He'd even stood on a table while announcing it. A  roar of laughter had irrupted. His best mate Collin had spat out a mouthful of lager to his outrageous commitment; 'I bet you a monkey I don't go back.'
     Nothing, as usual was to be found in the fridge. This is why he hated her. Well one of the reasons. Guzzling the soothing nectar from under the running tap,  his pride and joy suddenly sprang to mind.  Bolt upright and in a minute of sobriety he rushed to the window. Ripping back the disgusting pink draylon curtains he drew in a breath of relief, at least  the sixty grand work's Mercedes Benz was harmlessly within the white parameters permitted in the parking lot. Thank heavens for that, at least, he reasoned he must have been compus mentis when he had arrived here, at her flat. Anger building at his weakness, he went in search of Janice, the bane of his life.
     Upon opening the bedroom door, once an entrance to explicit adventures, he fought the urge to smash her face in. He need not have bothered,  she was not there. The only other place she could be was the bathroom, but this door was slightly ajar and a creepy silence awaited.
     He outstretched his arm, hand shaking as it nearly touched the flaky paintwork of the gateway to a toilet of grime. A glimmer of sparkle caught his eye. It was his day date, oyster faced, gold, Rolex watch, adorned beautifully on his wrist, twinkling the time; not yet six in the morning of the new year. Looking around the shabby surroundings, and remembering his wanton wager, he quietly left. He could not afford to lose five hundred quid.


‘I thought you had done the accounts?’
‘It’s on my ‘to do’ list,’ he said, only listening with half an ear as he tried to concentrate on his typing.
‘So what have you been wasting your time on?’
‘It’s not a waste,’ he replied, as his wife peered over his shoulder.
‘It’s a bloody New Year’s Resolution list’ she said in disgust.
‘It’s my bloody New Years Resolution list, if you don’t mind,’ and he placed a protective arm across the screen, blocking the words from view – not that his wife had bothered to read them. She landed a playful punch on his forearm and headed off for the kitchen. He rubbed the sore spot and returned to his typing:
4) Lose forty pounds.
No scrub that.
4) Lose weight.
He gave his middle aged spread a friendly pat.
5) Take more exercise.
- delete-
5) Give up smoking.
6) Have a proper holiday – abroad.
That would be nice, he thought with a smile.
Yup, 5) and 6): stop wasting money on fags and spend it on a half decent holiday for a change, somewhere warm, with sea, sand and sangria. And s-. He smiled to himself.
‘What d’you mean ‘sea, sand and sangria?’ Ooops. He hit the <close> key but it was too late, she had read it. ‘When’s the last time you made any effort on that score? Or is that it, eh? Holiday off to Benidorm without me I suppose, so you can get a bit on the side?’
‘Our holiday’ he said in a half exasperated, half soothing tone, which came out like a strangled whine. ‘You’re coming with me’. She smacked him across the side of the head – there was no ‘play’ in her punch this time. He gritted his teeth. ‘Darling’ he began, taking a breath before continuing, ‘I just thought it would be nice if we had a break.....together’. The pause earned him an impatient foot tapping.
‘And what about mother?! How is she supposed to cope if we go gallivanting off to the seaside for a long weekend?’
‘I was thinking more of a fortnight – in Spain. With your mother’ he added hurriedly.
‘Oh. Sorry. When you said... no, silly me. Of course you meant ‘with mother’’, she smiled and pecked him on the cheek.
She was safely back in the kitchen before he let out a long sigh, re-opened the file and deleted 6).
He sat back and opened a new pack of fags.
No ‘sand, sea, or sangria’ for him this year. Again.


It had been a stupid idea in the first place, thought Edward to himself. To resolve never to fall in love again seemed so ridiculous now looking back on it. A love affair with a woman more than a decade younger than himself had made him feel as though the gods were finally smiling on him. The problem with the gods is that they are fickle and at times don’t really seem to care that they can cause suffering as well as bring joy.

After the highs came the lows and boy did they come they with a vengeance! The higher you go, the further you fall and what a fall he’d taken. He’d heard people talking about been love sick and never really paid it much mind but when that big hole appeared in his chest, where once his heart had been, he knew with sickening clarity what they had meant.

Over the first few months, after the relationship had ended, he lost weight and started to look even older than his fifty odd years. He’d managed to get through each day, although it had required a huge effort at work to look on the positive side of anything. He’d made a resolution at the turn of the year to never fall in love again; the pain that came with loss was too much to bear.

The passion had not been there when they first met but had grown in such a way that whenever they were together the world around them seemed to fade into the background. Just to be together would send a thrill through them both, they would hold hands and touch each other everywhere they went. The barman in his local had looked over one time and seen them kissing, “Get a room!” he’d called over.

Eventually he’d come back to the world and met someone else but the passion was not there this time but something else was, a feeling of comfort and belonging. The fire wasn’t there but maybe that was a good thing, maybe this would last rather than burn itself out.

“What are you thinking?”, came the questioning words into his right ear.

“Nothing my love, just enjoying the feeling of having you next to me and in my arms”, was his low, whispered reply.

The memory of the pain was beginning to dim now and the wounds on his heart were finally beginning to heal, time is the greatest healer after all.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2007, 07:03:48 AM by CATHY C »
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Offline Lightbulb

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Re: Sticky: VOTE: Challenge 23 - The Resolution
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2007, 09:33:10 PM »
Hey guys, I just wanted to say I really liked number four. I didn't vote for it, but I did really like it, so I thought it deserved a shout out. So whom ever wrote it I wanted to say even though my vote isn't up there, I really enjoyed reading it. It was very humorous and I really felt that the character could be an actual person. He was very real. So good job. Thanks!