NPR Weekends hosts a writing contest every so often called, “Three Minute Fiction.” The rules are simple: a theme is provided and participants can submit up to 600 words.
The latest round’s theme was: A character finds something he or she has no intention of returning.
Sadly, I did not win. My entry:
We need to talk. Although, I do not feel one bit bad. Yes, I know it is a sin to ask for forgiveness when you aren’t contrite. Father Al says I have to confess, no matter. So, here it goes:
Grace Kelly, my older sister, wanted nothing more than a slice of Auntie May’s lemon chiffon cake on her wedding day. She told anyone who would listen: the cake would be lemon chiffon, three tiers, and it would be the very best anyone this side of the Smoky Mountains had ever tasted. Of course, Grace Kelly would not touch a slice herself, other than to be polite. But she knew all those junior leaguers in the pews were impressed by the recipe – one handed down for generations, and a blue ribbon winner at the Tennessee State Fair for five years to boot.
Imagine my delight when in all the preparations for Gracie’s wedding, the recipe for said cake could not be found. Auntie May, dead of the diabetes in April, would not live to see Grace Kelly wed Johnny Parks in June.
Lord, You must have a sense of humor. You gave me a sister named Grace Kelly, with long shiny hair and a line of suitors wrapped around the block waiting for her attention. And a mama named Mary Pearl, who was the state beauty queen until marriage at a young age rendered her disqualified from competition.
And me, with my daddy’s overbite and love of Shakespeare.
So when I found that sticky, handwritten recipe card tucked between pages of Auntie’s Bible, in the middle of the book of Ruth, I knew Lord you were sending a sign. Evening things up a bit.
I never expected the divine discovery, but when I found it, Heavenly Father, I knew you were holding Your sides, you were laughing so hard.
So if I am a horrible person because I didn’t hand over that recipe card, forgive me. It felt nothing short of glorious to ruin the one thing I could on Grace Kelly’s “precious, holy day.” Lord, You know there wasn’t anything holy about Grace Kelly when she walked down that aisle, a baby at least 7 weeks swimming inside of her.
I’ll leave the judging to You, Lord. But I will say this: I wish I was sorry for hiding those scrawled directions and measurements. Or for instructing the photographer to take plenty of pictures of Johnny Parks stuffing Grace Kelly’s pucker with that sorry chocolate cake no one ate.
Well, except for Stevie Harris. But he’s 300 pounds. Jesus and I both know Stevie Harris doesn’t count.
So, God, I confess: my heart is impure. And my stomach is full. I just ate the best slice of homemade lemon chiffon cake this side of the Smoky Mountains. Tell my Auntie May hello! I will not likely be seeing her again.