Thursday, March 30, 2017

Imagine This #8 ~ entries

Hello everyone!! Hope y'all are having a blessed week. :) 

Today I'm posting the entries from the recent Imagine This challenge. I received three entries, and they were all AMAZING!! :D Judging was hard, but I finally came up with an ordering that I'm content with based on writing quality and how close the stories match the picture. 

Everyone probably bypassed the intro anyway, so let's get on to the entries. ;) 

First place goes to... Olivia Jane!! :D This story was so dear and heartbreaking! I 'bout cried at that last line... <3 

"Cooper! Pay attention!"
I jerked and glanced over at my commander, who had a scowl wider'n the Mississippi River on his face. 
"Yes, sir! Sorry, sir!" I kept my face blank. 
Commander Philips grunted. "I thought you were fixing that." His dark eyes scanned the ginormous metal excuse for a tank. "You're not here to stand around." 
"Yes, sir," I quickly agreed. 
He nodded once and turned back to his own task. 
Once his back was to me, I heaved a sigh and hopped down from my position on top of the tank. 
As tough and manly as I tried to act around the others, I knew the truth. I was still just nothing more than a mere boy, barely nineteen. And I missed home. 
I missed the gentle voice of my mother and the conversations between myself and my father. I missed the laughter of my younger brothers and sister. I even missed their silly arguments. 
I sighed again. What I wouldn't give to be back on American soil. This war was wretched; no respecter of persons. War was a cloud of death that loomed over each and every one of us soldiers, ready to snatch us up and carry us away at a moment's notice. 
"Something wrong, Coop?"
I gave my comrade a half-glance and waved him off. "I'm 'k, Jack." 
The eighteen-year-old didn't seem to hear my words. Instead, he hoisted himself up atop the tank's treaded wheels. 
"How's it comin'?" Jack wanted to know. I shrugged. 
"It's hard to fix something you know is going to be used to kill others."
Jack flinched at my soft words. He swallowed. "Yeah, well, just you think about how awful those Germans we're shooting at are. Then maybe you won't be so sympathetic."
I glanced up at the young soldier. Although Jack and I met only recently, we had become fast friends. He had barely lost his father and an older brother in this war when he was thrust into the midst of it himself. 
I shook my head. "Jack," I told him, keeping my voice gentle, "they're soldiers, too. Just like us. They're fighting for what they believe in."
"Well," Jack growled in defense, "it's their own fault we're all out here shooting at each other." He hung his head. "I just want to go back home."
I tossed him a half-smile that told I felt the same way. "Me, too." I used the hem of my jacket to rub some dirt away from the piece of metal I was examining. 
"You got kinfolk back home, Louie?" 
I pulled my head up from my work, eyebrows arched in surprise. I didn't recall Jack ever calling me by my first name. He'd always gone with the nickname "Coop", just like the rest of the soldiers. 
His eyes were scanning the dirt ground; one elbow supported his body as he leaned against the heavy machinery. 
I swallowed at the younger man's question. Most of the time, I tried to keep thoughts of my family away when I was around the others. I saved the precious family memories for when I had a chance to go to bed and weep without being noticed. It was hard not to think about them; I missed all of 'em terribly. 
"Yeah," I choked out. "My parents, and then my three younger brothers and my little sister." A tiny smile skittered across my face at the thought.
Jack threw me a crooked grin. "I got a kid sister, too. Gracie. And two older..." He trailed off, and I saw his jaw muscles tighten. "One older brother," he corrected through gritted teeth. He ran a hand through his mop of thick, dark hair and jerked his head away. 
I wasn't sure how to respond, so I just nodded slowly and returned to my work. 
Twice? I glanced over my shoulder. "Yeah?"
Jack was gazing up at the sky, a sky that seemed too cheery and bright under the circumstances of war. "Y'think God really cares about what's going on down here?"
The question took me by surprise. "Yes, I think He does," I answered truthfully. My thoughts drifted back home to the crackling fireplace, all us Cooper children gathered around, listening to Father read the Scriptures and lead us in prayer every evening. 
“‘Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?’” I quoted, lifting my deep blue eyes to gaze up at the sky along with my fellow soldier. “I guess it's a pretty easy thing to forget.” 
Jack dipped his head in a slow, deliberate nod of agreement. 
“It is,” he agreed. “Especially after your father and brother are killed within a week of each other.” His voice shifted to a bitter tone. “Makes you wanna know why.”
“Jack, I know it hurts, and we don't always know the reasons, but we have to trust that God has a plan.” I offered an encouraging smile. “I'll keep you in my prayers.”
One corner of Jack’s mouth turned upward. “Thanks, Louie. I guess I may have lost a brother in this war, but it looks like I've gained another.”

In second place... Kaitlyn Krispense!! The humor, the joshing, and the mystery surrounding the ending... *wink* I wanna know more! 

“Ouch… ouch… ouch… oww!” Jerry tried not to scream as he gingerly opened the hatch again.  He pulled himself up out of the turret to sit on the rim and carefully inspected his now-bloody knuckles.  “I must be the only person that keeps smashing his hands under a tank’s hatch,” he muttered.
With a sigh he wiped the blood on his pant leg and hopped to the ground.
Rounding the corner of the tank, he barely saw the cannon arm before it crashed into his forehead with a dull clunk!  Jerry bit back the shout that rose to his lips, though a loud groan escaped.  
“Jerry, what the—”
Jerry whirled around.  “Toby, don’t say one word.”
Toby’s eyes twinkled.  “What’s the other guy look like?”
“What in the world is that supposed to mean?”
Toby cocked his head, reminding Jerry of his brother’s old dog El Dorado at home.  “I’m assuming you didn’t get that lump on your head and that blood on your knuckles from this baby.”  He patted the tank.  “So who was it?  Elliot?  Walden?”  He paused, biting his lip in concentration, then a mischievous grin broke out on his face.  “I know; it was Noodle.”
Jerry snorted.  “As if Elbert Noodle could do this to me.”  He rolled his eyes.  “If you must know, it was the tank.”
“Yeah, I know.”  Toby leaned nonchalantly against the tank, biting his fingernails.
“That’s a disgusting habit.”  Jerry wrinkled his nose at the dirt caked under Toby’s fingernails.
Toby shrugged.  “Yeah, well, I guess that makes me a disgusting guy.”  He smirked, then shoved to a fully-standing position.  “I’m bored.  Say, what if we decided to play a little practical joke on ol’ Noodle?”
Jerry hesitated.  “I don’t know, Toby.  Noodle and I aren’t exactly on good terms and—”
“And that’s exactly why we should!” Toby cut him off with a slap on the back.  “I knew you’d get around to my way of thinking.”  He grabbed Jerry’s arm.  “Let’s go find Noodle.”
Jerry pulled away.  “Nah, I don’t think so.  It wouldn’t—”
“Toby?  Toby Morrine!”
Toby winced at the sound of his last name, then turned and his eyes widened.  “Trent!”  He stared at the newcomer, a tall dirty-blonde-haired young man with green eyes and carrying a pack, then he stepped forward and the two embraced.  
Toby stepped back and held the man at arm’s length.  “Trent... it-it’s so good to see you!”
“Same here, brother.”
“So how’d you end up here?”
“Well, there’s always a need of men who can help heal in a war where everyone’s dying.”
Toby grabbed Trent’s arm.  “C’mon, there’s someone I want you to meet.”  He pulled him over to Jerry.  “Trent, my brother, meet Jerry Judson.”
Jerry smiled and extended his hand.  “Pleasure meeting you, Trent.”  He winced as Trent accepted his hand.  “Sorry, my knuckles are a bit tender.”
Toby nodded.  “The Morrine—” he made a face at the tank being named after him “—makes a big fight.  You shoulda seen her punching him in the face just a minute ago.”
Trent’s mouth quirked.  “Let me take a look at that hand.”  
Jerry instinctively pulled back.  “No thanks, I’ll just… go wrap it up.  It was good meeting you, Trent.”  He turned and began walking away, when Toby’s voice made him pause.
“Jerry, you should let him look at you; after all, he is a doctor.”
“Medic, Toby,” Trent corrected his brother with a slight smile.  “Big difference there.”
Jerry smirked when Toby rolled his eyes with a look that said, who cares? then nodded.  “All right, Toby, he can look at my hand, and then maybe give me something to help with my splitting headache.”
Trent gently took Jerry’s hand in his to examine it.  “You’ll be fine after a few days of soreness,” he announced.  He set his pack on the ground and, bending over to pull something out, Jerry saw a pen fall out of his pocket.  When it hit the ground, the cap flew off and Jerry noticed a small piece of paper sticking out of the pen.  Trent glanced down at it, then casually but quickly covered it with his booted foot.  Jerry momentarily wondered about it, then dismissed it with a shrug.
“Here we are,” Trent straightened, a roll of gauze and a bottle of antiseptic in his hands.  He quickly disinfected Jerry’s knuckles and wrapped some cloth around it.  “And there you go.  You’ll be good as new in a few days.”
“Thanks,” Jerry said with a grin.  He turned and walked away, glancing back once to see Trent rapidly snatch up the fallen pen and place it back into his pocket, eyes darting from side to side rapidly as if he hadn’t wanted anyone to see.
That’s weird. Jerry shrugged and moved on.

And at a close third place... Jesseca Dawn!! :) Hehe, your story was lovely! Such a mean joke, but...loved it! 

Art quirked his eyebrows as the top of the hatch began to slowly open. Thinking quickly, he took two steps back and to the right. Perfect. Now he was out of the line of sight of the occupant. He stood still for a moment, hands clasped behind his back, and his officer's cap placed at a jaunty angle on his head. The sea breeze threatened to shake it loose, but only managed to muss the red, wavy hair that covered his forehead. His green eyes danced with mischief as he stood ramrod straight, being careful not to make any unnecessary noise. 
Just then the fingers of the man in the tank appeared, and quick as a flash Art stepped forward. As silently as possible he slowly lowered the hatch till it sat on his fingers. 
There was a yelp from inside, though Art knew that he hadn't lowered it fast enough to really hurt. 
Still, the heavy metal would be uncomfortable when it lay on your bare knuckles. 
A moment later, he heard a snarl from inside the iron contraption. "Art, you lift that now or I swear you'll regret it!" 
Now how in the world had Gus known it was him? He shrugged, though he knew it didn't really matter. It wasn't as if Gus could see him. 
"Art! I'm warning you, I've had enough of this! Now open the hatch!" 
Pushing his cap further up on his forehead, Art rubbed his temples, seemingly in great thought. "Well, now, let's see. What's in it for me?"
The only answer was yet another snarl, and Art grinned. It wasn't often that he had the chance to play something like this. Especially not out here. 
"You open that hatch, or I'm gonna tell Rafe you're writing his girl!" The words echoed against steel walls. 
'What? You'd lie about me Your old pal?" Art's voice betrayed his hurt. 
"Huh, some pal. Trying to get my fingers chopped off." 
"Nope. If I wanted them darling little fingers gone, I would have simply slammed the hatch down and kept on walking."
"Oh, just shut up, would ya?" The words from the tank had increased in volume.  "I hate how you have an answer for everything."
Art chuckled as he reached down and lifted the hatch, and took a step back. A moment later, a dark brown head of mussed hair appeared as Gus used his arms to haul himself out. "They need to install stairs in this rotten thing," He muttered under his breath. He sat down on the lid and inspected his fingers. No blood had appeared, though they were streaked with grease from the seal on the hatch. 
"Yup, they do need stairs. Also, keep those hands of my uniform." Art removed his hat, and ran his fingers through his hair. "I don't need any grease spots on this nice, new, white suit." 
"Art, I'm gonna kill you!" Gus exclaimed vaulting to his feet. "No, correction. I'm gonna make sure every part of you is smeared in grease, and then I'm gonna kill you!"
But before he could take a step forward, the alert alarm sounded, and both men instantly raised their eyes towards the clouds. 
Small black specks suddenly appeared on the horizon, and the smile disappeared from Art's face. "You might not have the chance. The Japs might just take care of that for you."
He slapped his cap back on his head. "Come on, let's go."


Thanks for reading, everyone!! Hope y'all enjoyed these amazing entries as much as I did. How about giving some feedback to our lovely participants? :D Monthly recap, coming tomorrow! 



  1. Awww man I LOVE the first one so much <3<3<3

    1. Isn't it great?! :D

      Thanks for reading and following, Jasmine!

  2. O.O oh goodness, all these were so amazing! They did such amazing jobs!

    1. Weren't they?? They all did so good!! ^-^

      Thanks for commenting, Hannah!!v

  3. Thank you so much, Faith (and to everyone else for the congrats)! I had a lot of fun writing a story for this challenge! :)

    1. You're so welcome!! I enjoyed your story so much!! :D

      Thanks for commenting, Livi!

  4. Sorry I said I would do this and I didn't! (Or that I should do this, or whatever.)

  5. Great job to all the writers! *claps* *glitter* :D

    1. Didn't they do great?! :D Thanks for commenting!