I have to say, I tried to throw a curve ball at ya’ll by giving you a particularly challenging writing prompt, and what do you do? You knocked my socks off.
Seriously, hats off to all of our entrants for this month. We received some really great stories, which of course, made judging very difficult. I’d really like to encourage you guys to continue submitting stories every month, because so many of you have awesome talent. In fact, I might crumble later this week and post our runner-up story because I enjoyed it so much. Keep your eyes peeled.
In the end, we chose the winner for this month based on its authenticity and ability to relate to an audience. To put it shortly, it’s “real.” I’m a sucker for a simple concept that speaks volumes, and this story really did it.
The winner for the October 2011 Writing Contest is:
Dana Bartley from Peekskill, NY!
Dana Bartley, 32 years old, wears many hats. She is a home care aide, daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. In her spare time, she enjoys writing, horseback riding and trying new activities. In the future, she hopes to start her own blog for empowering women.
On behalf of Vasz Books, we hope that you love this story.
Tales from the Kitchen
I’m in the kitchen, where you always jokingly say I belong. You should be home any minute now, and my anticipation is growing.
In our home, I’ve painted a picture-perfect representation of paradise. There’s a cherry pie resting in the windowsill. When you step out of your car, I want you to know—with all of your senses—that I’ve been home thinking of you. I’ve tidied up the room, and laid out the sports section on the table at your seat. Next to the paper, I place a glass of water. You’re always thirsty when you get home.
Click, click, click. I turn the stove on to prepare our dinner. Fatty, marbled, seared Ribeye: your favorite. Mine too. I start the pan with a dash of red wine to create a glaze. Today is a special day, even though you think it’s any old day. Unfortunately, I ruin the moment as soon as you step into the house by burning my finger on the pan. You tell me to run it under the water, and it will make me feel better.
Masking my pain, I still greet you with a smile. “What’s all this?” you ask me. I tell you I made your favorite. Uninterested, you say “no thanks. I’ll just take the water.” No thanks? It wasn’t really an option. It was a statement. You grab the glass of water and head for the living room, unappreciative and unaffected. I’m stunned.
I eat my special dinner alone at the table, still wanting your approval. I approach meekly, “Baby, do you want me to fix you a plate?” You ignore me and walk through me into the kitchen. You turn on the faucet and pour more water.
I made you a pan-seared, red wine glazed, perfect cut of Ribeye, and you choose tap water. I can’t help but to stand by while you stray onto other paths, other women, and water. You’ll drink any old water, but you demand perfection of me.
Now I know. Over a simple meal of steak and us, you’ve chosen water and told me everything I needed to know.
Maybe someday I’ll cook for another. For now, I’ll cook for me. Not you.
By the way, the steak was delicious. I hope you enjoyed your water.