Spelling Bee

Posted: July 30, 2014 in Friday Fictioneers

This is my contribution to Friday Fictioneers (100 words) The picture had me stumped for awhile. My first thoughts were dour and sad. It took me a bit to flip them around.

PHOTO PROMPT- Copyright Rochelle Wisoff-Fields

Danika’s toes tingled.  Her head was about to burst with excitement.

She couldn’t wait to tell Mom! Dad would explode with pride.  She knew he would.

The best part was they wouldn’t get the news until she told them.  No radio. No T.V.  Couldn’t afford the newspaper.

Dad got back issues from the neighbor on Sunday.  This was only Friday.

No phone.  No computer.

People called them poor Okies.  Perhaps they were.

Her family might live in a tumble-down shack in the woods, but they had love and smarts.

Lots of smarts. After all she’d just won the National Spelling Bee!

  1. As a long.ago spelling bee champion, I couldn’t help liking this


  2. I love your happy, gentle, non-sad tone. I, too, had sad thoughts when I saw this, but planned to write something completely different from my first thoughts. Thanks for a lovely story!


  3. So sweet so good. And how great to keep the tension up.. A rare opportunity these days.


  4. Interesting where you went with this prompt. I love the variety!


  5. Sandra says:

    Interesting take on the prompt. Well done.


  6. draliman says:

    I can picture her bouncing up and down in her seat with excitement!


  7. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Alicia,

    What a heartwarming story from a precocious and precious child. Very well done.




  8. Dear Alicia,

    Such a feel good story of determination winning over circumstances. I felt the girl’s excitement and pride. You left me with a smile on my face. Thank you for a pleasant flight.




  9. Jim Kane says:

    Wow, well done and a reminder that the Digital Divide is still an issue.


  10. Lynda says:

    This is such a lovely story, Alicia! It particularly appeals to the the (retired) teacher in me!


  11. Alicia, I always love a happy ending. I also love hearing about disadvantaged kids becoming successes in the world. Parents have to be credited with encouraging that success. Often that and love are all they can afford to give, but many times that’s enough. Well written. 🙂 —Susan


  12. rgayer55 says:

    I love this one, Alicia. My parents didn’t have a phone either and we lived in the sticks. Dad had been in the fourth grade (don’t think he completed it) and Mom the eighth. Still, she could spell better than me. I’m one of those who spells sh*t with two TTs. 🙂


    • Thanks, Russell. My parents grew up on farms in the heart of the dust bowl. Mom – who became a librarian – loved to read and hated horses. Every weekend she jumped on a horse and rode ten miles to the neighboring farm to pick up a week’s worth of newspapers. She and my dad are my heroes.


  13. Chris says:

    This is great. I like how it could be really depressing if it wanted to be, but isn’t. It gives a really humble feeling (I think that’s what the feeling is anyway). 🙂


  14. Very sweet story, well written.


  15. liz young says:

    Nice little story, even if I can’t connect it to the photo!


  16. Thanks! Think flying home!


  17. Great touching story! Glad she could spell so gud!


  18. storydivamg says:

    Alicia, I love the way you focused on the vegetation in the photo to find your inspiration. Excellent use of the photo prompt.

    All my best,
    Marie Gail


  19. Aw, bless her. I want to give her a hug and say Well Done! And that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it’s what you do with your life that counts! You got that over so well in so few words. 🙂


  20. Alice Audrey says:

    You’ve got me smiling.


  21. hafong says:

    It sounds like where I came from. It’s a good place. Thanks! 🙂



  22. What a wonderful statement – good places don’t need computers and T.V.’s as long as they contain family and friends.


  23. Good for Donika, and the dirt-poor Okies. Who needs email?


  24. I can almost smell the hickory smoke. Good story


  25. Blake says:

    I loved how you captured the restless exuberance of children – “Danika’s toes tingled”, etc. My niece is just like that 🙂


  26. I love the joyful tone to this entire piece, Alicia. It buzzes with excitement and pride!


  27. Amy Reese says:

    There’s a kind of innocence in not having technology. A kind of pureness that’s maybe lost on us now. There’s something precious about getting news face-to-face. Great story!


    • Thanks, Amy, Danika sure thought so. Wonderful pic of you and Dawn! She lives her in Bellingham. We run into one another every now and then. I love her smile. Thanks for reading and commenting.


      • Amy Reese says:

        Oh, that’s so cool you run into Dawn! Do you guys get together? After my post, I realized one of my blogging friends lives near me. We may meet up, too.


    • Dawn is a very busy gal…. We see each other occasionally at concerts and used to see her at the office where I worked – before I retired. She is truly an extra-special lady.


  28. Sun says:

    such a lovely story with a character that truly appreciates the important thing in life…love and family. no bitterness because of the family financial situation…just grateful and very happy over her victory. love your story, Alicia.


  29. Preeti says:

    There’s something so pure about a child’s excitement and you’ve captured it beautifully. Wonderful story.


  30. Sarah Ann says:

    She is sooooo excited and it shows. Love the idea that a plane will get the news there faster than any other means. Good on her for winning too. Lovely piece. (Can’t stop smiling.)


  31. empeck says:

    Aw, this is adorable! Hearing it from the winner in person will make the news so much more special to her parents.


  32. Lucy says:

    How sweet. She would be able to tell her folks in person. What a win for a poor girl. Just poor in money, not smarts. Well done. lucy


  33. tedstrutz says:

    I love this… our Rotary puts on the spelling bee in our town and the kids are so much fun… no, it does not matter where you are from.


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