Watermelon Eating Contest

(Writing prompt: Use descriptive words to write a story about watermelon.)

UPDATE: This short story won a Novel Writing Festival contest and has been "read" for a YouTube video. See it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ROh3OZp0GQI

By Teri B. Clark

Hot. That's how I would describe it. Hot, sticky, sweaty.

Perfect weather for a watermelon eating contest. Perfect.

Ice cold watermelon, still dripping with perspiration as the knife slices down, down, down to the table.

Ahhh, the redness. So juicy. So cold. So good.

The rules are easy. First one to finish the slice of watermelon wins. With just one hitch. Hands behind your back.

Simple, but only if you are willing to let that juice run everywhere - down your shirt, into your hair, even up your nose if you have to.

I look closely at my competition.

Mary Danner. What a looker. School teacher. Her "kids" are cheering her on. Sweet smile. Nice dress. Oh, she has the cheering section but her desire won't be strong enough to let that dress get sticky, drawing flies for the rest of the afternoon. So, I smile and say, "Pretty dress." She blushes. One down.

Ron "Bubba" Johnson. Big and burly. Mouth the size of California. He's got the drive, the desire. But not the finesse needed to eat that dainty slice of watermelon without dropping it in the dirt at his feet. So I give him a sideways glance, look down at the ground, shake my head, and grin. He watches me carefully and looks down when I do. His shoulders sag, just a bit, but enough that I know he knows. Two down.

George Alberts. The barber. Small, compact, and can move with the speed of lightning. No doubt he could win a race of any kind using his legs. But there is the issue of that gap. Missing tooth. Lost it last week. Still waiting for the dentist to fix it all up. Nope, not enough teeth up front to really dig in. "How's the tooth, George." He grimaces, realizing that he still has some pain. Three down.

Last, but not least, Robert Mills. Bobby. Born here. Same as his daddy and his daddy before him. Been the watermelon eating champ for the last 15 years when he finally took the title from his daddy who took it from his daddy who probably took it from his daddy. I think he must practice all year, at least all summer. All his teeth. Finesse. No worries about his shirt or even dirt if need be. I look over at him. I have nothing to say. No looks to give. He just smiles. I sigh. Four down.

Second place won't be so bad. I mean, how can you lose eating watermelon on a hot day.

Teri B. Clark © 2008