cause and effect essay on divorce

div dir=”ltr” style=”text-align: left;” trbidi=”on”>Here is my latest entry for Courtney Miller-Callihan’s super fun, summer-long writing prompt contest.

You may remember that she challenged folks to share their craziest re-imagining of their summer vacations a few weeks back (and this inadvertent yogini composed a modest Haiku an an entry). 

This is my second try and I thought I’d step it up a notch by going for a dual entry for her #6 and #8 writing prompts: “Three things you’d bring with you to a deserted island. Assume food and water are not an issue, and that you will be stuck on the island, Gilligan-style, for an unknown period of time. Defend your choices.” AND “This was the first thing Anna had ever won.” (Listed respectively.) 


This was the first thing Anna had ever won and she could not believe that this was where it had led: Stuck, Gilligan-style, on a deserted island

“Thank you! THANK YOU, oh benevolent reality TV gods!” She yelled toward the heavens, throwing her arms outward in the universal gesture of all-encompassing joy.

Finally, after nine weeks without a shower, no bathroom, no phone, no family, no friends, and the joys of social media a very distant memory, Anna’s dream of winning “Last One Standing”—CNC’s hit “Survivor” series spin off—was within reach. Only one other competitor stood between her and one million dollars. It was so close she could taste it.

Unfortunately, the other remaining competitor—who insisted on being called Axl even though Anna was 99% sure that could not possibly be his given name—was a bearded barbarian who made the off-screen life choice to live as veritable ruffian in rural Appalachia. No bathroom? No phone? No family or friends? These were non-issues for Appalachian Axl. Thus, he was a formidable opponent. And formidable opponents were a concerning hurdle for Anna on her path to victory.

But surely, the tangled path of near-misses, physical injury, and the last-minute salvation that had brought Anna to being one of the last two standing, would now carry her over the finish line and into that glorious seven-figure bounty that tantalized her with its nearness.

Anna had come so far since the day she’d won a spot on the show in the wildcard round after entering a contest online. Since she’d never won anything before and this boon had come in the wake of a very bad breakup, she had told everyone that it was meant to be. The chance to escape to an exotic, unspoiled location had seemed to be exactly what she needed to jolt her out of her post-break-up depression. The chance to win her favorite reality series—bragging rights for the rest of her life, not to mention who knew what kind of attendant opportunities—and an inordinate amount of money were mere bonuses.

Anna crouched low and slowly coaxed the small fire she’d started into a more-respectable blaze. Wisely, she had chosen matches as one of the three things she could bring with her. It was a choice that had served her well as two of her competitors bit the dust within the first week. Her other choices of sunscreen and a sleeping bag had also been well-researched lifesavers. While former contestants had suffered severe, health-impairing sunburns that prevented them from performing crucial daytime survival activities and insomnia-induced limited mental functioning that had led to poor choices and missed opportunities, Anna had steadily plodded onward, the end each day heralding another small step toward winning.

Anna watched the yellow flames lick the driftwood and dried seaweed that she carefully fed the fire. She focused carefully on taking slow deep breaths, on grounding herself mentally. The key to getting this far was staying intensely present on every task, allowing their natural progression to lead her toward her goal.

“Never look ahead and never look back.” She repeated her mantra, aware that it would make a perfect last shot before cutting to commercial.

The fire glowed calmly in front of her, warding off the evening’s chill and providing a comforting light that cut a swatch into the too-near forest and its lively population of wildlife. For the first time since she’d been dumped, she felt strong and capable. That alone was worth a million dollars.

Comments to "A Dual Entry for Agent Courtney’s Writing Prompt Contest"

  1. Anonymous

    August 26, 2011

    Nicely done D1, all she needs is Wilson so she is not alone with the barbarian

  2. Sara

    August 31, 2011

    LOL. Is that a reference to that Tom Hanks movie? Eek. I’ve blocked it from my memory b/c I saw it on a bad first date.