Sunday, December 3, 2023

Last WEP Challenge, It's A Wonderful Life

 This is the last WEP challenge. Write, Edit, Publish was founded by Denise Covey, and we who have stepped up to the challenge are thankful. It has been a ride, Denise.

In addition to Denise, I want to thank the ladies who have been instrumental in the function of this quarterly writing challenge. Here’s to Renee, Nila, Olga, Jemi, and Sonia. Your hard work is greatly appreciated.

Today, our challenge is to take a favorite Holiday movie and write using the movie as inspiration. My favorite Christmas movie is It’s A Wonderful Life. When it was released, it bombed at the box office. But it has been played repeatedly on TV since its inception. And I have watched it and loved it since I was a child. The message in this movie is simple: Your Life Matters. I hope you enjoy my story.

 To read what others have written go here.


It’s a Wonderful Life


Noel left her room to join her family. They didn’t do the black Friday thing. Instead, they put up the Christmas tree. A Mannheim Steam Roller CD played instrumental music. Her father had already put the tree together. Its lights were already strung, so all you had to do was press the on-off switch to light it up.

“Ta da!” Her father yelled.

Her mother clapped, and her younger brother and sister jumped up and down. Noel rolled her eyes. She’d been born on Christmas day, thus her name. A constant reminder that she was supposed to be a jolly kid. Well, she wasn’t.

Today, she joined in, taking an ornament from her mother; she hung it and went back for another. She hid her misery from her parents, smiling when they looked her way.

This had been an awful year. She was teased at school about her name. Bullied to the point of hiding in the bathroom, and when that didn’t work, she ducked around the corner. Two girls had beaten her in the hall before class one day. One, kicking her in the stomach repeatedly. A handful of kids captured the attack on their cell phone cameras. Several teachers saved her, and she was taken to the hospital. Her parents were notified. She hated that they found out, and later she saw the attack posted on Social Media before it was taken down.

When she returned to school the next day, many other students followed her around, laughing while replaying her attack on their cell phones. The only good thing was that the two girls who beat her were suspended for a week. But when they returned, they continued with their malignant yells.  

She’d always loved church, learning about Jesus, and talking to Him. But she didn’t talk to Him anymore. No one in church humiliated her, but sitting in her class and learning about the wondrous acts that Jesus did only reminded her that nothing stupendous ever happened to her. She lived in a vacuum. Devoid of happiness.

Her parents had changed everything about Christmas just for her. They celebrated on Christmas Eve, opening gifts, eating dinner, and attending church services. Christmas day was for her birthday. The only thing she shared was Santa’s visit. This year she’d turn fifteen. But, if she wasn’t here anymore, then her family could have Christmas day back.

Dinner tonight was left over Thanksgiving. Noel liked it well enough, but her appetite was in the toilet, literally. She'd go throw up when done. After that, she had an appointment with her razor. So far, her parents hadn’t discovered her destructive habits, and she intended to keep it that way.

“You’re losing weight, Noel. Are you feeling okay?” Her mother asked.

“Yeah, I’m okay,” she said.

“You really haven’t been yourself. Are those girls leaving you alone?”

“They’re keeping their distance.”

“Why are you so down?” Her mother continued to question.

“It’s…just…hard, sometimes.” Noel stood and headed down the hall to her room. She heard her mother’s next question. “I don’t know what to do?”

“She’ll outgrow out of it,” her father said.

A bathroom was attached to Noel’s room, making hiding all her bad habits easy. She vomited supper and then sat on her bed. She removed the drawer to her nightstand and turned it over, revealing her razor and pill bottle. She’d been squirreling away sleeping pills from her mother’s prescription bottle. One or two at a time, so it wouldn’t be noticed. She had twelve. Would it be enough?

She changed into the prettiest nightgown she had, took the pills with the bottle of water she’d brought back earlier, and went to bed. A genuine smile spread over her lips.

Sleep came…


She floated above her body. Why am I doing…oh yeah, I killed myself.

She could see her parents watching a movie together in the living room. Her brother and sister were in their bedrooms asleep. A pull and then a massive being joined her. His wings unfurled. He smiled and took her hand. She could hear what he said telepathically. Shooting stars zoomed past them.

“Those are prayers going to heaven,” he said.

“Am I going to heaven?”


They arrived in a beautiful garden, the colors vibrant. Colors she’d never seen before. Then she saw Him, Jesus. And when He reached her, He hugged her.

“I love you,” Noel said.

He smiled, and though He didn’t speak, she felt His all-forgiving love. A love so vast, so complete she couldn’t describe it.

Then, the angel pulled out a book and began to open the pages.

She saw herself, every memory from when she was aware of things around two years. The time her mother fell in the kitchen when she was pregnant with her eight-year old brother, Joshua. She called 911, and help arrived.

“She would have died without for your help,” Jesus said.

Then she saw when Joshua hit his head in the pool and went under. He was two at the time, and she pulled him out.

“Another life saved,” Jesus said.

Then, when she was in fourth grade and, her friend, Sarah, struggled to read. She sat with her for hours, teaching her phonics.

“Sarah is a fine reader now,” Jesus said.

More moments followed, how she had been a positive force in the lives of many.

“It’s not your time. You must go back. I have a message for your two tormentors,” Jesus said. “And one for you. You must forgive them and tell them that I love them.”


She woke in the hospital, her parents hovering over her. She missed all of December and returned to school in mid-January. When Noel saw her two persecutors, she smiled and approached them.

“You should have stayed dead,” one of them said.

“I forgive you both, and Jesus loves you with a love so utterly complete it cannot be measured.”

Both girls stood with their mouths open as Noel turned and left them in the hall.

Word Count 1,008

Thank you for reading. Let me know what you think in the comments. N. R. Williams



Jemi Fraser said...

Nicely done! Your life matters - I hope Noel finds joy!

Nilanjana Bose said...

I love It's a Wonderful Life too, watched it multiple times. And it's lovely where you went with this prompt. Season's greetings to you.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you, Jemi and Nila.

cleemckenzie said...

Glad you chose one of my favorite Christmas movies. Well done.

Shilpa Gupte said...

This was so beautiful! I had tears in my eyes as I read about Noel meeting Jesus. A beautiful person like Noel is sure to have a beautiful life ahead. Loved this story.

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you, C. Lee and Shilpa.

Yolanda Renée said...

Changing lives, such a beautiful story. So happy to see you here! Stay well, keep writing, and have a most beautiful holiday!

A Hundred Quills said...

This is a beautiful story. I loved that Noel could understand all the nice things she had done and see beyond the bullying.

Olga Godim said...

A sweet and painful story. I hope Noel will be able to deal with her issues. I hope she finds happiness.

Pat Garcia said...

I loved your story. I am o glad that she didn‘t die.
Have a Merry Christmas and a safe crossover into 2024.
Shalom shalom

Roland D. Yeomans said...

To see beyond the pain is so hard. I have always loved IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE but I chose CASABLANCA as my movie this post. Lovely writing as always. May Christmas be joyful with no lumps of coal!

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

Glad she survived and learned that her life matters. I have a confession to make: I have never watched It's a Wonderful Life. Not that it matters--I know the story :)

N. R. Williams said...

Thanks Yolanda, Quills, Olga, Pat, Roland, and Rebecca.
I was a little worried about this post since it is very Christian, but I'm glad you all found value in it.

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Nancy - it's a lovely story ... that could be turned into a children's story - so much could and should be learnt from it. Excellently written - I hope you have a happy fortnight into 2024 and all the best for the coming year - cheers Hilary

N. R. Williams said...

Thank you, Hilary. I hope your Holiday is wonderful.

Denise Covey said...

Hi Nancy. This is just so wonderful. I love it dearly. One of your most moving stories. It could indeed become a children's book. Why not think about that?

Thanks for being such a loyal WEP member for so many years. I hope you might turn up for out regular meet-ups on the WEP site every first of the month (starting Feb 1) to share what you're up to.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I hope your health improves in the future.


N. R. Williams said...

Thank you Denise. I don't know how I think about this story becoming a children's book. I'd have to make several stories to add to it. but, I will think about it.

Bernadette said...

It's so hard to forgive others. It's beautiful what Noel's doing and I hope it's smooth sailing ahead for her :)