Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write in the MYSTERY genre (04/05/07)
TITLE: A Mother’s Prayer
By Bryan Coomes
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“You need to calm down honey,” her mother pleaded while holding Mya close and gently stroking her ruby red hair. Her usual pale complexion was even whiter than normal and her jade green eyes stared fixedly into space.
“She really needs to stop doing this,” grumbled her father, an unfeeling ogreish brute of a man who returned to his usual heap underneath the covers. Within seconds the rumblings of his thunderous snoring returned to echo about the room.
“There, there honey it’s only a thunderstorm,” her mother said soothingly, continuing to caress the side of Mya’s face. “It will be over soon my sweet,” she added, her big brown eyes trying to meet Mya’s gaze. Reassuringly she tried to smile softly, but her full lips remained pursed in concern. Mya’s demeanor was unchanged as she continued to shake all the while with a vacant stare.
Ever since the family moved from their row-home in the city to the old farmhouse in the countryside, these occurrences had become more frequent. At first they thought it was due to the recurrent summer thunderstorms but even on nights that were still and calm Mya would end up in their bedroom. The degree and frequency had increased slightly when they moved but Mya’s parents always attributed that to the anxiety of living, and sleeping, in a new house.
Recently though, the episodes had escalated so much so that Mya’s mother knew it in her soul that something was not right. With each night Mya had grown increasingly more terrified than the previous night and it took longer and longer to calm her down. Eerily still, once the frantic fit had passed, Mya would almost magically fall asleep within an instant and would then sleep soundly for the remainder of the night. Mya’s mother longed for this vicious cycle to end.
Yearning for answers and seeking peace for her and her daughter, Mya’s mother turned to her source of strength and compassion in prayer. As the words poured effortlessly from deep within her heart she experienced a peace that passed all understanding. Mya’s shaking subsided and her cheeks returned to their rosy hue. This time however she didn’t fall asleep as all the other times. Her innocent, unknowing eyes looked up at her mother, a faint twinkling present for the first time in quite a while and her familiar crooked grin had returned.
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