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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: The River of Pebbles
By Gillian Alexander


Thana stood at the edge of the river bank remembering what her father told her before he was gone. Thana was confused. After her father had passed on, her life seemed to take a turn for the worse; even though she knew that there were painful memories that she needed to heal but did not know how. The only request from her father was to live her life pure. If she only knew what he meant by that!

She stretched out her arms to surf with the sea gulls floating near by. She leaned forward to pick up the most beautiful pink pebbles, lost her balance and toppled in the muddy water. Thana stood in the water, which was rather shallow, and began to laugh. She had been going to the river for just over two years, and maybe she needed to wash off all the burdens she was carrying on her shoulders. In her soaked spring dress and now muddy hair she headed for home. She looked to the left and saw a gentleman who probably noticed her stupidity and she began walking faster.

Every Sunday morning Thana would sit at the river with her sandwich and book. She noticed the gentleman sitting in his cream suite, watching the sea gulls. It looked as though he was in the meditative state. Thana could not help but stare. One morning the gentleman got up and began walking on the path that was behind Thana.

“Well Miss every Sunday we do the exact same thing and sit on opposite sides. Tell me what do you get out of sitting at the river every Sunday?”
Thana, now in amazement that after all these months, would he eventually approach her.
“Well, I feel that serenity gives me peace of mind.”
She smiled with her eyes, and began to blush.
“I am Henry, very pleased to meet you.”
Thana stood up to shake his hand. As she did he has the strength of a bull that nearly took her bones in her hand apart.
“Well… Henry, it seems as though your hand can kill a bull!”
Henry laughed.
And that is how it began, every Sunday Henry and Thana would have conversations, sometimes Thana would bring an extra sandwich for Henry.
Thana felt relaxed because he was neatly dressed, humble and spoke softly.

One afternoon, as they sit there in the silence, Henry turned to face Thana. “Thana, may I ask you a question?”
“Well if it does not blow me away, or into the water again, I surely can try and answer it as best I can,” said Thana as she leaned forward to listen.

Henry cleared his throat and began. “Well… if you throw a pebble into the water, what happens?”
Thana began to laugh and started acting rather full of pride. “Well Henry, the pebble goes down and the ripples eventually fade. Why do you ask?”
Henry gave a deep giggle, “Thana, do you ever realise why the pebble makes the ripple effect and why the pebble does not float?”

“Henry what on earth are you speaking of?”
Henry gathered a few pebbles and threw it in different directions of the water.
“Today Thana, the pastor spoke of many things, but this stood out to me, and that is why I am here. I have watched you throw pebbles into the water for a long time, and today I vowed to walk up to you and ask you why.”
Thana began to get rather teary eyed because after weeks of conversation, he finally came out on why he kept encouraging her. That is why she woke up earlier on a Sunday because she knew Henry would be there.

“Thana just imagine how that pebble could feel if it could, to be taken out of the water, and even though it has no life, it goes through a bold cycle to be thrown back into the water, and start the process all over again, if it is lucky to get back to dry ground. The ripple effect it makes encourages the water to show life, even through the deadness of their existence.”

Thana stood up as though the water was speaking back to her. “Henry grabbed her hand, and looked in her eyes. “That is how life is Thana, even though we might feel dead to our feelings, and heavy, we should always know that wherever we get thrown into that is where life really happens.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Patty Wysong09/06/07
What a good lesson for us. I like that concept: whatever we get thrown into is where life really is. Good job.
Betty Castleberry09/08/07
I would like to read more about Henry and Thana. Is there a roamnce for them on the horizon? One thing you might try is double spacing between the conversational lines. It makes for easier reading. I see a run on sentence or two as well. All in all, this is nice. Loved the ending.