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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Surprised (09/06/07)

TITLE: A New Miracle
By Judy Traffie


They were hiding something, he just knew it. Just because he was young, didn’t mean he was stupid for Pete’s sake. What could possibly make his parents act so strange? He was sure that something was up. It was just a question of finding out the answer.

Giving himself a decisive nod in the mirror, 10 year old Talon finished combing his fingers through his shaggy blonde hair. His blue eyes narrowed at the boy looking back at him, mouth pursing in thought. Yes, that was what he would do, find out what was going on and why his parents were being so secretive.

Having made up his mind he brushed his teeth and rinsed his mouth, leaving behind the residue of a toothpaste mustache. Pulling on a clean shirt and a pair of shorts, he ran down the stairs with the enthusiasm of a starving refugee, following the smells of breakfast that were floating through the house.

‘Morning Mom, Dad.’ He slid onto the bar stool, fairly drooling at the sight of food, his stomach growling in excitement.

‘Good morning Bud. Excited to have a day off from school?’ His dad eyed him with interest over his reading glasses and the morning paper.

Wrinkling his freckled nose in distaste at the thought of school, he said, ‘Yup. I think I’m going to go over Kiernan’s today, if that’s okay I mean. He asked me to hang out.’

‘Well…..actually Talon, we were hoping to have a family day.’ His mother paused, her eyes meeting his dad’s, while her fingers anxiously picked at the hot pad she was holding. ‘There is something we wanted to talk to you about.’

There, right there. What was that? Why was his mom acting all weird? Something was definitely in the air, and it wasn’t just the smell of breakfast. Impatiently he pushed it from his mind, for the moment there were more important things to think about. Like his breakfast. Grabbing a fork he dug into his eggs and pancakes with a relish that only a growing boy could show.

Poking through the desk in the computer room, Talon kept one eye on the door incase his parents walked by. There was nothing unusual in the whole house, he had been searching for fifteen minutes and was still empty handed.

Where would his mom hide something if she didn’t want him to find it? He already knew all of her usual hiding places. The upper corner of the closet where she hid his Christmas presents, under her bed where she hid sweets, the truck in the guest room, they all came up empty.

Sighing he walked towards the door, his mom must have found a new hiding spot. A shiny piece of paper glinted at him as he walked by the closet door, and he reached down to pick it up, curiosity rushing through him as he straightened. What was this? The air suddenly left his lungs in a rush as the words screamed up at him from the page. ‘International Adoption Headquarters, Our Mission is Saving Lives.’

Disbelief rushed through him. This was the secret his parents were hiding? Anger and jealousy warred for first place as he sank onto the floor, uncertain how he should feel about this discovery. It had been just him and his parents for so long he wasn’t sure if he would like a sibling. Lost deep in thought he stared at the wall, mulling it over in his mind while chewing on a hangnail absently.

A noise pulled him back to the present and he jumped guiltily as he saw his parents hovering in the doorway. Looking up at his mother’s anxious, worried face, and the apprehension that creased his father’s brow, Talon licked his suddenly dry lips.

‘Talon, honey, we were going to tell you sooner, but we didn’t know how to bring it up.’ The words left his mother’s mouth in a tangled rush. ‘You know we love you more than anything, but this is something we have wanted for a long time, a baby. Honey, this will be a new miracle, a new life that we can help nurture.’

Suddenly all the anxiety and apprehension left Talon, leaving in its place an excitement. This was an unexpected surprise but it was a good one. He had always wanted a little brother to watch over. Looking up into his parents faces, he smiled, deciding he was looking forward to having a sibling after all.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Arduini09/14/07
This was good, nice pace and suspense. I was wondering if maybe he thought he was the adopted one and then the parents surprised him with the sibling announcement, but the title kind of gave me the direction of where it was headed. Nice work.
Laury Hubrich 09/15/07
Good job of showing the curiosity of a little boy and his quick acceptance of a baby brother.
Jan Ackerson 09/16/07
Cute story--one that would be good to share with children.

Watch out for redundant phrases like "anxious, worried" and "unexpected surprise." If you tighten up your writing, you'll save unnecessary words and have more for plot and character devolopment.

I like the names you chose for your characters.