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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Christmas Tree (10/09/08)

TITLE: The Beginning
By HQ Creston
10/12/08


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Anna stepped gingerly out of bed, careful not to disturb her husband. She stopped a moment taking a deep breath releasing it slowly as she splinted her incision site. The searing pain passed quickly, but she knew it would return. Silently she peeked into the cradle, little Bethany was awake and sucking furiously on her fingers again. She lifted the baby, quieting her until they reached the living room. She sat cross-legged on the braided rug beside the stone fireplace. The fire that had burned feverishly earlier that evening was now down to embers, but released enough warmth to sooth the baby and her mother. The room was dark, except for the red-orange glow given by the dying fire. Anna wrapped the hand crocheted afghan around her, than released her arm from her nightgown lifting Bethany to her breast. She winced taking a quick breath as Bethany latched and began sucking with such force it brought tears to Anna’s eyes. She lifted her eyes toward the fireplace, surreptitiously wishing she had thought to at least put the tree lights on. The tree was beautiful with just a hint of tinsel and red felt ribbons. The white lights were sparse, just enough to give the tree accent, but not pizzazz. She adjusted her hold on the baby as Bethany started to fuss.
“Hush, hush hush,” Anna rocked as Bethany relatched and placed her tiny hand on top of her breast. “Good girl,” Anna sighed smiling at her baby.
The twenty seven hour flight back from Iraq, had left Randy exhausted. He frantically entered the hospital room as the nurses unplugged her monitors and rushed her off to the OR. “Baby’s in trouble.” The nurse directed Anna to turn. She obeyed as they rolled her side to side and placed the oxygen on her face. “Someone do something with dad, I’m losing Mom!” The bed was pulled from the room as the team of nurses pushed her down the hall.
Four hours later she opened her eyes. Randy was holding their daughter. He explained something about an abruption. She couldn’t follow all the noise and medical nonsense people kept attacking her with. “Please, may I see her?”
She looked at her baby’s face and back toward the unlit Christmas tree. Bethany was fussing again. “Jesus loves you this I know,” She sang ever so softly Bethany looked up from her intended goal meeting her mother’s eyes. “Yes Jesus loves you,” Bethany smiled letting out a high pitched giggle, than reached for her mothers’ breast again.
The lights of the tree flickered on; Anna looked up as Randy tossed some cedar chips on the fire. “I’m sorry for waking you.”
He sat behind her drawing her body against his, “I love you.”
She relaxed in his embrace, the fire cracked, whistled then the scent of sweet cedar drifted into the room.


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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 10/18/08
A very pretty picture of a young and loving family.

There was an abrupt POV shift in the middle that sort of threw me off for a moment.

Your writing shows great promise!