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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Asia (02/26/09)

TITLE: Promise of a New Life
By Laura Pattillo


The rain fell in huge droplets and rand down the window in streams. Four little eyes peered out onto an empty playground, wishing they were swinging in the bright sunshine and cool breezes. Playing on the playground was one of the few bright spots in what seemed like an empty life. The rain was making a sad day a little sadder than normal. Yet, unbeknownst to the two pair of eyes, the sad day would be a happy promising one by its end.

Xi Ling and Cho Ling, twin sisters, wish for a happier life. They had been living at Little Hands Orphanage in Bien Hoa, Vietnam since they were three years old. Daughters of poor farmers, the girls had been placed in the orphanage when their parents lost their farm to major rain season floods. Their parents could have kept one of them, but they did not want to separate the two of them.

While in their silent dreary reverie, the sisters were unaware they were being quietly observed by the two head nuns. The Sisters knew what was in store, but the twins did not. Sister Mary Frances and Sister Mary Agatha had high hopes for the two little girls.

“Do you think they will be happy?” whispers Sister Mary Frances.

“I hope so,” answers Sister Mary Agatha. “A life in the United States or anywhere else should be better than here in the orphanage. All we can do is pray.”

Sister Mary Frances shook her head in agreement. “Their new parents will be here soon. At least one of our prayers was answered.”

“One,” said Sister Mary Agatha, while raising her eyes at Sister Mary Frances.

“The two of them being placed together was one,” said Sister Mary Frances. “The other is that God will bless their lives in their new home.”

Sister Mary Agatha looked at her watch. “Their new parents will be here in an hour and half. Let’s get them ready.”

Sister Mary Agatha and Sister Mary Frances walked over to the window. The girls heard them walk up, and they turned and ran to the two women. As the women picked them up, the girls buried their heads into respective shoulders.

“Why the tears?” asked Sister Mary Frances.

“Because it is raining, and we want to be outside,” answered Cho.

“Do not fret little dears,” Sister Mary Agatha said in a soothing tone. “Soon, you will go outside and never come back in.”

“Never come back in?” asked Xi with fear on her face.

“Yes, your new parents will be here shortly to take you to your new home,” said Sister Mary Agatha. “The two of you are being adopted by a mother and father who already love you very much.”

“We are?” asked a wide-eyed Cho. “Then we need to get cleaned up and pack our things.”

She jumped out of Sister Mary Agatha’s arms. Xi copied her sister’s actions. The two of them ran down the hall with the promise of a new life dancing across their faces.

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This article has been read 366 times
Member Comments
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Joanne Sher 03/07/09
What a lovely hope for sure. I definitely felt for these girls.

It seemed that they would have been a bit more excited at the end, but it could just be me.

Enjoyed this very much!
Gregory Kane03/07/09
This is a good story in as far as it goes. It flows well, has a nice touch of emotion and has two sweet children. But let me make one observation to help you improve your writing. As it stands at present, apart from the names and the mention of Vietnam, the story could have been placed anywhere else in the world. To make it even better, you need somehow to breathe a little of Vietnam into the story, perhaps some colourful description, perhaps some idiom, perhaps some idiosyncracy associated with that country. It's this extra effort that turns a good story into a great story.
I hope that's helpful to you. Let me encourage you to read other FW entries and leave comments for your fellow writers so that we can all learn together
Karlene Jacobsen03/07/09
I was glad to see that the sisters cared so much for the little girls. I have heard stories of so many children there isn't enough of the workers to go around leaving the workers to feel a bit aloof from the children. Could be me stereotyping though huh?

This was a heartwarming story.
Ruth Ann Moore03/08/09
What an endearing story. It left me feeling hopeful for the children. I enjoyed the nun's line where the children would never have to come in again, and the sweet significance of those words.
Norma-Anne Hough03/12/09
Beautiful, heartwarming story.
Well done.