Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)
TITLE: Minnow in a Minute
By Sharon Laughter
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“NO!” I shrieked, furiously jabbing, then pounding the down arrow on the wall hoping the metal monster would somehow change its mind, return to the bargain basement and spit out its prey like the fish did to Jonah in the Bible.
“Stay here!” barked the Nordic giant next to me who normally answered to the call of “honey” and “dear”. His massive frame lunged toward the stairwell to give chase. Horrible images assailed my mind of our tiny offspring in the clutches of some deranged predator, who indeed was lurking among the potted plants on some floor, waiting for an opportunity such as this. I imagined my shining knight flinging himself at the doors seconds too late, thereby forced at each stop to forge upward yet further.
It was hard to believe that just moments before, my precious little family had been solidly intact. Handsome hunk and I still basked in the glow of parenthood and loved our family outings. He was a precious gem that often played “good sport” when I felt the serious need to peruse the sales, for our family’s good, of course.
My mind trailed back to the herd of cattle earlier who had shoved, stomped and snorted their way into the elevator – cramming us into the back wall of the mean machine. They were disguised as humans, but these creatures were undaunted by the lack of breathing room or space in the car. This family crises was ultimately their collective fault, for when the doors finally opened and they charged out, there was barely enough time left for the hulk of my heart, baby and me to tumble out, gasping into the hall. This then presented little Nordic clone just enough time to dart back into the roving giant, as the doors closed shut.
However, I realized that instead of shock and horror I would’ve expected from the fruit of my womb, his eyes had widened in glee and a grin flashed across his face, almost as if the little urchin had conceived his solo flight all along. Not only that, I had never seen this facial expression before. It was the type I assumed would be used for staring out at me over straight A report cards in the wonder years soon to come.
I called my mind to focus and silently trumpeted the God of heaven for legions of holy angels to be dispatched in rescue. Perhaps I should’ve done that before this - at the minnows birth. But at six hours old, freshly swathed in a powder blue blanket which framed the sweetest face to ever adorn a hospital delivery room, I believed that the little cherub could never be capable of the slightest transgress.
Suddenly a crash sounded and my large Norseman fell through the stairwell doors. He stumbled across the linoleum, unable to slow in time to avoid the wall ahead which promised shopping at Rumford’s today to be a “day at the beach.” My honey’s handsome face was now cherry red and puffed to twice its size. As he catapulted forward, he shifted his shoulder to absorb the impact of the wall and bounced off, a play worthy of the former football hero.
“ding.” Tackle complete, Nordic man froze as I turned, our hearts both suspended at the elevator’s announced return. Hoping against hope, we watched as the doors lumbered open. There, thanks be to God, stood our little minnow. He was in the same spot, all alone and safe. Only now, he was wearing an even broader smile and a huge expression of smug accomplishment.
I sprung forward and snatched the urchin out of the metal monster’s mouth and flung him toward his father. Sinking to the floor in relief, I slowed my breathing and looked toward the father and son duo who now stood squared off toward each other in a silent stand-off . I patted my hair back in place, stood and straightened my clothes. With knees still wobbling, I settled my purse solidly on the crook of my shoulder and strode around the muscular back of the hulk of my heart.
“I’ll be waiting at the coffee shop – no hurry,” I whispered into his ear, gliding off.
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