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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Childhood (09/03/09)

TITLE: Where Are You?
By Ruth Brown


Tall legs, fat legs, skinny legs, short legs, brown shoes, black shoes, and white shoes, thats all I could see. I scrunched down and looked all around. I couldn't see Mama's pretty black shoes with the strap or Daddy's brown work shoes. I stood up and shaded my eyes with my hand and looked far as I could that way. Then I looked far as I could the other way. Where are you Mommy and Daddy? I squatted down on the corner to wait, and watch.

Paul waited in front of Pinky's the local soda fountain,"What's keeping them," he wondered patting his foot. At last he saw his wife, and childhood sweetheart, Nancy.
"Did you get carried away shopping?" he said.
"Afraid so, Honey, it was so nice to have some time to shop."she said."Did you and Ruthie have fun?"
"Ruu-thie, his eyes grew large. She's not with me. You took her hand- DIDN'T YOU?" his eyes darted around as fear set in.
"YOU MEAN YOU DON"T HAVE HER?" Nancy ran around him. "YOU"RE KIDDING RIGHT, COME OUT NOW, HONEY!... She put her hand to her mouth stifling a scream.
"I thought you had her hand. We have to find her!" she started down the street,calling RUUUTHIE, RUUTHIE, WHERE ARE YOU? RUUTHIE?"

"I'LL GO THIS WAY, he yelled over his shoulder. Lord help us find her." Paul prayed.

"Friday night, Lord, town is so crowded, Please, Please let her be OK." Nancy tryed to calm herself. She looked up to see the sheriff.

"Nancy, What's wrong?" Town Sheriff Chet Roberts asked.

"We've lost our little girl. Her name is Ruthie. She's only four years old."
"I'll call the deputies, don't worry now, Brookfield is a good town. We'll find her."
Show me where you parked."

Paul looked back, and saw the sheriff talking to Nancy. He trotted back to meet them.

"Paul come with me, Nancy you can head up towards Danners."

"Ruthie is that you? Where's your Mommy and Daddy?"

I looked up and saw our neighbor, Mrs. Smith.
I shrugged my shoulders and said,
"Well, I only let go of Daddy's hand for a minute. I had to scratch my head.
I was right by Mommy. She saw a friend and was talking.
So I sat down on the side walk to watch an ant carrying a big green bug.
When I looked up all I saw was lot's of legs and none of them was Mommy's or Daddy's."

Mrs.Smith's eyebrows went way up and she said,"Come with me sweetheart,"she picked me up and I felt a lot better.
"The Texaco Station has a great big window. Maybe if we stand you up in it, Mommy and Daddy will see you. I'll call the sheriff from there."

I liked the idea. Daddy got gas there and sometimes the man gave me a sucker.
She told Mr. Cly the problem and soon I was standing in the window holding a neat Texaco,oil can bank. Everyone in there put money in it. I jiggled it as I looked out the window.
It was a great window. I waved at people and they waved back.
"Here's another sucker, Honey."
"Maybe we can keep her from crying," Mr. Cly said.

" I don't want to cry," I thought, "this is fun."

"Sheriff Roberts", the radio blarred," You will find the little lady standing in the window of the Texaco!"
"Roger that, he sighed.

"Paul they have her down at Texaco."

"Praise the Lord,"Paul said.

Christmas shoppers jammed the sidewalks, but Paul and the Sheriff managed to get there quickly.

Nancy looked into the Texaco Station. A child waved a chubby hand. Nancy's heart jumped with joy. It was her own little angel standing in the window." Ruthie, Ruthie," she cried.
"THANK YOU LORD , The bell jingled merrily as she hit the door, rushing to swoop her baby into her arms.

"Hi Mommy," I said.

"Sweetheart I'm so glad you're all right" she said.

I looked up and Daddy came running in.
"Daddy see my bank."

"It's a wonderful bank,"he said.

"I wondered why they looked happy and sad all at the same time."

They kissed me and hugged me over and over.


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This article has been read 464 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Chelsie May09/10/09
LOL...that was so cute.
Philippa Geaney 09/11/09
You built the tension until I was searching the crowd too. I loved the sea of legs description
Holly Westefeld09/12/09
Many parents can identify with this stomach-clinching situation.
It was somewhat challenging to follow, since you switched back and forth between Ruthie's first-person perspective, and the omniscient narrator telling what her parents were experiencing. It can be complicated to mix perspectives in such a short story, but perhaps a cue for the transitions would help, such as a few asterisks or dashes.
I always like a happy ending!
Lisa Johnson09/17/09
Having been lost as a child, and having lost one of my children... I could totally identify with all of your characters. I do agree with the comment about making some distinctions between your POV's.