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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Yellow (11/12/09)

TITLE: Yellow Promise
By Amy Richie


Mary squeezed her eyes shut to block out the scene in front of her. It didn’t matter though, she could still hear and she could still smell. By now, the burning smell was the worst thing, as long as she kept her eyes closed. The screaming had quieted down hours ago, but the burning raged on. She sat huddled under a concrete slab that was once a building, with at least a dozen others. They had stopped crying for the most part, now all that could be heard from the group was a low moaning. Mary wasn’t completely sure if she was the one moaning or not. She had lost track of her sister hours ago, and she could only pray that she had found safety.

She rocked back and forth gently, keeping her eyes closed. A loud explosion sounded not far from them and Mary froze. “Please God,” she whispered, “please keep Sonya safe.” Their father had died weeks earlier, in the last terrorist attack. Now all they had was each other, and they vowed to always stay together. A fresh stream of tears made a path down her dirty cheeks. She couldn’t remember how they had been separated. It was like reliving a nightmare.

They had awoken in the night to gunfire and screaming. Most of the houses in the area were already burning. The two had quickly thrown on their shoes and headed out into the hellish night. Mary could remember clearly the feel of Sonya’s hand in hers and they were running, running away from the fire. It was somewhere near the flower vender on the corner that they were separated. She couldn’t remember how exactly, only that her hand was empty. The crowds of people must have pulled them apart and on a wave of panic, pulled the sisters in opposite directions.

Mary had screamed until her voice was gone, and then she crawled under the makeshift shelter to wait for morning. With the first rays of the sun, they would all be able to assess the damage and try to pick up the pieces that were left. Until then she would have to keep hoping, because that was all she had left.

With the morning came the rain, a cool steady stream that put out the fires. Mary unrolled her feet from under her and made her way out into the street. The others were doing the same, and she knew the screaming would soon begin again. She took a deep breath and worked the muscles of her legs before she began walking. She knew exactly where she needed to go, and she could feel her heart thudding loudly.
“Lord,” she said out loud as she walked, “I know in my heart that you are here with us, even in our darkest times. I take peace in that, really I do, but God if you could just let me find her,” she took a shaky breath, “Alive.” She couldn’t go any further with her prayer, besides, she knew that God already knew her heart. No matter what she found God would see her through this. But still….

When Mary finally reached the corner where the flower vender had been only yesterday, devastation was all she could see. Two tears slipped silently down her cheeks. There was rubble and dust scattered everywhere. She swallowed hard and looked down at her feet. She gasped and knelt down where she stood. There, where her feet had stopped, was a single yellow rose. Every petal was perfect, not a single broken leaf. It alone had survived the bombs and destruction. Mary wept as she held it in her trembling fingers, a promise from God.

From somewhere far away she could hear her name being called. “Mary, is that you? I can’t believe it, I found you!” Mary’s shoulders shook with emotion when she looked up. She was still clutching tightly to the perfect yellow rose.

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This article has been read 492 times
Member Comments
Member Date
anne fraser11/19/09
This story really touched my heart. There were tears in my eyes when the two sisters met at the end. Very well done.
Laura Manley11/20/09
This was extremely emotional and you captured the essence of what these poor people go through. Very well written!
Amanda Brogan11/20/09
Wow, this is very well written! The descriptions are gripping and my favorite part is that the character's faith clearly shines through the darkness of a terrible event - just like that bright yellow rose.
Uzoamaka Eneli11/20/09
this is lovely!i almost cried while reading it and i prayed along side too.really like to follow your writings.
Barbara Lynn Culler11/20/09
Goosebumps! Oh, the terror of such an attack. Good writing.
Marie Fink11/21/09
Great description and flow from one paragraph to the next. And the yellow rose surviving is quite believable since the oddest things will be left untouched in a fire. Emotional and happy ending with the sisters finding each other again. Good work.
Rachel Phelps11/24/09
Beautifully done. You've got a great basis here, so my only suggestion is to think of ways to show without having to tell for emotion. With that focus in mind, your writing will grow beyond its already high quality. Well done!
Ruth Brown11/25/09
A Well told story! Loved the single yellow rose.
Mona Purvis11/25/09
I like your writing style. You clearly have talent. Even more, you have heart.