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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (04/08/10)

TITLE: Victorious
By Cindy Carver


She arrived in the apple blossom scented orchard, and felt the breeze that blew through her and she became a part of it as it danced across the tops of the Easter Lilies and she smiled. Then she felt the sadness that the breeze carried from the kneeling woman and knew it was her daughter.

As she went to her, she felt the warmth of the setting sun, and saw the orange-yellow glow that cast a shadow from her daughter. It silhouetted her on the cold grey stone she knew was her grave. She saw a glow of light around the silhouette, like a tracing of a child’s hand on paper. It was not very defined and she knew it was her shadow though it was light. There was no darkness where she had come from.

She’d been gone over a year but it was only an instant in her new life and knew for her daughter it had seemed longer.

She saw the wisps of grey intertwined in the long blonde strands on the back of her daughter’s head and at the same time she saw the light reflected in the tear that rolled down her cheek. It amazed her to be everywhere and a part of the smallest thing all at the same time. Like she had reached out to touch a rainbow and found she could. She tried to take it all in, as she knew she would be going back soon.

Today would have been her birthday. Fresh roses lay in front of the stone that was engraved, ‘In Loving Memory” and she felt the love that her daughter had put into choosing the peach long stemmed roses as a gift even though she was gone. Sadness wasn’t a part of what she knew now, but she felt her daughter’s sadness and she wanted to embrace her and tell her that everything was alright.

A tear landed on the soft earth and she heard it like a leaky faucet in a silent house and saw the swirling of emotions in a grey storm cloud that broke up and was gone with the breeze that danced among the flowers. She also saw love that was heavy like rich cream in a pail of fresh milk and rose upward into the sky.

The vestiges of anger and pain were there too, like tendrils of smoke that rose from a dying fire they too were taken away. She saw this and surrendered herself to being part of it all. She reached out, though her essence was more like the breeze that could be felt, but had no form. She touched her daughter’s shoulder and the quiet sobs subsided. Her daughter’s eyes were swollen, and the lines on her face had not been there the last time she’d seen her, but there was also a warmth to her spirit that had not been there before. It emanated from her in a soft glow the color of the lightest Easter lilies that lined the edge of the cemetery.

Her daughter reached up and placed her hand on her shoulder where she touched her. “I miss you Mom.”

In her daughter’s other hand was a letter that fluttered even though the breeze had all but settled into a quiet calm of subdued reverence for her visit.. She saw her daughter as she was writing and felt her emotions like they were her own. She also felt how now there was peace. The words on the paper had taken the hate and anger and removed them replacing them with the calmness she now saw.

Her daughter had been lifting her up when she did not think she could lifted. Her prayers and gifts of daily devotionals and a large print Bible lay open in front of her when she had died. Her daughter had found her, but did not know the peace she had when she left. All her life had been troubled, but those last days she had given to reading what her daughter had given her, and some of the last words she read were Psalms 44 6-7 I do not trust in my bow, my sword does not bring me victory; but you give us victory over our enemies, you put our adversaries to shame.

They had spoken to her, though her enemy had been a bottle—the words had given her victory and she wanted to let her daughter know that the battle had been won.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Theresa Santy 04/15/10
You have an immensely beautiful writing style, and seem to have perfected the skills of metaphors and similies. This is a deeply, emotionally charged piece, with a clever tie to the the challenge subject.

The second paragraph dives directly into the heart of the piece, and I think the first paragraph takes away from that a little bit. You have so many beautifully described scenes throughout the piece, so you don't need to spend too many words setting the scene in paragraph one. For example, if you started with "As she arrived in the blossom scented orchard (then continued with) she felt the sadness that the breeze...
Then, the reader can quickly get to the emotion, and depth of the writing, which is quite captivating.

My only other comment is in the paragraph that begins, Today would have been her birthday... If you placed that sentence at the end of that same paragraph, I believe it would increase the impact of the paragraph.

You have a gift with words, an amazing sense of rhythm and prose. I loved this piece.
Karen Macor04/16/10
Excellent. You conveyed both the setting and the emotions to the point of my feeling like I was there. Theresa did make a good point about the first paragraph which would improve the story but this was a wonderful piece of writing.
Jan Ackerson 04/19/10
This has a lovely, lyrical feel to it.

My only suggestion: this seemed a bit pronoun-heavy--lots of 'she' and 'her'. A few names would help us to keep track of who's who.

Beautiful atmosphere, well written.