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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Conversation (face to face) (10/07/10)

TITLE: Silent Screams
By Lisa Fowler


Silent Screams

Unhurried, they approached from beyond the dune; his gait deliberate and unsteady; feet shuffling through insignificant grains of sand. His mouth was open wide, as if this were his last attempt to suck in all the air his lungs could hold; his eyes hidden by the dark glasses upon his ashen face.

She clung tightly to his arm as though he were precious clay in the potters loving hands, cracking with the slightest movement, left or right. She smiled as they came close and nodded as they reached the bench beneath the overgrown, unkempt palm.

She moved to face him. Lifting his lanky arms and wrapping them around her, pulling him close to her chest, she slowly lowered him onto the bench. Gently lifting his limp hand and placing it in hers, she began softly caressing it, one finger at a time.

They sat together quietly, absent of words or glances. His chest rose and fell; slowly, methodically, slightly labored. She carefully brushed wisps of salt and peppered hair from his brow, leaned in close and tenderly kissed his pale, sunken cheek. She whispered into his ear. Recognizable, the words mouthed were “I love you.”

Time flew. The air cooled slightly as the sun began its nightly game of hide and seek behind the ocean‘s fury. She pulled a shawl from her bag, wrapped it around his shoulders, and then covered his frail legs with a blanket. She moved closer, wrapped her arms around his shoulders, and gently rubbed them under the shawl to generate warmth.

They stared, motionless as the sun dropped and disappeared behind the unmovable indigo wall. Quickly now, she gathered their belongings; shawl and blanket, folded and placed them into the bag from which they first appeared.

She moved to face him as hours before, wrapped his arms around her body and drew him tightly to her chest. She pulled him to standing and patiently waited as he grasped his balance. Stealing a lengthy hug, she turned, placed his arm tightly in her grip and together, they began a slow, methodical shuffle beyond the dune.

Words eerily absent. Yet above the ocean’s roar, over the cawing of the gulls, love screamed in silent conversation.

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This article has been read 523 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/21/10
This is a sweet but tinged with sadness love story. You did a beautiful job setting the scene. I did long to know more aboutthe characters, what was going on in their minds. But you definitely did a great job of showing that they love each other.
Lillian Rhoades 10/21/10
Interesting approach to "conversation." Descriptive
words that really draws one into the story. The absence dialogue illustrates an oft repeated adage -Actions speak louder than words.

Lillian Rhoades 10/21/10
Oops. "The absence of dialogue"
DK Landers10/21/10
This story grabbed my heart and squeezed. It reminds me of the daily gamut of emotions experienced by my mother as she cares for her husband of 60 years in the last stages of Parkinson's. Sometimes words are not needed to express deep love.
Jan Ackerson 10/22/10
Tender and bittersweet.

The title threw me off a bit; the word 'screams' doesn't seem to fit with the piece.

Nice writing--I'd expect this in a higher level.
Cheryl Harrison10/22/10
Gives new meaning to "come and grow old with me." I envisioned an elderly married couple nearing the end. I wondered if she took him to the place where he proposed marriage to her. Yes, she may have remained silent, but her actions spoke loud and clear. Keep writing.
Author Unknown10/23/10
I have to admit my mind raced to fill in the gaps in the beginning. I didn't see an older couple coming out from behind a dune, and with all the tenderness I thought- wow, what kind of an entry is this- and it abruptly shifted- was he drowning? did she just save his life? but by the end I realized it was just a tender moment between two elderly folks.

Let me say- beautiful writing. Not beginner at all. Very descriptive, but not too flowery. Nice spin on the topic.

There were a couple spots where I saw a word or two that could have been left out (and that's such a nothing- really it is)- overall, this was very well done.
Charla Diehl 10/23/10
This tender love story tugged at my heart as it unfolded. Your words made pictures for the reader and that's good writing. I too think this is certainly higher level writing.
Genia Gilbert10/24/10
I really liked this. It is well written and held my interest, and I was touched by the message - love speaking without words.
Lollie Hofer10/25/10
This was a well-written story full of sweet love strongly communicated without uttering a word. This was indeed advanced writing from the Beginner's group. Well done.
Brenda Rice 10/26/10
You captured their love perfectly without them saying a word. I knew instantly, I was reading about a caregiver. As a caregiver for my dad, I understand the routine, the items needed and the saying of "I love you" without saying anything. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 10/28/10
Congratulations on a great placing!!!
Genia Gilbert10/28/10
Congratulations on your HC in your division! Again, I loved your entry.