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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Season(s) of a year or life (01/13/11)

TITLE: Jesus Talk
By Candace Moles


The draft around the windows sent chills down Nellie’s arms. She pulled her grandmother’s quilt tighter around her shoulders. As Nellie moved back and forth in her rocking chair, something about the monotony calmed her. Just outside the window, snowflakes gracefully settled on the earth below, and the reflection of the street lamp glistened on the pristine white blanket. The wind picked up, stirring up the falling snow, creating a small funnel before once again settling to the ground.

George stepped out onto their enclosed porch and handed her a steaming cup of tea. She gratefully took it, resting the China teacup on her ever-growing belly. George reached down, gently squeezed her shoulder and walked away without saying a word.

Just then, the cup shifted causing the tea to ripple. She raised it from her belly and gently rubbed her hand where the teacup had been. “Easy there, little one.” Nellie shifted slightly in her chair. The tiny knee made a couple more passes under her ribs before finally settling down again. “I’m anxious to meet you, too.” She smiled, even as a few tears rimmed her eyes.

She glanced over her shoulder to see George sitting on the couch. His feet were on the floor, elbows on knees, and he was reading his bible. Nellie chuckled to herself. His ‘Jesus talk.’ That’s what she’d called it since they were kids. Any time she’d had a problem, he’d say, “Jesus can fix that.” Or if she’d been mad, it was “Give it to Jesus, Nellie.” Her favorite, though, was when she’d done something to make him mad. Sometimes she’d do it just to get a rise out of him. “You know what your problem is? You need Jesus!” He’d yell it just before he stormed off. At the memory, a smile filled her face. She took a sip of her tea, welcoming its warmth.

Despite how she’d tormented him when they were younger, Nellie had come to realize that George was the only one who’d always been there for her. He’d been her friend when all of her ‘true’ friends were gone. He was there to console her when her mother’s only words, spoken with a finger shaking in her face, were, “You’re getting just what you deserve, Nellie Mae.”

He was her only shoulder to cry on after Nellie’s husband, Herb, sent word from Chicago that he was having their three week marriage annulled. And just days after she’d learned she was pregnant with Herb’s child, George Haverty was there, kneeling on her front porch with a small velvet box, promising to love and cherish her, and her baby, for the rest of their lives.

Nellie was still watching George when he looked over the rims of his glasses to check on her. He laid the bible on the table and stood to come out and join her. “Well? Has the rocking helped?” This time he laid both hands on her shoulders and gently squeezed.

“Not this time, dear. The contractions seem to be regular.” Nellie turned to look up at him, a mixture of fear and anticipation painted in her expression.

“I’ve got our things ready to go.” He walked around, knelt on the floor in front of her, and cupped her face in both of his hands. “Nellie Mae Haverty, I love you with all my heart, but why on earth did you have to pick the first snowstorm of the year to have our baby?” He was smiling as he gently brushed his lips to hers. He helped her to her feet.

She stopped to look into his warm blue eyes, her own filling with tears. He’d been her best friend. He’d loved her when she felt no one else ever would. He picked up the pieces of her broken heart and showed her what it really meant to be loved. Most importantly, though, his ‘Jesus talk’ was now her ‘Jesus talk,’ too. He’d shown her how much God loved her more than anyone else ever could. For that, she would always love George.

She grinned at him one last time before they made their way through the snow and out to the car. “Oh, George.” She waved her hand in his direction. “Like you always told me…just give it to Jesus.” She cut her eyes over at him and saw his smile. “Now, let’s go have our baby.”

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Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/21/11
I really enjoyed this sweet story. I liked your characters and you really drew me in. It's funny how often the best is right in front of us and we don't don't realize it.
Beth LaBuff 01/24/11
Your characters warmed my heart, despite your snowy setting. :) I really enjoyed this. P.S. Did they have a boy or a girl? :)
Michael Throne01/25/11
This was a good story. You brought us into an involved situation, let us get to know your characters, and then slowly expanded our view. Well done; I enjoyed it. Best of all, you left us wondering and wanting more.