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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Minute(s) (as in time) (03/03/11)

TITLE: Epitaph on an Infant's Grave
By Shanta Richard


The dew drop quivered on the edge of the maple leaf. It matched the tear drop quivering at the corner of Pricilla’s eyelid. She had cried all night long and could not come to a decision. It was imperative that she decide one way or the other today.

The memory of that fatal night when the masked robber had ravaged her body – the fear, the pain, the shame and the hatred - were burned into her brain and would live with her for ever. As if this was not enough now she was pregnant with his child.

The nurse at the clinic had been very kind. She had said, “It is your decision, my dear. It is your baby. You can abort it and try to forget the whole episode. You can go through with the pregnancy have your baby and give it up for adoption. Or you could keep your baby and give it the love and care that it needs.”

Pricilla looked back on her own life. She had never seen her father who was killed in action before she was born. A year later her mother, a nurse, had gone to Zambia, Africa, to work in a hospital, leaving Pricilla with her mother. She never returned. She wrote occasionally but as far as Pricilla was concerned she was just a stranger. Her grandmother doted on her and she had a happy and pleasant childhood.

Pricilla grew up to be a fine young woman. She graduated from business school and got a good job. A few years later her grandmother passed away after a brief illness. She moved into a small apartment in the city near her work place. Her life was peaceful. She had a loving church family. Yet at this moment of crisis she had no one to turn to for advice.

She knew that abortion was not an option. But she reasoned that this was not a pregnancy conceived out of love and joy. It was forced upon her in violence. She had not even seen the face of the aggressor. Why should she care for the child of an insane, terrifying person?

But considered from the baby’s point of view it did have the right to live. What was its sin that it was condemned to die even before it was born? If that baby had an epitaph written over its grave it might read something like:
God’s precious angel
Abandoned by Dad
Murdered by Mom.

Pricilla shuddered at the very thought. It was at that minute that she made her decision. She would keep her baby and give it the mother’s love she never had the privilege to enjoy. She would continue to pray for God’s grace to fall upon them like dew and be their portion, their protection and their provision.

The last tear drop coursed down Pricilla’s cheek. She looked up and saw the dew drop poised on the leaf’s edge. And at precisely that minute the dew drop rolled over the leaf’s edge and gently landed on the smiling face of a new born grass blade on the lawn below.

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This article has been read 369 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bonnie Bowden 03/10/11
Excellent writing. This is such a tough position to be in. I do know someone in the same circumstances, who chose to raise the baby and love it. I liked the image of the dew on the leaf.
diana kay03/11/11
well written, atmospheric and emotive, good job!
Nancy Bucca03/11/11
Very powerful and well written. You could almost feel what the MC was feeling. Nice job.
Grace Merkey03/14/11
I liked this very much. It made a tear come to my eye, also. I wish more women felt this way.
Verna Mull 03/16/11
I loved the reference to the leaf and the dew also. A real interest grabber and a great job of writing it.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/17/11
Congratulations for placing 9th in level 1!