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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Our Mutual Friend (not about the book) (09/15/11)

TITLE: Gabriel's Gone II
By Sharon Brooks


Two long years had passed since Becky last saw Gabriel. He would be turning twenty–two in five days. Her daughter Melody, fifteen years old now, told her that Gabe was the lead singer in a local rock band called “Bernie’s Gold Dust”. Melody said that they were popular with the drug head crowd.

“He’s really messed up mom, he looks terrible.”

Those words echoed and filled Becky’s mind with terrible images. She thought he looked awful two years ago, when his giant pierced earrings caused his earlobes to droop. His eyes were bloodshot all the time and he walked around face sullen, angry at the world.

Becky didn’t enter into his bedroom for a week after he left. It was too painful. He had belligerently ordered her to stay out of his private space. After the divorce and consumed with guilt, she had conceded to his wishes. She rationalized that at least he was still at home with her.

After Gabriel had been gone four months however, she went into his room one day and tore it apart. She ridded every demonic image in sight, starting with the pornographic magazines and the strange glass pipe apparatus under his bed. By the end of the day, she had filled thirteen garbage bags. Carrying them outside, she passed the plaque in the front hallway that had lost its meaning for many years. It read, “As for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”

Since Becky had scolded and questioned God for abandoning Gabriel, much had changed. The night that Gabriel left and she later had a bad fall, she reunited with an old friend in Collingwood General Hospital. Nancy, the pastor’s wife from Becky’s last church, was also an ER nurse. She cared for Becky’s broken wrist and embraced her broken heart. They both cried, and prayed, and even managed to laugh a little, reminiscing about old times. Becky promised she would see her that Sunday.

She did. Becky also attended the Women’s Prayer Meetings and Wednesday night Bible Studies. She released all of the secrecy from her heavily burdened life and felt free to open her heart for the first time in many years. Having Godly friends, she found a new peace and patience for her son to come back to her, and to God.

Saturday night, shortly before midnight, the phone rang. A strange voice was on the other end.
“Um, sorry, are you Rebecca Hollbrook?”

Becky’s heart raced, no one had called her Rebecca since grade school. She answered,

“Um… I’m Skink’s, uh, I mean, Gabriel’s girlfriend. I couldn’t find you in the phonebook. A nurse here helped me. Kinda weird coincidence, huh?

Becky answered,
“He’s my son. What’s happened?”

“…I found him lying on the floor of our apartment when I came home. Our roommates were there, but they wouldn’t call the police. I’ll never forgive them. We’re moving out if Skink survives!”

Becky cries,
“Survives? Please, tell me what’s going on!”

“I thought you should know. He’s in Collingwood General. They say he’s critical.”

“I’m coming. Please stay, please be with him.” Becky pleads.

“Sure, yah.”

Upon arriving in the ER, Becky recognized Gabriel’s girlfriend instinctively. She stood out with her jet-black hair, multiple facial piercings and thigh-high boots. It was the female version of Gabe, Becky thought, from the last time she saw him. The girl also had an infant wrapped against her bosom.

“I’m Gabe’s mom,” Becky says, “Where is he?”

“Oh man, I’m so freaked. I can’t believe I’m meeting you this way. Skink would be so mad! They just rushed him into operate, I had to sign papers, I don’t even know what I signed!” Tears flooded down her face.

Becky felt an overwhelming peace. She embraced the girl and her baby and said,

“He’s in God’s hands. I’m scared too. But in God’s hands everything’s possible.”

She replied, “Do you believe that? My grandmother did, but I never really bought it.”

“I live, because I believe it.” Becky answered. “What is your baby’s name?”

“Mistral,” she smiled. “I chose it. Skink insisted his middle name be Daniel. Weird. Is there a Daniel in your family?”

Full of hope Becky smiled,
“…Yes, actually yes. There’s even a book written about him.”

Based on:
“…As for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” (Joshua 24:15 NIV)
“Do not be anxious about anything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving; present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7 NIV)

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This article has been read 406 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Andre 09/22/11
I enjoyed your article. I liked the use of the dialogue with the characters.It was a realistic story. I could see that situation happening.
Nancy Bucca09/23/11
This is an amazing story. I think you captured the essence of a mother's longing for her lost son.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/23/11
This is a nice part two. I have a friend who's son refused to talk to her and her pain is so real, but she will never stop praying for him.

Try showing what the character is doing instead of using takes like cried, said etc. (also you don't need that space between tag line and quote) For example in this line you don't need the words she answered:Becky’s heart raced, no one had called her Rebecca since grade school. She answered,
After grade school. You can just write "Yes." and if you want to show even more add something like! cold sweat trickled down her neck. Also remember to capitalize Mom if it is being used as a name, lowercase if it has words like my, the, her in front.

You've done a good job showing thepain of the entire family. You have some nice descriptive lines. It's hard to do A part 2 and still have it stand on its own, without becoming repetitive for those who have read the first part. You had a nice balance.
Linda Goergen09/27/11
Interesting read, that could easily be a realistic situation in many homes today. It worked well alone, even if it is seemingly a continuation or sequel. Good job! Enjoyed.
Jennifer Hill09/28/11
I gotta go read part I:) I think part II stands alone fine. I like it. I want to read more! I heard about a guy where his friends wouldn't call the police either, and sadly he did die. It was a drug situation, they just wanted to protect themselves and not get help so badly needed for their so called friend. At first aid training, we were told this happens quite often. Your use of the topic could help save a life!!!
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/29/11
Congratulations for placing 6th in level one!