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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Park (10/25/12)

By Gloria Grenada


After living in an arid sub Saharan desert all my young life, imagine my joy to see before me this wide expanse of green grass.

There are no armed guards here and there are people lounging on the grass everywhere I look; they are enjoying this sunny day.

Some have picnic baskets, some are just talking to each other and some are asleep on the green surface. In the distance there are dogs chasing each other playfully. No one seems to be afraid.

Well, is this heaven?

I arrived here in a plane after a long flight. I had been rescued from the traffickers. I will not tell you what the past ten years of my life had been like. Unimaginable horror would just about define them. Maybe one day I will tell you.

As a small child in a desert state, I was sent out to beg in the streets and not to school like your children are.

Today is day one.

I open my eyes in this shelter for women and out of my window I see the Park.
The Park House will be my home and used to educate me so that I can be healed, learn to be financially independent and contribute to my wellbeing. Maybe one day I will even get married to an honourable Christian man.

It is not raining and the sun is warm, not hot.
I never want to leave this Park.

My foster mother June, asks me if I want to go for a walk.

“What me?” I ask quietly.

With great care I dress inconspicuously so that I do not appear to be different to others.
We step out of the front door and I catch my breath. It is so beautiful here.

It is not flat all over. It undulates and calls to me. We step on to the path and start walking. The best thing that I see here in this park is the swings and the slides. I see them in the distance and the children are laughing with their mothers and fathers.

I have never been on a swing. Today is my first time.
I never want to leave this Park.

June points out so many things to me.
I love the sound of singing sparrows and thrushes as they fly through the air and nestle in the trees above. June points out the crows to me.

I also love the beautifully and brilliantly colored butterflies darting from shrubbery to shrubbery and even the bees seem to be having fun as they visit flower after flower.

There are gently rolling hills in this park which invites me to see what is over them. My foster mother tells me that there is a small town at the other end, which is the north side of the park and on the south side is a small river where we may go fishing one day.

Meanwhile there is a lake with water lilies and ducks. People are feeding the ducks bread crumbs.

I never want to leave this Park

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Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 11/03/12
This is a powerful story. It brought tears to my eyes and really tugged at my heart. Human trafficking is a real problem and I admire you for writing about such a difficult subject. You did a nice job of bringing in the topic so it was a central part of your story. The repetition of I never want to leave this Park was done just right. Nice job.
Frankie Kemp 11/04/12
I like your use of the word "undulates." That has powerful connotations.

This feels like it is just the prologue for a much longer story.
Phyllis Inniss11/05/12
You have managed to share your feeling of pleasure being close to and in the park. There is nothing like freedom, but you have contrasted well your former life in an arid state and now in a fertile, green area, life is just more meaningful and your repetition of liking the park gives a lot of meaning to your story.