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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: "Splash" 4-11-13 Deadline (04/04/13)

TITLE: Just Like Hannah!
By Gail Burks


Feeling completely alone, Jennie packed a small overnight bag and grabbed her purse, cell phone and keys. Preparing to close the front door, she hesitated.

'I better leave a note for Tom. I don't want to worry him.'

Walking back in the house, she grabbed a post-it note on the counter, a square shaped, pink one. Just enough room to write a very short message.

'That's all he needs to know, right now.'

Leaving the note on the refrigerator handle, she turned and glanced back at the immaculate house, then remembered.

She grabbed the small purse-sized bible and closed the door behind her. As she entered her car, Jennie hesitated momentarily, then realized she'd done this before. And nothing had changed.

But, this time things were going to be different. Jennie knew exactly where she was going. The cabin by the lake. The cabin they visited every couple of years or so, handed down by her father and grandfather before him.

The drive would take three hours, but she was ready. By the time Tom came home, she would be settled in. A sense of peace enveloped her. She knew it was time.

Arriving at the two bedroom cabin in Lake Morse, Jennie remembered the beautiful surroundings. Lush foliage, hostas, oak trees, wildflowers. Birds of all sizes and colors. And the lake. A summer blue, wonderfully tranquil, and safe.

'Yes, tranquil.'

Jennie opened the cabin's door and stepped in. Just as they had left it. A wonderful time she and Tom had in deciding to start their family. But, now, a few years later. Still without children.

Thirty-five and no children. The only one among her four siblings without kids. Barren. Just like Hannah. But, at least she had a boy later.

Jennie threw her overnight bag on the bed. Changed into shorts and sandals and walked out toward the pier.

'I could stay here forever. It's so peaceful.'

Looking down the lake, she saw a boat with two men fishing, but that was it. Removing her sandals, Jennie slowly inched her feet into the cool lake water. Sixty degrees or so. Not too bad, but a little cool for swimming.

Still feeling remnants of anger toward Tom, Jennie began moving her legs up and down, with her feet slicing through the water. Up and down, in and out – gaining steady momentum.

Soon Jennie was feeling the splash of the water on her upper body, then her face. She held tightly onto to the sides of the worn pier, and splashed more, and more, and more.

She began to breathe heavily, cycling madly through the water. She must have looked like a crazy person, but she didn't care. It felt cathartic. Jennie let out a muffled scream and kept up the tirade upon the water.

After a few minutes, she was completely soaked and exhausted. She sat there in the evening sun and realized that God did have a plan for her life, with or without children.

The depression, anger and hopelessness had subsided with each kick. She now understood something that Tom had tried to tell her countless times before. Being a mother did not define her existence. She was a great wife, a wonderful friend, a loving daughter, a fantastic business-woman. But, more importantly, a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Grabbing her sandals, she stood up on the pier and looked over the lake. It was clearer now. Nothing is impossible with God... and, yes, she would be okay.

Running back to the cabin, she couldn't wait to call Tom.

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This article has been read 270 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kristine Baker04/11/13
This is the day in the life of many people. You captured this scene perfectly and right on topic. Good writing!
C D Swanson 04/15/13
This will resonate within many hearts...Good job.

With God all things are possible. Nicely done.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/16/13
I love this. You do a wonderful job of painting the MC's pain with your beautiful words. This touched my heart and I could so relate to those type of feelings.

My red ink is tiny. Try to avoid words like very, really, and so. I think you only used very once, but instead of using adverbs like very, use active verbs instead. Another example of an unneeded adverb is in the beginning of completely alone. Is there any way to be partially alone? It makes it redundant. This might be too much of a cliché, but something like The loneliness washed over her,
hopefully shows what I mean.

I'm nitpicking, mainly because this is close to perfection, but even more so because I see potential in you that with just a bit of polishing will catapult you up the levels. Your take on the topic was profound, and while many stories are about splashing water, your splash was cathartic and that sets it aside from other water splashers. You have a special gift in storytelling for sure.
Judith Gayle Smith04/17/13
I am barren. This spoke to my lonely heart. Thank you.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/18/13
Congratulations on ranking 35 overall! (The highest rankings can be found in the message boards)
Judith Gayle Smith04/20/13