Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Space (01/23/06)
TITLE: Careful What You Wish For
By Janelle Bailey
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“If you’re selling, I’m not buying,” I said rather rudely. “And if you’re preaching, I’m not believing.”
Smiling graciously he merely stuck his foot in the door jamb, as I attempted to slam the door on him.
“I beg your pardon, ma’am,” he said smoothly, “but I believe something is burning.”
Rushing away, I found my well planned lunch had turned to charcoal in my absence. It took fifteen minutes to dispose of the residue, and another fifteen to clean the flour and eggs that my very quiet children had used to paint the floor. After shooing the children outside, I returned to find the salesman seated comfortably on the sofa. It was the last thing I wanted to see.
“You! What are you doing still here?”
“Please,” he replied soothingly, “I am only here to return something of yours.”
“Go on,” I replied, still suspicious, yet curious also. I couldn’t remember losing anything recently, but then, you never know.
“It’s something that you have been missing for a number of years since, er… they were born,” he said looking at our family photo. “Would you like it back?”
Looking at the photo I was suddenly filled with a longing for whatever it was that I had before children came along.
“Yes,” I replied firmly.
Impulsively I signed the document before me, and taking the small box the stranger had handed me in return, opened it gingerly.
I was standing on an island of grass, not more than two feet wide, surrounded by an eternity of nothing. Space. I had all the space in the world. No husband. No children. No messy house or snowballing chores. Nothing. Just space. And suddenly I realised the horror of what I had done. I had what I had wished for at last.
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