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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)

TITLE: THEM
By george elerick
01/25/08


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It fell to the floor again. she couldn't seem to hold things in her grasp like she used to. getting up in the morning was just too much of a chore for her now. Earl had died almost a year ago; and her heart, well that was never going to be whole again. She sat in her "cage" day by day wondering when she was going to go. It just didn't mean much anymore. Life had lost its luster. She was waiting for the big moment when something tragic would happen to her. She was also waiting for something magnificent to come her way. Ooooh, maybe it was a million dollars or it could be a new house or a nice vacation. But to be honest, why did that matter anyhow, she was just getting too old. She would think to herself day after day how life had lost its meaning since Earl.

She woke up the next morning with the sun grinning in her now crinkled face. where had the years gone? Why was Earl gone? If only he were, life would mean so much more.

Then she heard it, it was him again. Jimmy, the neighbours six yr old boy. He made "Dennis the Menace" look like a Vienna Choir boy. He made so much noise, and was just obnoxious. One time he threw a rock into her window and she could all but let a few unmentionable words fly. He was out to play today. It was the last day of school for the year, which meant summertime and a lot more noise. She gasped a big breath of air hoping it was her last. As she sunk back down into her old wooden rocking chair, she hoped she would go deaf as well.

As she was fixing herself dinner that night, she heard a light tapping at the door. Really it was louder than Jimmy himself. In fact,it was Jimmy knocking. But,the batteries in her ear buds were rapidly declining in strength and she just didn't have the strength to call the carer to get new ones.

As she slowly opened the door, all she saw was a lonely six year old boy with a face covered with ice cream, like a Picasso gone wrong. All she could think was "God, take me now!" Jimmy asked in only the way a six year old could, with so much enthuiasm and overly gregarious mannerisms: "do you want to play? do you? do you? oh please say yes?"

Even in the midst of her anger and frustration and deep set depression, she took the first step out to her sunny porch. A place she hasn't really set foot on since Earl's untimely death. Unfair death she might add. She tried to jump around as much as she could, but the tear in her hip reminded her of her age. She tried for little Jimmy and then she had to sit down for a breather.

Jimmy would end up coming over almost every night. A month had passed. Two months had passed. Oddly though, her hip healed quite rapidly. She visited the doctor for a check-up, not one of her favorite moments in a day. He told her to keep doing whatever she is doing. It was healing her. It was bringing healing to her. So, she set out each day to make time with Jimmy. The more time they spent together, the more excited about life she became. The childlike exhuberance came back. She didn't expect this, not all of this, not from a six year old boy. How could this be? Then she remembered her pastor some years ago standing in this worn-out oak pulpit speaking on how we must become like children and something about children leading them. She never could quite get it, who was "them" and it dawned on her, she was one of "them". She lost it, somewhere between losing Earl and getting older, the child inside became frozen. And this summer was the summer of thawing and rebirth. It all came because of a six year old boy name Jimmy. It came because a woman was in need of an encounter, a reminder of who she has always been. And she did, the rest of her days she lived reminding herself and others...


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Member Comments
Member Date
Beckie Stewart02/01/08
This is a delightful story. There are several capital letters missing from the start of several sentences, but I loved this story and revival in this woman due to opening her heart and life to the child who reached out to her.
c clemons02/03/08
Very nice story, needs a little work here and there. Not quite on topic but a pleasant story nonetheless. Good job.
Sara Harricharan 02/05/08
This is good! Your one-word title draws some attention to a great story. I am glad that she decided to befriend Jimmy, even with her comparison to Dennis the Menace-lol. This was a lovely, light read, there was some capitalization needed in a few areas, but otherwise, good job.