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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Shhh. (02/18/10)

TITLE: A Time to Comfort
By Dana McReynolds


“Shhh, sweet Anna, it’s ok. Mama’s here.”

What am I going to do? We’re out of milk and she won’t stop crying. Where is Frank? It feels like he works all the time now. I don’t know where the car keys are, they are never where I left them. I can’t find anything around here anymore. Sometimes I think the walls are closing in on me. This house gets smaller all the time.

I’ll just have to walk to the store. Wait, I can’t wear these slippers. I really need some new shoes. I haven’t been shopping in ages. No time for a shower, I’ll just wear a hat. This hair! Seems like gray hairs pop up overnight. When was the last time I had a trim? I need to call Marie and see if she can get me in. Can I wear my pajamas under my coat? Would anyone notice? There is just not enough time to do everything. I can barely take care of Anna, let alone myself.

When will I be able to clean the house? This is not the home I remember. I feel like all my decorating was for waste. It used to be so beautiful. My antiques and collectibles have been replaced. Anna is a curious baby, it’s for the best. Everything just seems so drab.

I’m so hungry. Did I even eat breakfast? Oh, there’s my food. I must have fixed it and gotten distracted. Anna sure turns my world upside down. I feel like I’m withering away. I should eat something before we go. I’ll just grab a muffin.

Not today! This door is stuck again. I keep telling Frank it needs to be fixed. What if there’s an emergency, a fire and we need to get out? We are trapped! How will I feed my baby? I don’t know what to do. There has to be someone who can help, a neighbor, the police, someone. Help us! I‘ll bang on the door, maybe they will hear.

“Poor Anna, I’m such a terrible mother. Please forgive me.”

Thank you, Lord. Here is the nice neighbor who always helps me out. What would I do without her? And she brought the other pretty lady with her, the one who brings me gifts and flowers.

“I’m so sorry, Mrs. Patterson. We just can’t seem to get her calmed down today. She keeps trying to go outside. I thought you could help.”

“Thank you for calling me. I will take care of her.”

“That doll, she is just so concerned about that doll. I think it causes more stress sometimes than comfort. But you know what happened when we took it away.”

“Right, well, I’m here now and will stay with her. I’m sure you have other residents to tend to.”

“Thanks for coming, just call if you need us.”

Mrs. Patterson turns to the distraught woman holding the threadbare doll. Her heart breaks as she hears her cries and sees her confusion. She leads her to the bed and holds her in her arms.

“Shhh, sweet Mama, it’s ok. Anna’s here.”

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This article has been read 398 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sarah Heywood02/25/10
Wow! I didn't see that ending coming. I enjoyed this and could easily relate to the young mother in the beginning of the story. Keep it up!
stanley Bednarz02/26/10
I loved how this story switched from the motherly instincts and sense of loss, to the daughter's care for the mother as a surprise at the end. Awesome insight. Thanks.
harvestgal Ndaguba02/26/10
Wow, totally awesome story and what a surprise ending. So creative too. Loved it.
Judy Wood02/26/10
Wow. What a twist.I thought it was a distraught mother.You did a great job of holding my attention. Sad ending.
Lisha Hunnicutt02/26/10
I have to concur with the other comments and say Wow! This story really held my interest and the twist at the end was very surprising. Great writing.
Marilyn Schnepp 02/27/10
A "Blue Ribbon" story here! Absolutely brilliant for the Topic this week, and also a writer that can move the reader to tears! Wow! Instead of a dozen roses, I'm sending you a dozen "Kudos" for this one. Super!
Mildred Sheldon02/28/10
WOW! This was amazing and the surprise ending was the icing on the cake. Great job. Keep writing.
c clemons03/01/10
Nice job, the twist was excellent.
Jan Ackerson 03/03/10
Good job with the stream of consciousness--that's not often seen in the challenge.