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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (04/08/10)

TITLE: Parallel Universe
By Rikki Akeo
04/15/10


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Sara felt the warmth seep down her thighs and panicked. There was no one to call. No nursery. No need of a name. She selected clothes that didn't tell and kept to a strict liquid diet. Her relief came just as summer break began emptying out the dorms. Her parents wouldn't be expecting her home once they learned of the wonderful opportunity she had to tour Europe in a program designed for exceptional students- just as Sara had told them. Truth was, she would use the wired money to get a hotel room until all evidence was destroyed. With scissors and a bag, Sara settled into the cold, hard tub.

___

Diane was preparing dinner for her family when she overheard the evening news report.

"In other news, the body of a newborn baby boy was discovered along Highway 395, stuffed inside a duffel bag. We will update you as more information becomes available."

Oh God, Diane gasped. Why would anyone do such a horrible thing?

As days passed, Diane's mind refused to be comforted. Rage clouded her ability to think rationally until she was reminded to overcome evil with good.

"I would like to claim his body and give him a decent burial," Diane said to the coroner.

"…and you are?"

"A concerned citizen."

"Right. Right. Listen, lady. There's a lot of red tape involved. We need to know who you are and your motivation. You'll have to be cleared by the detectives on this case and…"

"Okay. Fine."

"I'm not making it hard on purpose, ma'am. It's not everyday that an interested party isn't somehow mixed up in the case and becomes the suspect."

"Just tell me what I need to do. I've nothing to hide."

She named him Jeremiah, meaning God will raise up or set free. His grave marker looked like a crib mobile with all the things that dangled from it.

Within days, the coroner called Diane for two more babies that suffered similar fate. She named one Isaiah- found in a dumpster at only two days old, and the other, Rebeka, whose two-year-old body was found washed ashore along the beach.

Diane funded an area within the cemetery to these little ones and chose "The Garden of Angels" for the name of their final resting place.

Eventually, Diane's Garden grew to over fifty marble headstones. Fifty discarded lives at the hands of their parent who was supposed to love and protect them. Diane struggled with the rage that had tormented her with Jeremiah. It wasn't enough to bury them. She sought the Lord’s guidance.

"Each one of your children I have wrapped in cloth and carried to their cement box. Each child I have embraced although they have no breath. Help me, Lord. Lead the way."

Diane had a thought. "What if these mother's could legally abandon their babies, retain their secret, and their newborns could live?"

Diane set about writing a law that would accomplish her thought. Tirelessly, she plucked away at the computer keys until the final draft was complete.

The Safe Surrender Law was enacted in 2001.

Lorena sat below the street light of the abandoned park when she felt the warmth of liquid seeping down her thighs. She read somewhere that she could leave her baby at the fire station with no questions asked…


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This article has been read 511 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 04/16/10
Wow this is so powerful. You did an outstanding job of bringing the reader in and staying true to the topic. This is a very powerful piece and I hope you can do more with it after the challenge is over. It needs to be available in every high school across the country. Blessings.
Mildred Sheldon04/16/10
I agree with Shann completely. This was such a moving story. Thank you for sharing.
Kate Oliver Webb04/17/10
I was unaware of the story behind the law--but you brought it alive to me, and it moved me deeply. Thank you for sharing and for doing such a good job of it!
Jane Winstead04/19/10
I hope your story is a winner. You told it well. Keep up the good work.
Celeste Duckworth04/20/10
Your opening just grabbed me right away and then the end was a WOW! So this is how that law began? Absolutely a good Samartin this woman was.
Beth LaBuff 04/20/10
Wow! This is wonderful! You've written such a gripping story. It is only topped by the message! Perfect title! Love this!
Patricia Herchenroether04/20/10
Oh. My. I knew about the law, but you told the story behind it with suberb writing.
Troy Manning04/20/10
Nice job w/ a serious subject. You didn't shy away from graphic yet appropriate (I think anyway) imagery w/ the beginning & end as many might have.
Gerald Shuler 04/21/10
The message is incredibly important. I'm glad to see it is packaged in such a well written piece. Find a way to take it to the world.
Joanna Stricker04/21/10
You gave me goosebumps! And thanks for throwing the brick..or I might not have found this. She definitely took action--life changing action. I wonder how many of us have been affected positively by her action...perhaps even unaware. Someday we will know.
Patricia Turner04/22/10
Thank you for this wonderful story. I like to see ideas like this one to deal with such problems.
angelos2 wark04/22/10
Your story brought a very real societal tragedy to the forefront. We need to be made aware of such injustices if are to make a difference!
Good job. Thank You.
Jackie Wilson04/22/10
This was such a strong piece! Congratulations on your placement win!
Beth LaBuff 04/22/10
Rikki, Super congrats on your ribbon with this wonderful entry!!