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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Foreign Language (12/09/10)

TITLE: Lost Sheep
By Shellie Bailey


“It makes no sense to me.” Jill spoke. Her hands shifted nervously in her lap.

It had been three days since the incident.

“Yes I agree, but it happened and we don’t have much choice from what I can tell. We just have to deal with it and move on.” I replied. I knew my expression was of stone, but I didn’t like to show emotion. Papa always told me it was weak and you listened to your papa in those days.

“I just don’t understand how you can set there so calm and uncaring. Lily Ann is out there…alone.” Jill replied her bottom lip quivering as she fought back the tears.

I looked away; I didn’t know what she expected me to do. We were on the train heading north to search for the girl. Wasn’t that enough? Couldn’t she be satisfied with that? “Look Jill I understand you are worried, but crying and being tender is not going to find Lily. We have to keep our wits about us.”

“She is your friend too. You should be concerned.” Jill answered daring not to look me in the eye. She is in a foreign land with no one she knows. She can’t speak the language and for all we know she is in trouble!” Jill replied fighting through the throngs of tears now gushing from her emerald green eyes.

I gave up talking to Jill and listened for our stop. It wasn’t my first trip to Germany. I had been once before long ago when I was a young girl. Pa was in the army and come to live here for a while. It was an adjustment, but nothing I couldn’t stomach. Lily Ann had run off with some boy and called three days ago informing us he had left her at a bus station outside of Hanover. She was broke and without luggage. I had told her to be smarter than that before she left, but the girl listened about as well as a goat. Jill had spent years trying to get Lily Ann to church to get her on the right track, but the girl just refused. Lily Ann was about five years younger than either of us and apparently had some hard lessons to learn about life.

“Jill, we will find her. We just need to keep prayin. For all we know God allowed this to bring her closer to him. He will take care of her.” I replied trying to speak as to not upset Jill anymore.

Jill sniffled. “That’s very true. I am sorry I got all upset, I am just so worried.”

The conductor announced our stop and we stepped out onto the platform. The cool air was brisk against my bare cheeks. I welcomed it with open arms. My mind flooded with the past memories of my ma and pa. Of my sister Mary and our times here in the Foreign land.

We rented a car and began our decent in the unknown in search of a lost sheep who had gotten loose in a world of which she did not understand. The language had returned to me much quicker than I had expected. Fifteen years was a long time to remember, but the mind can amaze us.

The ride was silent. I wasn’t sure what was running through Jill’s head, but I just hoped Lily was at the bus station.

It was several miles till we reached the station. Its stone building looked grim against the cloudy gray sky. At any moment I expected a downpour. We anxiously exited the car and wondered into the small station. My eyes darted left and right and stopped on the small frame curled up under an old ratty jacket in the back. I tapped Jill on the arm and pointed.

We approached her gently and woke her. Her makeup had smeared on her face and she was a little worse for wear, but all and all in good shape. Before we could speak Lily Ann’s mouth started gushing.

“I am so sorry. I should have listened and you know what? You know that I decided to pray. Like you always do. I didn’t think it would work, but it did. It did! The manager here let me stay and an old man offered me this jacket to stay warm. I prayed and He listened! I just can’t believe it. I told Him I was sorry and I knew that He forgave me.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Brenda Rice 12/16/10
This is one of my favorites this week. I like the story and it's right on the topic. Well written. Thanks
Mildred Sheldon12/19/10
What a wonder story. I enjoyed this so much. Being in a foreign land and not be able to speak the language is frightening. Thank you for sharing such an interesting story. Keep writing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 12/23/10
This is a sweet story that had such interesting characters I longed to know more about them. You did a nice job with this and it had a good message too.