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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Flowers (10/03/05)

TITLE: The Pink Lady's Slipper
By Shannon Redmon
10/07/05


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Sammi overheard her mother’s phone conversation coming from the bedroom.

“What do you mean if I don’t find it they will die?” The urgency in her mother’s voice alarmed Sammi.

“Okay, okay. I will do my best.”

She heard her mother click the receiver and begin dialing again.

‘Now who’s she calling?’ Sammi peeked around the door. Her mother sat on the bed facing the wall. She rubbed her temple with her free hand and held the phone in the other.

“Hey it’s me. They know… Yes, they want me to bring it in or pay the consequences. Beats me how they found out you had it, mom, but we’ve got to come up with a plan. We’ve only got three days or they will come for it themselves.”

Sammi’s heart raced as she heard her mother’s words and her mind began to wonder.

‘What in the world were they doing? Haven’t they always earned their income by growing flowers… but gardening isn’t a risky job. This sounded more complicated, even dangerous. Were they doing something illegal?’

The hall began to spin and spots filled her vision. ‘Oh no, not now. She couldn’t pass out.’

“I will figure out something to keep the Lady’s Slip…” The door crashed open and Sammi fell onto the bedroom floor.


**************************************************************************


Even the dim lamp seemed bright to Sammi’s eyes when she opened them. Her mother rocked in the chair beside the bed humming as she stirred the liquid in a cup.

“Oh, you’re awake. How do you feel?”
“Okay except my head hurts.” Sammi reached up and touched a knot.
“When you fell, you hit my dresser. Here, drink this it will help you relax.”
“What is it?”
“An herbal remedy.”
“An herbal remedy you…sell?”
Sammi took the cup and sipped the concoction.
“As a matter of fact we do, but you know that, don’t you, Samantha? After all, I guess you learn many facts from listening to my phone conversations.”

Her mother’s gaze pierced like a laser cutting through metal. Sammi shivered and pulled the covers toward her face. Her mother seemed different.

“I’ll let you get some sleep.”
“But I’m not sleepy.”
“Oh you will be…”

The grin on her mother’s face stayed in Sammi’s mind. She tried to remember the words spoken just before she passed out.

“I thought she said, ‘Lady’s Slip.’ But why would anyone care about a lady’s slip?”

Sammi knew the herbs would take effect soon so she climbed out her window and ran through the woods to her grandmother’s house. Her nana favored Sammi over the other grandchildren.

“Maybe she’ll tell me more…” Sammi knocked on her door.

“Samantha, how are you feeling? Your mother called and told me about your spill.”
“I’m okay, Nana. Mom gave me some medicine to help me feel better.”
“Then why are you coming to my house, you should be in bed before you become drowsy.”
“I know but I needed to talk to you. I overheard your conversation with mom. What’s going on? Are you in danger because of a ‘lady’s slip’?”

Nana chuckled. “Oh Sammi. It’s not a lady’s slip, it’s a Pink Lady’s Slipper.”

“Why would anyone want to hurt you for a bedroom shoe?”

“It’s not a bedroom shoe but a flower that is now endangered because of its medicinal properties. They used to grow in the wild but with the herbal boom at the turn of the century, greed drove many people to hunt and sell them for money. Your mother and I have one plant we’ve tried to protect hoping to create a breeding ground for others. God made these plants not only for our enjoyment but for healing. Money tends to bring out the worst in some people.”

“Can I see it?”
“Sure. You just lie down on the couch here and I’ll be right back.”

Relief flooded Sammi’s soul as her grandmother left the room. “What was I thinking?” Sammi felt the medicine taking effect. “I can’t believe I actually thought…” Her eyes closed and Nana’s humming soothed her to sleep.


*************************************************************


The dim light seemed bright to Sammi’s eyes when she opened them. Something wasn’t right. Rope harnessed her wrists together and duct tape muzzled her mouth. Her eyes darted around the room taking images of the overturned furniture, broken glass and the pink ladies slippers on her feet. She raised her bound hands to her mouth and ripped off the duct tape.

“Nana! Nana!” No one answered her screams.


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This article has been read 679 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Garnet Miller 10/10/05
I agree. This is very dark. Poor Sammi!
Donnah Cole10/10/05
Good action and suspense. Makes me want to know more -- who tied up the child? Loved ones or "the others?" Great suspense!
Alexandra Wilkin10/11/05
Oh please tell me 'who dunnit!" God bless.
Jan Ackerson 10/11/05
Very suspenseful; I hope you plan to expand this some day to a full-length story! Well done!

I don't think you need the row of asterisks. It's far less distracting to your reader if you just use transitional words. Something like "Sammi couldn't tell if it was hours or days later when next she opened her eyes..." Also, put spaces between lines of dialog, just as you do for your descriptive paragraphs.

Will we find out the end someday? Please?
Shelley Snyder10/11/05
Wow! This sure didn't turn out like I had expected...great job on the suspense! I'm with the others. I want to know who tied her up, what happened, etc.
Katherine Douglas10/12/05
I'm not usually a suspense reader; but you tricked me into your plot. Now all I want to know is who????????? Good job. I hope you publish this one too; but you'll have to do something special to let readers like me know this is the answer to who!
Melanie Kerr 10/13/05
That pesky word limit! I too would like to know what happens next. I thought that the mum and the grandmother were growing marijuana or something!