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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Facepalm (05/15/14)

TITLE: Love and despair
By Ken Grant


Rachel walked through the crowded mall holding the hand of her son, Javier. It was yet another hectic day and Rachel’s nerves were nearly frayed to the end. She felt as though she was more dragging Javier than walking with him as he struggled to keep up with her pace. She so wanted to be done with her errands and back home, but that goal seemed to be farther away than when she had begun.

“I’m tired,” Javier whined as he pulled up sharply to a halt and refused to go even one step farther on.

“I don’t need this right now,” Rachel muttered as she looked at Javier. She loved her boy with every part of her heart, he was her miracle baby that she had rescued from a drug-addled woman, but the damage done to his young brain made every day a challenge.

“I want to go home,” Javier dropped to the floor in a very loud whine that drew stares from all around Rachel.

Rachel had always been sensitive to others and being the center of attention was so hard. She buried her hand in her palm and began to sob softly. She could feel the piercing stares of the others and snide remarks about her complete inability to control her child; if they only knew.

“Excuse me,” A soft voice was combined with a tap on Rachel’s shoulder.

“I’m sorry,” Rachel replied in a pitiable voice as she raised her head from her palm.

“You have such a very special child there. He is such a gift.”

Rachel didn’t know how to reply. The woman’s voice was so soft and kind and her face shone brightly. Even Javier had stopped fussing.

“I can’t control him,” Rachel said sadly.

“It isn’t your responsibility to control him. You have the amazing gift of being able to give him love. These other people have no idea how blessed you truly are.”

Rachel looked over at Javier who struggled slowly to his feet, walked over to her, and gave her a big hug as he smiled broadly. Rachel received the love of her child and the world around her just went away. She looked for the kind woman, but she was gone. It didn’t matter. She had a special child to love and that was all that she needed.

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This article has been read 42 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Camille (C D) Swanson 05/22/14
This was a beautiful read with a powerful message.

Loved it.

God bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/26/14
I love this story. I think it is a brilliant example of how easy it is for others to judge without knowing the full story. The only red ink I have would be to maybe not allude that the kind stranger was an angel. It's not that I don't believe an angel might intervene in that situation because I do. The mysterious stranger is a literary device that can be overused. Personally I'd have loved it if the lady turned into a good friend because of the situation. I will say though, you never stated she was an angel and even if that was your intention, this story is one of the best mysterious stranger stories I've ever read. You really grabbed my heart with this piece from beginning to end. You also did a wonderful job of infusing the topic throughout the story.
Camille (C D) Swanson 05/29/14
God bless~