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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: End (02/13/06)

TITLE: Suzie's End
By shannon dean


Never mind the happy face, the jubilant gestures or the glow in her eyes; she was hurting deep inside but had mastered the art of putting on a façade. Growing up in an environment where there was never enough of anything to share with her siblings, a verbally abusive mother and a father who drank to get away from it all, she pretended like everything was okay to fit in with the crowd. But now it was taking a toll on her, she was falling apart at the seams.

Her name was Suzie. She grew up over the hill or perhaps “ghetto” would best describe her surroundings. Hers was the wooden house with a huge mango tree in front where constant loud disputes often echoed from a father in his drunken stupor. She had six siblings and they were constantly referred to as step ladder because of their closeness in age. Being the oldest of the clan, most of the responsibility fell on her even though she could hardly take care of herself at the tender age of ten.

She would sit at the window of her home daily and watch as the neighbors children played happily. Oh how she longed to join them but she had to keep a careful eye on her siblings while her mother was busy taking care of other household chores. Her only outlet was school where she made certain she got adequate play time during her breaks for this was not only an avenue for fun it was also a place to get away from her repulsive home environment.

One day Suzie decided that she had had enough of this tough lifestyle so she decided to run away from home. So on that faithful Monday afternoon, she did not return home from school. As this was so unlike her, her mother immediately became concerned and quickly inquired with the other children in the neighborhood concerning her where-a-bouts. When no one could pin point her, she informed the police. They thoroughly searched the neighborhood and Suzie was no where to be found.

Suzie’s disappearance not only brought camaraderie within the neighborhood, it totally changed the climate in her own home. Suzie’s mother when interviewed by the local news reporter expressed words of love like none of her siblings had ever heard before. She was genuinely concerned and begged for Suzie’s safe return. Her father who rarely saw a sober day in his life was brought to tears during the interview as he openly confessed that he was not the father that he should have been to his children.

Night was beginning to fall and still no Suzie. The neighborhood was still buzzing with concern when in a distance the shadow of a tiny frame caught the attention of Suzie’s younger brother who took off in a frenzy towards it. When the others saw his reaction and turned to see where he was headed, it became obvious that Suzie had returned. They all flocked her with tears of joy and relief and thanked God for her safe return.

Later that night in the privacy of their home Suzie confessed to her parents that she was tired of not being able to have fun like all the other children and had decided to run away in hopes of finding a home with loving parents who cared deeply for their children. Obviously moved by their daughter’s openness, Suzie’s parents vowed to bring their distasteful attitudes to an end.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/22/06
I'm glad for the happy ending here! Consider taking a second look at this, and helping us to get to know Suzie's life by taking us through a typical day, with dialog with her parents. Nice effort--keep writing!