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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)

TITLE: Prosperity Cove
By Rita Garcia


Five hundred miles of highway behind me, on the first of many road trips I’m destined to take. In heat that makes your skin feel like you’ve been roasting over an open flame. Leave it to me to put my finger down on a sultry little town, what kind of a name is Prosperity Cove? “I’m doing it, Betsy…doing it for both of us, like I promised.”

Growing up Betsy and I were inseparable. We spent hours dreaming of the road trips we planned taking. Out of the blue, Betsy became ill, a rare blood disease. Three months later, there we stood, family and friends saying our final goodbyes. I placed a white rose on her casket along with a bit of my heart. Our last conversation would continue to haunt me.

“Put your finger down on the map, the way we planned. It’ll be like opening a surprise gift.” Betsy said. “Promise me, Kelsey. Go on these road trips for both of us.”

“I…I will. Tears streaming, I softly said, remember best friends forever.”

“I love you, Kelsey. I pray for God to surround you with His Angels.”

“Nearing Prosperity Cove” Okay, so it’s a hand painted sign, that’s not necessarily bad, is it? All of a sudden, relief comes, like standing in front of a frig with the door open. Unlatching the convertible top, I feel the cool, gentle wind breathing on my face, whispering peace to my soul.

Hand painted or not, you’re a sight for sore eyes, “Welcome to Prosperity Cove.”

Antique shops…maybe? Three quaint little shops, each one adorned with a flower garden, complete with a white picket fence, like a painting from days gone by. “Oh! Betsy you’d love this.” I bet there are some real treasures inside.

Entering through the vine covered arbor, FAITH, on a sign attached to the arch, gently swaying. Orchids of every size and color creating a garden in perfect harmony, like being transported to paradise.

“Orchids are one of God’s more majestic flowers, pristine in all their glory. I’m Faith, welcome.”

“Thank you, Faith. I thought you might sell antiques, I don’t see anything.”

“Life is not only what you see, it’s deeper in your spirit, when you seek you will find. Faith believes. Faith takes us where we need to go. It’s imperative to bear our shield of faith. It enables us to be victorious in our stand against evil.”

Walking up to the next arbor, covered in twinkling lights, the word, HOPE, painted in gold letters greets me. I step into a dreamlike garden, flowers everywhere, forming one magnificent bouquet! A wishing well in the heart of the garden bears a sign. “Renewed Hope” Walking down the cobblestone path I pause to read a scroll positioned on a pillar.

“Those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles.” Is 40:31 NIV

“I’m Hope, so glad you came to visit.”

“Thanks, is it okay if I browse through your shop, what do you have?”

“We are flowing with hope. Without hope one will easily stumble and lose heart. Hope gives us inner strength. Come, sit in the garden. I’ll make us a soothing cup of tea to enjoy while we chat.”

A rose covered arbor, LOVE, in gold letters, invites me through the next gate. The perfume of roses filling my senses tempts me to sit, and bask in the tranquil beauty. I adore this statue of an angel reading a book, in it is written,
“Love is the Greatest of all.”

“I’m Love, What troubles you, my child?”

“I have been to all three shops, there’s not anything for sell.”

“Oh, my child, what we freely offer can’t be bought with money. Take this book. It will help you to better understand our mission in your life.”

On the iridescent white cover, the words,

“The Holy Bible”

“And now abide Faith, Hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”
1 Cor.13:13 NKJV

On the inside cover,

“but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven…
For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matt 6: 20-21 NKJV

“Please keep us in your heart.”
Faith, Hope and Love

“I figured it out…I really did, Betsy. I know why it’s called Prosperity Cove. Faith, hope and love, these three are life’s true treasures.”

Turning for home, wondering if anyone will believe me, it seems almost like a dream, but I was there.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 05/19/06
This is a very precious idea--taking a trip on behalf of a parted loved one. I wasn't sure of its premise, though--you seemed to state that this was a real place, but the people inhabiting it were much more like allegorical characters. Once you clear up that confusion, this will be a sweet, tender story.
Joanne Malley05/22/06
I did find confusion as well, but did see where you were heading. Just a tweak, some tightening and more clarification and you'll have a little gem. :)
Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/23/06
This is a great story. With just a little work it can be priceless. I loved your characters and the concept. You have a great imagination.
Sue Dent05/23/06
Well, you already know how I feel about road trips! This reminded me so much of a couple of anique shops I've been to. Nice detail! And the influence the death of a close friend made . . . perhaps she saw it all just as you wrote or perhaps she just interpretted it this way. Either way it seemed to help her. A little eerie how so many entries this week had to do with someone dying. A light touch on prosperity but good none-the-less.
terri tiffany05/24/06
very nice. I had a bit of trouble following some of the detail with the way it was laid out but very beautiful story. :)
Anita Neuman05/24/06
Some beautiful sentiment and well-penned phrases here!

I'll give you something specific to watch for that will help to tighten your writing. Your sentences almost always need to be grammatically complete ie. a subject and a verb. (I say "almost" because there are exceptions to that rule - but you need to prove yourself within the rules before you start breaking them.) For example, your sentence "In heat that makes your skin feel like you’ve been roasting over an open flame." - would be much stronger if you simplified it a bit and made sure it had a subject & a verb: "The heat made my skin feel like I'd been roasting over an open flame."

Overall, this entry showed great creativity and potential. Keep at it!