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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fire-fighter (10/05/06)

TITLE: My Little Man
By Amy Michelle Wiley



I pried my left eye open, trying not to wince against the pain. My four-year-old stood next to the hospital bed, swirling in a haze of bright lights and white walls. I managed a grunt in response.

“Is there anything I can get for you?”

He was so grown-up. Tears spilled out of my swollen eyes and left a burning trail down my cheeks, soaking into the bandage that cradled my face. I struggled to clear my vision, to see my little man who had aged so much up in that fateful moment when he had lost his father. When his mother had nearly been burned away.

He had become the man of the family. I was so proud of him. So proud of the way he had stepped into his role the minute the babysitter had told him. The way he held my hand through the pain, and touched me ever so gently.

Now he reached a tiny hand and patted my leg. It was one of the few places that I could handle the slight pressure.

“Don’t worry, Mom. God’ll heal you soon, and until then I’ll take care of everything.” He stood up straight and tall. His head reached halfway to the top of the bedrail.

Pride mingled with sorrow and pain in emotions so strong I could hardly breathe. I wanted so badly to reach out to him, to wrap my Danny into a tight hug.

The nurse entered then, holding a Styrofoam cup.

“I’ve brought you some more ice chips.” Her voice was cheerful, but I could read the pity in her eyes.

“Thank you.” Danny took the cup and clambered onto a chair next to the bed. The nurse didn’t try to help him. Perhaps she understood how important this was for both of us.

I shifted toward him and pain raced over my body at the movement. I closed my eyes against the sharpness, but my vision filled with flames. They consumed me, covering every inch of my body with a fiery pain so bad I thought I couldn’t stand it.

A tiny prick of coolness reached my consciousness. Slowly my mind cleared enough to be aware of Danny slipping an ice sliver into my mouth. A little hand, still cool and damp, rested on my forehead.

I focused on him. On the coolness. The pain began to fade, the fire subside.

“It’s okay, Mom. It’s okay.”

My little man. My little firefighter.

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This article has been read 2834 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rebecca Livermore10/12/06
This is precious! The bond between family members is truly a beautiful thing, and you did an excellent job of reminding us of that in this piece. Thank you!
Pat Guy 10/12/06
So like a child! You've captured their oblivious innocence so well - it's so precious. Sometimes our children are the only ones who can ease the pain. Good flow - great writing! :)
Everest Alexander 10/12/06
Reading your work is like watching a movie! The images you create are so clear, it's like I'm actualy there!

I saw the nurse come into the room. I saw the white uniform she wore and the expression on her face when she offered you the ice. I feel like I could pick Danny up in my arms and squeeze him tight, too. You have a gift! Thanks for sharing!
Kevin Kindrick10/12/06
Truly touching. The tears are welling up even now.

Thanks for sharing, and God bless,

Aylin Smith 10/14/06
Venice Kichura10/15/06
Wow, but a way with words you have! This is beautiful!
Jesus Puppy 10/16/06
I will just say this... Cool. ;)
Lynda Lee Schab 10/17/06
I loved the voice in this piece, which was a creative angle for "Fire Fighter." Warmed my heart... Nicely done.
Joanne Sher 10/17/06
You did a wonderful job of characterization on both characters - and this touched me in a very special way. Perfect title AND final sentence!
Donna Powers 10/18/06
This is very sweet, and very nicely done. It touched my heart. Thanks so much for sharing it.
Donna Haug10/18/06
What a touching story. Her pride in her son was almost tangible. Her pain so overwhelming. Wow. Wondered about the word 'up' in this phrase: "aged so much up in that fateful moment" Good work!
dub W10/18/06
A touching story, full of empathy and emotion. Nicely told.
Sara Harricharan 10/18/06
Cute! I really enjoyed reading this, what a story of devotion from a little boy to his mother. Great job!
Deborah Bauers10/18/06
I love this piece. It is beautifully... poignantly written. My only thought is that the age of the child might be just a bit too young. Most four year olds are not developed enough cognitively to understand the permanence of death, so this little boy would not really grasp the impact of his dad's death. Also, his speech just seems a bit too mature, more in keeping with, say an eight-year-old. An eight year old would grasp the full significance of death and would, developmentally be more likely to step up to the plate and try to be the "man of the house." If this is a true story, this is a truly remarkable little guy; and please forgive my blunder, if it is a true story. Just some thoughts. This is nicely, done, though!
Suzanne R10/19/06
Beautiful! Really touching.
Kaylee Blake 10/19/06
The emotions were so seeped into this story. I felt everything the woman felt; her pain, her sorrow, her pride. Beautifully written. Excellent job!
Bonnie Derksen10/20/06
Amy, friend!
Congratulations! What a sweet, sweet story and well deserving of your EC win. I am soooo excited for you as I know how excited you were about writing it.
Thanks for the heartwarming blessing.
Luv - Bonnie