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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "It's No Use Crying over Spilt Milk" (without using the actual phrase or literal exampl (02/07/08)

TITLE: Uncovered
By JoAnne Potter


It began with a coat and a dream. I wore the coat everywhere and, at leisure, liked to touch it, to stroke its intricate designs of peacocks and stars and ripe wheat. I marveled at the way a single golden thread connected all of them. I even wore it in my dream, the one that caused you to despise me, the one when all of you bowed down at my feet. I never did know for which of these things you hated me more, but I suppose that day, the coat told you it was me, the dread dreamer, who strode smiling across the long pasture, and gave you time to draw your knives.

You took the coat first, tore it from my shoulders and hacked at it with bloody blades. I saw a courage come into your faces then where none had crept before, a fool’s courage born of jealous power. That power sentenced me to lonely death. You bore me down with your own hands into the well, into the deep, silent dark. My cries peeled off its sad sides and dropped like stones where no ears but mine could hear.

The Midianites who brought me up found only what breath and blood could save. You had killed the rest, stealing away all color with the coat and all hope with the dream. They brought me here to Egypt where the Pharaoh dreamed instead, and he took me in. For twenty years, I have spoke and walked and counted gray days but, today, you came to me. You came, and I remembered.

Anger rose unbidden from a stronghold thought carefully locked, now suddenly sprung. It surged in accusation: Liars! Thieves! Murderers! Into what pit can I throw you? Into what slavery? What jail? You robbed me of more than my coat, more than my freedom. Because of you, I command, but in pale loneliness. I breathe, but in hollow loss.

I rose to strike, but before I could, you bowed down, your creased foreheads resting on cool marble, your weary backs bent and sluggish, and there, as it fulfilled itself, I finally saw beyond the old dream. We had each wrought in time what our sins demanded, had exposed foul pride and sharp cruelty. Now, with souls clarified by repentance and humility, we could watch time’s wheel turn unburdened. Revenge, regret, and mourning receded, became unnecessary, and spent themselves to find salvation.

Now I weep, but not with sadness. Memories require our permission to live. I let the old dream burst, fade, and dissolve. Free, I move to embrace you, sharing the miracle of a smiling boy in a many-colored coat walking again in the sunshine across the long, green pasture to greet his brothers.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Beth LaBuff 02/15/08
Aw...beautifully written story of Joseph. He truly was one example of "not crying over spilt milk"...you nailed the topic with this. Your description of the coat had me mesmerized, and it wasn't till several sentences later when realization set in...this is about Joseph. Your description of the bothers "creased forheads resting on cool marble" and just seeing their care-worn bodies through Joseph's eyes, and then the compassion Joseph had for them. Very, very nice work on this.
Laury Hubrich 02/16/08
This is a nice character profile of Joseph. Good job.
Debbie Wistrom02/18/08
Wow, I read some of this out loud to a co-worker and she was as impressed as myself. So many good lines here, so just keep up the good work, I feel that we have a placer here!!
Joanne Sher 02/22/08
Congratulations, JoAnne, on placing 8th in your level and 16th overall. Great work!
Clyde Blakely02/25/08
Wonderful insight. There is so much treasure in this Biblical story, I am in awe of God's Word. And you bought a different dimension to light. Thank you. God bless and keep writing.