Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: birthday (05/23/05)
TITLE: The Inner Wave
By Sally Hanan
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Mark gained some ground on her little 2 door, his old Beamer smoothly grabbing the road with each tire rotation. His lust for his intended prize pervaded every conscious thought, all reason lost within his core. Jennifer had taken everything from him-even his own mother's unending trust, stripped him of his manhood, and degraded his status with the rest of his family. This time she would pay. This time he would show them all…
Jennifer heard a squeal of brakes on the corner of Asphalt and Tarmacadam St. and lifted her eyes quickly enough to see his bumper hit the curb. She did not, could not stop; frantic alarm simply hastened her desperate flight to town.
“Jesus, oh Jesus, help me, I’m sorry for my sin, I promise I’ll do anything You ask, just let me get there safely. I know I’ve let you down Lord, I know I’ve been less than what you’ve required, but if my life has any value then make Mark’s car stay back until I reach safety. Why is he acting so psycho? Should I have gone through with the separation? Should I have let him keep on cheating? Should I have continued allowing Daniel to watch his father shout at me and hit me? Now this?? HELP ME LORD!”
Bright lights beckoned like a starry night sky; the city of loud noises, sweet smells, and security. This early in the morning traffic was minimal. She gripped the steering-wheel more tightly as if to show God that her prayers were sincere.
Daniel, her little one, lay sleeping like the young and almost sinless cherub that he was, at Grandma’s house. His subconscious mind was completely unaware of the chase his father was giving Jennifer on the city roads. He was also ignorant of the fact that Daddy had not been working a job with long hours and night shifts over the last few months.
Daniel’s birthday would begin in a few hours. He would be four and motherless if Daddy ran Mommy off the road in his rage. His birthday would be one of confusion in Grandma's trembling arms.
Jennifer screeched to a halt, her safety zone in sight. Drawing in a huge breath as if it were her last, her shaking hand yanked the keys and slammed the door. The noise of a car raced down the street, coming closer….
The car slammed into park beside her car. The driver’s feet hit the ground, hard soles clipping the air.
Jennifer ran for her life across the parking lot, fingertips pressed into the faux red crocodile skin of her purse. The sweat from her hand made it slither.
The noise of footsteps…
SHE HAD MADE IT!
Jennifer proudly stood first in line at Uncle Sam’s posh toy store for the first day of their annual super summer sale, and she was ready to be Daniel’s proud Momma, the one who had gotten him the toy he wanted on his birthday. The customer behind her was not Mark. There was no way Daniel’s daddy could ever beat her this year. For once, Jennifer could claim her rightful place as favorite parent of the day.
Back at Grandma’s house, Uncle Sam’s catalog lay idly on the kitchen island, Daniel’s present circled in red marker beside the sale’s opening day and time. Grandma shut it with a smile. Jennifer had just called her to say she was on her way home with her 70 % off prize buckled into the back seat. She also happened to mention the fact that she had passed Mark waiting for the tow-truck, and had given him a little drive-by inner wave as she slunked down behind the steering-wheel.
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