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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Mother (as in maternal parent) (04/24/08)

TITLE: A Silent Night
By Marita Vandertogt


The road is wet, slippery, black and shining with the rain that never stops. Or never seems to stop. I sit under a tree and watch cigar shaped clouds cover the moon, try to strangle it with their darkness, wrapping illusive fingers, circling its roundness. Round, like her face. Dark, like the circles under her eyes, chasing the black clouds that threaten her own bright smile.

The rain keeps hitting my face and I don’t try to stop it. I like the feel, the cold sting of it, the creeping dampness soaking through my clothes, giving the musty smell of damp wool into my nose. I could cry, but what would be the point. The moon keeps shining, despite the black circles that stifle her glow. But it’s comfortable here, and so I stay. Away from the clean white walls, from the glaring overhead lights, from the medicinal smell. I left her there, a small round shape under the white sheets. I left her sleeping, thin arms resting outside of the sheet tucked neatly in at all the corners. She lay there like a rag doll, and whispered for me to go, get some rest. I said yes, I would, but I’d be back. But the horrible part is, there is no place to go, to get away. Only the rain hitting my face, making me feel the cold on my skin to match the cold inside my heart.

I call Your name, inside my head. I call it again, a whisper now, audible to the trees around me. I call it again, louder now, coming from my gut, wrenching from my gut, followed by “why”. A screaming why. My face is wet, wetter. The rain is coming down like a giant sheet now, covering me, drenching me, the grass damp and giving way to mud that bubbles up, nature’s attempt to cradle.

No voice echoes back. No sound comes through the black night. No voices in the thunder, or visions in the lightening. Nothing.

I stop the yelling now, stand up and wipe the mud from my clothes. I can’t go back there looking like this. Not wet like this, smelling of rain and damp things, and tears.

I get in my car and start the motor. She’s sleeping now anyway. She can’t hear me. She doesn’t know I’m not there. I’ll come back tomorrow. I’ll take care of her then.

My wiper blades move back and forth, back and forth, and coloured lights glare across the windshield. I’ll get changed and go right back. I can’t leave her there alone. She’d do that for me. Even though I know she doesn’t want me watching, witnessing the dullness in her eyes as she gives way to the inevitable.

“Jesus,” I hear my voice over the music playing on the radio. I hear it with a question at the end. And still no response.

My clothes are dry now, the sun is shining. The gravesight is covered with flowers. Beautiful flowers, filled with the colours of her life. Colours she left behind for me.

“Jesus,” I call again, toward the small brown mound of dirt.

“She is not here,” I hear the impression in my head.

I walk away. Part of her comes with me, will always be with me. I am her daughter. The smiles she smiled are with me now, and who she was alive inside my skin.

“She is not here.” I feel the words again.

Thank You, I whisper against the brilliance of the day.

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This article has been read 702 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 05/01/08
Wow, quite a lot to swallow in this piece. So much emotion and description make it very vivid for me. I like the note of hope at the end though, it is perfect. ^_^
Verna Cole Mitchell 05/04/08
Your description of weather is welded together perfectly with the MC's emotions. I like the touch of encouragement at the end.
Dianne Janak05/07/08
This was incredibly real, emotional, and relateable to me. Reading it touched a deep core in me and that means you got me! Thanks... I love that about writing..
Jan Ackerson 05/07/08
Oh, well done! I love the pacing of this, slowing nearly to a stop at the end, which gives emphasis to the repetition of "Jesus" and "she is not here." Outstanding!
Debbie Wistrom05/07/08
I wanted to sit with her in the rain and comfort her. Your descriptions are incredible. Your talent shines in this piece.
Joanne Sher 05/07/08
Amazingly vivid - and what a contrast. Beautifully, hauntingly written.