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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: fathers (06/06/05)

TITLE: Horizons
By Karen Deikun


The farm was all I knew and all I needed. The fields, the sun and the sky satisfied me in a way I cant express. The land had been in our family for generations and I guess the blood of my ancestors ran in my veins. But it had never been that way for my older brother. He loved music loud music and something in him made him wild and rebellious. It was no surprise when he packed up and headed for the city. Folks said he had a kind of genius where music was concerned, and he planned to make his fortune. His plans made my head spin and left me feeling like a dull clod satisfied with a dull life.

One thing did surprise me though. My daddy put a mortgage on the land for half its value and gave the money to my brother. He was the older son he should have had first place on the land, but all he wanted was the money. He said he needed to buy things and party with people to make his dreams come true. I figured that Dad never expected my brother to come back. Lord, how we worked to pay that mortgage! My wife and three kids all worked hard right alongside Dad and me. The sad thing was that every now and then Id see my dad look up from his work and scan the horizon. I knew he was watching and hoping for Bill to come over the hill. I told him time and again it wasnt going to happen. Bill was never coming home.

From time to time wed hear about my brother. He made a big name for himself for awhile, but then it was rumored hed gotten himself into drugs. My sons and my daughter were growing up - I didnt talk or think about my brother. I had my wife, my family, and my fathers love. Wed paid off the mortgage and one day Id inherit the land. Things were good - except that my father kept looking out into the horizon, waiting.

One day while Dad was doing just that, a figure appeared, topping the hill, walking slowly toward the farm. My father lit out running. Running! An old man like that! I thought hed fall down, but something maybe joy kept him going. It was Bill; sick and thin with matted hair and two weeks of unshaved beard, smelling worse than the barn. But Dad just threw his arms around him and started to cry. They walked toward the house, right past me, as if I wasnt even there. Next thing I knew, we were having a party.

I shouldve been happy, but I wasnt. I felt mad - angrier than Id felt when he left. Id stayed with my father and worked all this time. Where was my party?

My father saw it all in my face. He hugged me. I could feel the love in the strength of those arms around me.

He threw it all away, Dad. He threw us away.

I know. I know.

Id hated my brother for the pain he caused my father. All that time, my father just kept loving him and waiting for him. Looking across the room at my three kids, I wondered how Id feel if one of them walked away not from the farm, but from me. I guess Id be just like Dad - watching - always watching - for my child to come home.

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This article has been read 905 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sally Hanan06/13/05
Stunning! This was awesome, loved it.
Shari Armstrong 06/14/05
I nice modern feel to the Prodigal Son. Nice to see it from the other brother's perspective.
Anthony Tophoney06/16/05
Well Told!
Kyle Chezum06/16/05
Good job! This held my interest all the way through to the end.
Tesiri Moweta06/17/05
Nice illustartion.Home's not complete without the ALL the children.Thanks for sharing.
dub W06/17/05
Interesting approach. Thank you for posting.