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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Up and Down (04/02/09)

TITLE: Shades of Good and Evil
By Mona Purvis


Molly lay on her stomach facing the wall, eyes closed in pretense of sleep and breathing as shallow as life would allow. Not even the heat of August could entice her to kick off the heavy covers.

When she heard her mother's car exit the garage she knew she was in trouble. He would come. He would come into her room, pull down the shades and violate her. Nothing would stop him, not crying, not begging, not hiding.

After he had finished, he would remind her that no one would believe her. She would be punished for lying. She would be sent away if she caused the family to break up. He owned her just like he owned the house and the cars. He paid the bills. No one questioned that he was master of his home. She was cut off. If he were a stranger, she could run home for help; he was not.

Where are you, girl? No use trying to hide. This is my home; I say what goes on here. Do you hear me? Come here, daddy has something to tell you.

Alice would see the shades pulled down; she wouldn't come to play today. She knew the story the shades told. Molly had shared some of the dirty secret with her neighbor and best friend. They were both in Mrs. Gregory's fourth-grade class and would soon be starting fifth grade together.

An hour later Molly's mother was back from shopping. Molly, come help set the table. We're having your favorite, cheeseburgers. Did you finish your reading? We'll have to hurry to get to church in time for Bible study.

Thank you, Father for all your many provisions. Teach us to look to You for all our needs. Keep Molly an obedient child. We ask in Jesus name. Molly's father always held their hands to pray.

Aren't we blessed, Molly, to have a wonderful God-fearing man in our home? I worry so much for Alice. Does her father ask grace? Her family never goes to church. I'm glad you can share our Christian home with her.

Yes, mother. I think so. Alice is always happy.

Well, I'm glad you don't look down on her because her family is not as well off as yours. You must always be thankful for your many blessings, Molly.

Driving to church in the Lincoln SUV, Joseph and Catherine listened to some of their many Christian CD's. Catherine sang in the choir; Joseph was a deacon. They never missed church; both served on a number of committees. Molly was adored by all their many friends.

Tonight's message was from 2 Timothy 1:7. For God hath not given us the spirit of fear...

Fear is what was controlling Molly. Even as young as she was, she understood what Pastor Dan was teaching. She feared that Alice would be hurt by her father. She had seen him looking at her in that way. He had started telling Molly to have her come over, to spend the night.

Who could she tell? Who would believe her? Her mother would blame her.

Three days passed and Molly's shades remained up. Alice and she played together and watched TV. Her father had been busy with business and she had seen little of him.

On Saturday, Molly's mother had a hair appointment. She hadn't been gone but a few minutes when he came into her room. He pulled down the shades and started touching her.

No more. I'm going to tell. Molly screamed through tears.

Molly, it's okay. If you don't love your daddy...

The day was hot and sunny; the pool cool and inviting. The safest place for Molly to be until her mother returned was outdoors. Her father was upset with her, but he had left her alone. She decided to go swimming in her pool; it made her feel clean.

Molly's mother came home to find her face down in the deep end of the pool. It was a horrible accident. No one saw it happen.

So many people came to pay their respects to the parents. Every pew was filled at the memorial service. Molly's mother sang the sweetest song; her father praised his little girl.

Alice never saw the shades up again.

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This article has been read 807 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Bryan Ridenour04/09/09
Heart wrenching tale which I'm afraid happens in real life much more than we will ever know.
Thought provoking and, sadly, true to life.
Margaret Gass04/11/09
Excellent title for this piece...especially since the people who should have known truth were the ones who did not see it, or perhaps, did not want to see it. Shades keep out the light, but the Light always bears witness to the truth. You told this painful story with simple, straightforward language that restores the dignity that this young girl lost. How wonderful it is that He does more than restore our dignity, He heals us and makes us new!
Beth LaBuff 04/12/09
Oh wow! Such a chilling story. It breaks my heart knowing this happens. I'm glad there is a righteous Judge. Your play on word with your title is good. Excellent work on this.
Glynis Becker04/13/09
Beautiful writing about a difficult subject. Great entry.
Tallylah Monroe04/13/09
What a sad story. Very well written. I got confused with your use of italics.
Connie Dixon04/13/09
Loved the title, hated the story - but you wrote it so well and it is a story that unfortunately happens more often than we could even imagine. When you think about all of the little girls that just "disappear" it makes this story very revealing. Good job!
Lollie Hofer04/14/09
The chilling shades was a creative way of including the theme into the story. What a sad story which unfortunately is lived out by so many children. These type of stories remind us to pray for these wounded little ones. They also remind us not to bury our heards in the sand but to keep our eyes and ears open to what is going on around us.
Verna Cole Mitchell 04/15/09
A tragic story well told. It so made me wish the mc or the neighbor girl had told someone who might believe her, but this way it is even more realistic.
Ruth Ann Moore04/15/09
What a dark world we live in. That fact is so relevant in the face of the staggering numbers of abuse. You approached a difficult subject, and handled it very well. I hoped Molly would be safe, but your ending made it more poignant. (It also gave the reader pause to think about the cause of her drowning. Accidental or not...)
Carole Robishaw 04/15/09
How long before the monster approaches Alice?

I cried for Molly, and all the others, boys and girls, in her situation.

Very well written.
Betty Castleberry04/15/09
Wow, what a shocking ending. This held my attention. You did well with this.
Beckie Stewart04/15/09
I only know too well this reality...this was heart-wrenching. Such a scary place for any child to be. This hit close to home in too many ways. Well-written.