Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: In and Out (04/30/09)
By Ruth Ann Moore
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It sat there waiting, just waiting. It was the embodiment of her reoccurring nightmare; the fiendish moment when all was lost. The walls of the Victorian hospital, which had become her prison, now seemed to press in on her. They waited in silence, as the solitary chest taunted her to face her past.
As her eyes fell to the charred case, her mind went back to the fire; back to when she lost everything. She could sense the crackling of the flames, and remembered how they licked at her body. She could hear the scream of her baby as the smoke and heat raced towards his small crib. She recalled racing with him to get outside, before the wooden structure collapsed, and the searing pain of being trapped beneath the timbers. The dam of tears which she thought had long ago dried up in despair burst forth as she collapsed atop the chest. Her heart wrenched in pain as she remembered her dear sweet boy, the home once filled with love, a body untouched by ghastly scars, and a husband who once loved her more than life itself.
“Oh God,” she cried in prayer. “How am I going to do this? Why must healing involve so much pain?”
“Trust Me.” The answer seemed to say.
As her fingers hovered, she took a deep breath, still unsure she wanted to release the memories housed within.
The latches gave way with a slight groan, first the left, then the right. Soon she lifted the heavy lid, its hinges protesting the movement with loud snapping and popping sounds. With trepidation she looked inside. All was as she had left it. She slowly pulled out the remnants from her life long ago. Each item brought a new painful memory of the joy and the fullness that had once been hers. She held them close to her chest as her body rocked back and forth.
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