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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Yellow (11/12/09)

TITLE: Changing colour
By diana kay


Carrie loved the room. The double aspect windows brought natural light throughout the day and just the other side of the glass, the trees were clothed in early autumn colours, a richly coloured palette of red, orange and yellow. Carrie however was determined to concentrate on the task she’d set herself. She needed to write 3000 words daily if she was going to finish her dissertation in time. The discipline of academic writing was a major challenge as Carrie was essentially a creative, free thinking person preferring experimentation and invention to the dull task of writing down the results.
In addition to the university college deadline,there was another pressing reason to complete the work without further procrastination. The irony was that while she was writing about scientific theories of reproductive physiology, an intensely personal experience was taking place unobserved inside the test tube of her own body. She marvelled at the thought of the new creation growing inside her and as the pregnancy progressed, so did her impatience to meet her new baby face to face.

In the meantime she had to content herself with merely planning for the new arrival and changing the room into a nursery. She decided to change the beige and cream colour scheme to warm primrose yellow and soft pastel blue. She had already chosen the paint, picked out a cheerful frieze of ducks and clowns and ordered curtains to replace the window blinds. She planned to move her papers and folders downstairs shortly to enable her husband Max to get on with the the changes.

Six weeks and 13,500 words later the thesis was finally complete and Carrie was waiting for the next chapter of her life to begin. Her belly was heavy and cumbersome and she had frequent backache. She was at the stage where the predominant emotion was a desire to get the whole thing over and done with. She sat on the rocker in the newly decorated nursery and through the new yellow curtains gazed at the maple trees silhouetted against the autumn sky.
She knew that nothing could fully prepare her the changes ahead. The room was ready and waiting and the name she had chosen for the new resident's was spelt out in blue letters on a name plate on the yellow wall. She was two weeks past her due date and an induction of labour was booked in the next few days. She
can’t wait.

Corey James entered the outside world at 6.17am on Monday 22nd November weighing in at 7lbs 2 ˝ oz. The delivery was remarkably straightforward for a first baby and Carrie was amazed at the perfection of her tiny child. The following day Carrie was discharged and showed Corey his new room.For the first few months the plan was for Corey to sleep in his parents bedrooom in a crib, but Carrie used the nursery during the day to feed him,rocking him peacefully. The early afternoon light had a soft warm glow, the trees were bare, and flurries of golden yellow leaves now covered the sidewalk.

The midwife visited to weigh and measure Corey. On day 5 she casually remarked on the faint yellowish tinge to his skin caused by slight jaundice that breastfed babies frequently get. By day 14 the midwife was more concerned, the whites of Corey's eyes had changed colour to a sickly yellow. Corey needed urgent hospital admission and investigations.

Despite her scientific background, Carrie was completely unprepared for the emotional impact that the results engendered. The bilirubin levels were sky high, her tiny baby had serious liver problems that needed urgent treatment. The next few months were a rollercoaster of emotion as Corey underwent repeated tests. Fortunately his system began to respond and the liver started working again. The yellow tinge gradually began to fade to normal and the colour of his eyes changed back to normal.

It was four months before Carrie was able to take Corey home again. She had decided to change the colour scheme in the nursery, as yellow was now irreparably linked in her mind with Corey’s liver problems.
Max had changed the colour scheme in the nursery to the bright primary colours of red and blue. Trains and cars replaced the ducks and there was no longer a scrap of yellow anywhere!

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This article has been read 458 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Patty Wysong11/23/09
The end, although it felt rushed, made me smile. Loved those closings sentences.
Mona Purvis11/24/09
On topic. A lot going on in this piece. I wonder if some dialogue might have opened up a window for the reader to "get to know Corrie better". For some reason, it felt a little matter-of-fact.
But, I found it interesting which is always a good foundation. keep writing.
Barbara Lynn Culler11/24/09
I am glad this story had a happy ending!
I agree with the above analysis,I would like to see more of what Carrie was feeling, and when did the color yellow start taking on a negative connatation.

I liked the imagery and I could picture all the colors as you so vividly described them. Keep writing!
Jan Ackerson 11/24/09
Very interesting! My granddaughter had jaundice, but not so badly, and they really do turn quite yellow, don't they?

I agree with your previous commenters--this has quite a bit of "tell" and not as much "show".

The storyline really drew me in, though. Good job with the mood and atmosphere of this story.
Patricia Turner11/24/09
I agree that dialogue would help and would add interest to this otherwise nicely written piece.
Maria Kana Santos11/24/09
I love happy and good endings of what started out so wrong and saddening. Thank God that Corey is on her way to complete recovery.
Thanks for your entry.
Cheers and kind regards.