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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: It's a Colorful World (12/03/09)

TITLE: Kaleidoscope of Hope
By Kimberly Russell


Krista flopped down on the couch, exhausted. The process had been a whole lot harder than she expected but the end result wasn't too bad. Her mom would probably be pleased that she had "not wasted the day away for a change" as she was so prone to saying. Maybe. These days her mother wasn't pleased by much of anything Krista did but decorating the house couldn't hurt.

The Christmas tree glowed softly, reflecting off the window as daylight gave way to evening. Krista let the darkness wash over her but made no move to turn on more lights. She had always loved to sit in a room lit only by twinkling holiday cheer.

Yeah, right. Nice thought but she would hardly qualify her present circumstance as "cheerful".

Her gaze shifted, noting that colors from the tree lights bounced off the nativity scene that sat nearby, creating splotches of color cast around the room.

Oh holy night, the stars are brightly shining...

Little glints of gold sparkled across the top of the stable that housed Mary, Joseph, and the baby Jesus. How ironic, Krista thought, as she paused to consider Mary. Supposedly Mary was a young girl, just fourteen or so, and found herself unmarried and pregnant. That must have rocked good old Nazareth. Hmmmm...

It is the night of our dear savior's birth...

Red dollops spotted the Christ child in the manger as Krista snickered. "Looks like he got a new blanky with polka dots," she said aloud but quickly sobered. The thought of a newborn with nothing more than a few thin pieces of cloth in a cold barn was nothing to laugh about. Did Mary and Joseph fret about the dirt, animals, and unsanitary conditions? Were they fearful and concerned for the safety of their child? More than likely...

Long lay the world, in sin and error pining
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth...

Surrounding the stable scene, blues, greens, and silver highlighted the shepherd and wise men. They had come seeking the savior. Krista wondered if were they disappointed to find their "king" was nothing more than a mere mortal.

A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn...

Supposedly, the birth of Christ was what the Jews had been waiting for. He was expected to rise up as king and save them from the oppression they had lived under for so long.

That was a whole lot of pressure, Krista mused. Of course, she knew the story about Christ being sent by God, the intended purpose of his birth, and the fact that he would eventually go to the cross in order to fulfill his destiny.

But that night, he was just a baby like any other. Unique yet so ordinary, the hope the world had been waiting for.

Krista had been dragged to church when she was little. She listened to her mom talk about Jesus and how he offered the same hope if only people would accept him as lord and savior but she hadn't paid much attention. As a teen, she'd finally taken a stand and advised her mother that she was just fine on her own and a "savior" was the last thing she wanted or needed. The whole "hope" thing was fine for other people but she could take care of herself.

Obviously she had been wrong.

Krista slid her arms around her expanding waistline, cuddling the bulge as the baby shifted positions.

"Oh little one," Krista whispered, "I'm so sorry I messed up my life and you will suffer because of it. You deserve better, that's for sure..." A sob escaped as tears welled up, blurring the colors surrounding her in the darkness.

Fall on your knees, oh hear the angels' voices...

Regret and guilt overtook Krista and poured out like a dam unleashed. "I should have listened in church, prayed more, read my Bible. There was so many things I could have done but no, I was going to do what I wanted: No one was going to tell me what to do. And now look at the mess I'm in..."

"Oh God, I need your help...your hope..."

Oh night divine, oh night when Christ was born...

Krista's sobs filled the room, bathed in the twinkling lights.

Lyrics to "Oh Holy Night" Composed by Adolphe Adam

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This article has been read 538 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Lisa Keck12/10/09
I love your title! Kaleidoscopes spin to reveal different colors. While there was no evidence of anything spinning physically, certainly the MC's life is spinning in a whirl of confusion and despair. Good job.
Beth LaBuff 12/14/09
I love your title (talk about a salsa word). :) You've written this perfectly and the song lyrics punctuating the story is masterful. Great work on this!
Sarah Elisabeth 12/14/09
Very well spun tale :-)
Jim McWhinnie 12/14/09
Sparkling title!

Clear and clean writing, the mark of a wordsmith.
Barbara Lynn Culler12/14/09
Beautiful story...I want to hear more!
Ruth Brown12/15/09
Well done Kim. A beautiful use of the title and the topic. I too loved the weave of the song.
Aaron Morrow12/16/09
I love great writing intertwined with wonderfully familiar songs. Powerful entry and beautifully detailed. Great job!