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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Postcards (08/29/05)

TITLE: Special Delivery
By Jan Warrick
09/03/05


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“I will sure be glad to finish the move. My back is killing me.”

“Mine too. But, I’m going to miss this little post office”, Rachel said as she moved another box of supplies onto the moving cart.

“I’m not!” retorted Sarah. “This place hasn’t had a thorough cleaning in years. Our new facility is much bigger, brighter and cleaner. Thank God.”

“I know, Sarah. But this office has so much history. It’s been here since Wolf Lake was a one horse town.”

“That’s just it Rachel, we have outgrown our walls. Here, help me lift this box.”

Both women struggle to lift the box onto the cart.

“There, that’s the last one”, Sarah said. “Let’s get this cart to the truck. The guys can take it from there.”

“Wait Sarah. What’s that?”

Sarah’s eyes followed to where Rachel was pointing. A yellow tinged paper was stuck in the wall baseboard.

“Oh Rachel, it’s just an old piece of paper. Forget it. Let’s get this cart to the truck so we can go home.”

Sarah started out the door with the cart. Ignoring her advice Rachel stepped toward the paper.

“It’s got writing on it” Rachel mused.

Plucking it from the baseboard she studied it.

“Oh my. This has been stuck here a very long time.”

Rachel caught up with Sarah outside.

“Sarah look. This is a postcard dated June 1967. It’s addressed to old Abigail Johnson on Cedar Road.”

Turning the old card over, Rachel gasped.

“Sarah, I’ve got to get this out to her right now. Please come with me.”

“Now?! Can’t it wait until tomorrow?”

“No Sarah. This is one delivery that has been delayed far too long.”

Jumping into a postal jeep Rachel and Sarah started toward widow Johnson’s house. Rachel maneuvered down the old country road not even slowing for the potholes and bumps.

“Slow down Rachel! You heading to a fire?!”

Without a word, Rachel handed Sarah the postcard. Reading it quickly she looked at Rachel in disbelief.

“Rachel, is this who I think it’s from?”

“I think so Sarah. I only heard the stories, but I think you’re right.”

Pulling up to the farmhouse the young women got out of their vehicle and walked to the front door. Rachel glanced at Sarah. Taking a deep breath she knocked.

The door opened a crack.

“How can I help you young ladies?”

“Mrs. Johnson? I’m Rachel and this is Sarah. We are from the post office.”

“Yes. What can I do for you?”

Rachel swallowed trying to remove the lump in her throat.

“May we come in?”

“Oh, yes, of course. Where are my manners?”

Opening the door further, Abigail let them in. They followed her to a comfortable living room. Pictures of her family adorned the walls and fireplace mantle. A picture of a young man in an army uniform sat there prominently.

Catching their gaze Mrs. Johnson explained, “That’s my son Daniel.”

“He’s a handsome boy…umm…I’m sorry to bother you Mrs. Johnson, but while we were moving out of the post office, we found something that I think you should have.”

“What would that be, dear?” inquired the old woman.

Sarah handed her the postcard.

“What is this?”

Adjusting her glasses, Mrs. Johnson focused on the handwritten card.

Dear Mom,

I hope this finds you well. Things aren’t so good here Mom. This battlefield is more difficult than I ever imagined. But I want you to know, that I have come to believe the things you taught me about God. I know that may be hard for you to believe, especially after I told you never to speak to me about God again. I was wrong Mom. I’m sorry. God is real, and I can feel Him with me everyday. I want to thank you Mom for not giving up on me. I look forward to seeing you again, and we will see each other again, either here on earth or up in heaven. I love you Mom.
Your son,
Daniel

“My Danny was killed in July 1967”, whispered Abigail. "I thought I had lost him forever. He wasn’t a believer before he left for the war. When I got news he had been killed…I…"

Wiping tears from her eyes she continued.

"I’ve prayed for years God would let me know Danny’s in Heaven. Today He sent me His answer, special delivery, with two angels."


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This article has been read 676 times
Member Comments
Member Date
dub W09/05/05
Beautiful, brought a tear to my eyes. To build this up, try using some beats in the early part, nonetheless, this is a moving essay - thanks.
Pat Guy 09/05/05
As tears flow - yes I can only imagine. Well done.
janet rubin09/05/05
This is GOOD. I've known grieving parents who have prayed that prayer and have had it answered by God. A tear-jerker.
terri tiffany09/05/05
Ditto on the tears. No matter how many times we hear of a salvation, the greatest joy a parent can have is to know their child is saved. thank you!
Anita Neuman09/08/05
I enjoyed the flow of this piece - starting at the post office and ending at the lady's house. A well-constructed story with (sniff, sniff - dab the tears away) believable characters and dialogue.
Jan Ackerson 09/08/05
I agree that the last half flowed easier, with the added "beats" and descriptions of action. But it's a wonderful, sweet story, the sort of human interest bit you see on the news sometimes. I liked it a lot.
Debra Brand09/08/05
Lovely entry. I moved into a retired post office 10 years ago and found a letter. Took it to the new p.o. and they forwarded to the rightful addressee. Your message at the end - manifique!
Karen Ward09/08/05
Oh sob! This was beautiful! I agree that the second half flowed better. I'd rewrite it to avoid some of the 'Sarah/Rachel' references, but I know it can be difficult to avoid confusion when 'her' could refer to either party. Sniff, Sob! God Bless, Karen
Julianne Jones09/09/05
Agree with all the above comments. A lovely piece. Well done.
Brandi Roberts09/09/05
Beautiful. :)
Tammy Johnson09/09/05
All I can say is "ditto". Nice job!
Anthony Tophoney09/09/05
Great idea for the topic! Chicken Soup for the Faithful Soul.

P.S. See your post on the boards for some recommended reading about the use of "beats" and "tags" in writing dialogue.
Deborah Porter 09/20/05
Jan, I'm only just getting around the Postcards semi-finalists now, but wanted to make sure that you knew you were in the list, and right up there in the running. In fact, you just missed making it into the Editors' Choice - you placed 9th overall. So well done! I thought this was a delightful entry - heartwarming and very special. Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)