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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Feel (emotions) (08/26/10)

TITLE: Broken Cycle
By Marlene Bonney


Too weak to cry, his eyes still unfocused and mattered, he whimpered, yearning for the comforting warmth that had given him solace the preceding nine months.

By the time his tiny-fisted fingers and toes had turned a bluish-gray, his feeble mewing alerted a homeless woman as she made her rounds to the various dump sites dotting the city’s seedy business district.

“Oh, poor little lamb! How could anyone done such a thing?” wrapping the newborn in one of the numerous dirty scarves around her equally dirty neck, “I gotta get you help, baby!”

Alley Annie held the bundle snugly against her heaving breast, increasing her normal shuffling gait into an odd little prance to the free clinic close by.

“Lying in a garbage bag in that there dumpster yonder, he was,” she lisped to the attending nurse, “can ya save ‘im?”


Three blocks north, the babe’s teenaged mother huddled against a back alley fence, bruised and broken and feeling betrayed by the only man she had ever trusted, now noticeably absent. Her body would eventually heal, but her heart—never. She wiped salty tears off her lips with the back of her shaky hand and miserably tried to find a position that wasn’t painful.

Lacy’s mind drifted in and out of slumber, but nagging guilt from the desertion of her son continued to haunt her dreams. She wondered if God could ever forgive her and remembered, as in a haze, the baby’s wispy breath upon her neck after she cut the cord and held her child for the first and last time.

Then, memories of her own childhood reinforced her decision as the only possibility.


Linda-Kay, a young mother to six lively children, felt dejected and disillusioned with life as she faced another dreary day of toil and drudgery. Her man had deserted the family when the youngest child, Lacy, was a toddler, the joblessness and drinking too heavy a load for him to bear. His suicide added to Linda-Kay’s own despair.

She took in laundry in those days to make ends meet, but the need of six bodies to clothe and feed did not leave any time or energy for hugs or emotional bonding so necessary for a child’s healthy development. She had followed the path her own mother had before her, accepting the generational normalcy of broken promises, dreams and relationships. She had vowed never to walk in her mother’s footsteps of loose morals and multiple partners parading through their lives; but she wondered in her heart of hearts, if her children were really any better off in the long run. But, they knew who their father was, which was more than she had, she salved her conscience.


Born in a mining camp where women were few and far between, Marcella had been seduced before her thirteenth birthday. Her mother scorned and slandered, the child was determined not to follow her into harlotry. Marcella had shaken the dust of the camp from her feet as soon as she found a way of escape into a distant county via an old gold-rush-rich geezer she tricked into a hasty marriage. He soon deserted her, lured to another gold strike, leaving Marcella to support herself and her unborn child with the only profession she knew. But, she would choose who, and when, and where, setting herself up for the elite clientele of the wealthy. After Linda Kay was born, it became more difficult, but she managed somehow.


Martin always knew he was adopted. Rev. Percy and Velma Miller were a kind and loving couple dedicated to serving their God by ministering to mankind, extending that love to an abandoned baby. They were often poor, but what they lacked in the material sense they more than made up for in the feelings of love and nurturing originating in their relationship with God.

Seldom did Martin wonder from whence he came, the only thing from that life being a birth certificate unofficially issued by a clinic nurse, who suspected the birth mother’s name to be Lacy. But, being safe and content in his adoptive family environment, he never felt the need to delve into that earlier existence.

Martin learned at a young age by watching his parents, that love was not always just a feeling, but a choice. Eventually, he made their God his own, going on to become a minister of the Gospel, beginning a new cycle that would not be broken for generations to come.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Mona Purvis09/02/10
WOW! I love this. So many emotions with each story. It made me stop and think how easy it is to judge another without knowing much about them.
Loved that it is a realationship with God that makes all the difference, not wealth, power or priviledge.

Charla Diehl 09/03/10
This is so sadly true for too many lives--and as you pointed out--God in our lives makes all the difference as to whether or not the destructive cycle will be broken. Good job.
Terri Schroeder09/06/10
Very interesting story. And true, too, that without God, it's difficult to break the cycle of problems that pass from generation to generation.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/06/10
The stories are sad but you managed to weave se hope into your words.