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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Year(s) (01/20/11)

TITLE: Sweet Dreams
By Michael Joshua


She rolled over and tapped the play button on the tape recorder.

Hearing the rhythmic sound of her husband's snoring usually lulled her into a restful state. But, not tonight.

Smiling, she thought back over the last year. The trip to Orlando showed like a filmstrip in her mind's eye. Walking in the sand at the ocean's shore hand-in-hand, the picture of her husband with his arm linked through Goofy's as they preformed a can-can type dance in front of Space Mountain, the view of sunrise from the veranda of the suite while they had coffee.

The drive from Columbus to New York to see a Broadway play was something she would not forget. The ball dropping at Times Square…

The clear blue waters where they snorkeled in Hawaii. That kiss. She could still taste the kiss they shared that day.

Sweeping a tear from her cheek, she looked over toward his side of the bed.

Memories, such sweet memories.

Cuddling into her pillow, the soft sounds of the rattle in his throat gave her comfort.

She had faced her fears this year. She never liked the ocean, having almost drowned in a lake as a young girl still left her anxious whenever she encountered a body of water. Thinking only of the wild flailing about of her arms and legs, she fought back the panic, and stepped into the ocean with him. When the fish swam close to her body while they snorkeled, she fought the urge to gasp for air through the tube.

Disneyland was more flash than substance in her opinion. But he had never outgrown his love for cartoons. Owning every Disney animated feature that was available on DVD was something that he proudly declared to everyone who feigned interest. This was a big part of who he had become. Just a big kid. It's what she loved about him. So, why not a trip to visit his fantasy land?

Though she loved to travel, she hated crowds. But he had always wanted to be in Times Square over New Year's Eve. He promised to hold her close, so she agreed to go. Good to his word, he never let her get pressed by the crowd. They stood at the outer edge of the throng when the ball dropped. It was exciting, electric even. She'd never experienced anything like this - it was just – so – big. She could think of no other words.

Yes, this past year had been amazing. There were numerous weekend side trips. It was common that she arrived home from work and found the car loaded up ready to go. He didn't care if it was a 20-mile jaunt or a 300-mile drive; he was ready to go at a moment's notice.

How could she say no?

He was active, vibrant and in tune with life around him. In some ways, she was just along for the ride.

This past year was like the roller coaster at the Disney park. The climbs slow and deliberate and the drops fast and extreme, with wild abandon.

Reminiscing, her breathing became regular and shallow. A soft sigh escaped her lips.

Her eyelids fluttered as she drifted off to sleep.

A few moments later, the tape recorder clicked.

The tape had reached its end.

The snoring stopped.

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This article has been read 471 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Rikki Akeo01/29/11
I think I got it!
Noel Mitaxa 01/31/11
Gentle, wistful. A positive insight into the hiddden realities of grief. Well told.
AnneRene' Capp01/31/11
Eloquently done, from start to finish! Great job.
Christine Long02/01/11
Well written and touching. Thank you for sharing.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/02/11
Such sweetness. with just a bit of sadness. You made me realize I, too need to overcome my fears and enjoy every second I have with my loved ones. We never know when the tape of life will click off.
Lollie Hofer02/03/11
I didn't see the ending coming at all. Wow! I thought she would kiss him and wish him a "Happy Anniversary" or something. Great story writing. Congratulations on your first place in Advanced. Well-deserved, for sure.
Noel Mitaxa 02/03/11
Congrats on your win!
Beth LaBuff 02/03/11
hey, super congrats on your 1st place ribbon!!!
Tracy Nunes 02/03/11
Congratulations! Woo- hoo!
Karlene Jacobsen02/04/11
Oh my goodness, Michael! Amazing artistry with this. I thought I could see it coming and yet still, my heart ached at the connotation in the end. A beautiful piece. Congratulations on your placement.