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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: rain (10/17/05)

TITLE: Maggie's Mission
By Anita Neuman


Maggie Ferguson gathered her skirts in hand and hurried to follow the servant girl up the stairs. The duty before her was one she did not relish, but as sister to Lady Helena MacDougall, Maggie couldn’t deny that she was best suited to the task. She hoped that Helena would be in a softer mood than what she had portrayed of late.

The servant girl rapped on the door to Helena’s bedchamber before Maggie had even reached the top of the stairs. Maggie thanked her and pushed open the heavy door without waiting for an invitation.

She scanned the room, noting the opulence with distaste, before addressing the turned back of her sister. “Might I ‘ave a word with ye?” Maggie asked.

Helena swivelled awkwardly on her stool, flicking away the hands of the two women who were dressing her hair. Maggie noted the now familiar chill in Helena’s eyes and was saddened to realize that even a visit from her beloved sister could not warm the Lady MacDougall’s heart.

“Leave us,” Helena dismissed the servants with barely a glance. “What is it, Margaret?”

“Such pretence, milady! Are ye so high above me now that ye canna call me Maggie?”

“Fine then, Maggie, if that’s yer wish. But I daresay that’s no’ the reason ye’ve come so far.”

Maggie lowered her eyes. “’Tis, point o’ fact.”

“Ta tell me ta call ye Maggie? ‘Tis a long journey in such weather. Methinks this highland winter is addling yer head.”

“’Tis more than just me name, Helena. I’ve come ta show ye the person ye’ve become since ye wed Laird MacDougall.”

Helena leapt to her feet. “The person I’ve become, is it? Well, ye better start explainin’ yersel’, an’ do it quickly. I’ve no’ much time ta waste on yer impudence.”

Maggie chose to take a seat while she spoke. She forced herself to address her sister with love instead of the hostility her neighbors and kinfolk had burdened her with. “Ye were the Lady o’ the Moors long before the Laird set his eyes on ye. All who met ye adored ye fer yer kindness and respected ye fer yer humility. Ye welcomed anyone that came ta our door and ye helped wherever ye were needed – in flocks an’ fields an’ kitchens alike. Since ye wed Laird MacDougall, it’s been nothin’ but heartache for them who loved ye.”

“That canna be true! Many are the days I’ve spent visitin’ old friends, bearin’ gifts o’ food every time. An’ dinna ye ken how many poor girls I’ve hired ta serve in the castle? I’ve no’ forgotten what it’s like ta go ta bed hungry at night.”

“I’ve seen ye go about yer visitin’ with yer wee basket of fruit and bread. But ye eat more than ye’ve brought while yer there. An’ ye scold the wee ones fer dirtyin’ yer fine dresses when all they want ta do is climb onta yer lap. As fer the servants ye’ve hired, ye work them ta the bone with no’ even enough wages ta buy meat fer their families. Is this yer way of helpin’ them?”

Helena sank to her seat again and said not a word for a long moment. “Do they hate me, then? Is that the truth o’ the matter?”

“Nae, they dinna hate ye. They’re just wishin’ that the Lady o’ the Moors an’ the Lady MacDougall could be one an’ the same. We’d set such store by ye when ye won the Laird’s heart. We thought ye’d be a blessin’ ta yer kin by turnin’ the Laird’s favor towards us. Instead, ye’ve turned yer own favor from us an’ brought a curse upon our very lives.”

Helena had no response. Maggie saw tears in her sister’s eyes and knew she’d said enough. It was time for her to take her leave and pray her words would take root in Lady MacDougall’s heart.

Proverbs 28:3 “When someone poor takes over and mistreats the poor, it’s like a heavy rain destroying the crops.”

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This article has been read 1188 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie Sickler10/25/05
What excellent dialect in your dialog! Wow! I could hear the sisters' conversation in my mind as I read. Great job!
Garnet Miller 10/27/05
I agree, the dialogue is excellent! We all should be able to come to one another when their is a problem and find resolution with God's help. Thanks for the wonderful story:)
Jan Ackerson 10/27/05
Very well-done; writing like this is hard, and you made it just flow. And I've read Proverbs several times, but that particular verse never resonated with me before. Thanks for your unique take on this topic.
Nina Phillips10/27/05
This is a prescious story, with such a great message. I loved the dialogue, and how the message of Proverbs came shining through. God bless ya, littlelight PS: I am also of Irish descent!
Linda Watson Owen10/27/05
How fresh and engaging! I could hear the music of the sister's dialect and even read it aloud to enjoy!
Cassie Memmer10/27/05
I certainly enjoyed this story! Wonderful!
Julianne Jones10/28/05
I loved this. The dialogue has such a musical and soothing quality. You've managed to capture the time and setting so well. Well done.
Pat Guy 10/28/05
Excellent! This was a joy to read!
Helga Doermer10/28/05
A story well told through dialogue.
Phyllis Inniss10/29/05
The dialogue eloquently brought out the Proverbs quote and made 'Maggie's Mission' successful. Well done.
Amy Michelle Wiley 10/29/05
You should have heard me reading this with my best attempt at a Gaelic accent! LOL Great story!
Deborah Porter 11/01/05
Anita, I'm just popping in to let you know that you were in the top 30 entries this week - ranking 14th out of 147. Well done! Love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Suzanne R11/03/05
You really brought that verse to life, Anita. Well done!!! I love the way you used the name 'Maggie' and 'Margaret' to sum up the change in her ladyship! Great work.