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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Experiment (02/16/12)

TITLE: Aileen's Test
By Beth Muehlhausen
02/23/12


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Daylight dawned in the one-room log cabin much like it had so many other times, ushering relief mixed with dread. As Aileen poked coals in the fireplace left from the night before, they rekindled to form tiny blazes – just enough to suggest hope. She returned to bed, huddled beneath the Irish Chain quilt her Grandmother had made back east in Kentucky, and whispered a prayer: “Heavenly Father, I ask for Your mercy! Have compassion on me today.”

Unseasonal snow covered the November landscape, and there was only a little cornmeal in the bin. Aileen had been living on corncakes for the past week. Frank had gone south to look for work, but that was a month ago. Perhaps he wouldn’t come back. She would make sure the last of the potatoes were dug before nightfall.

Aileen shivered, and instinctively wrapped her arm around the angelic form lying beside her. Little Cara had outgrown her muslin infant gowns, and at this age was much too active during the day to stay wrapped in a blanket. However, now she slept peacefully, a cozy, pink-cheeked cherub of promise.

Would the Lord grant Aileen an extra measure of grace to face this day? What should she do? Could she wait on Him? What did that mean?

The coals in the fireplace sputtered, gasping for fuel. Aileen rose again and strategically laid one of three remaining small logs over them, hoping to see flames burst forth. But the log only smoldered.

As she watched ominous black billows of smoke rise, an inspired plan took shape in Aileen’s mind. She would forget the potatoes. She would walk north to the nearest neighbors, the Walsh homestead.

There was no time to waste. Cara would awaken soon. Aileen mixed the cornmeal with a little water she’d drawn from the creek the day before, and dropped the mush among the hot coals. She would take the cakes with her. Fortunately Cara was still nursing.

The trip would take all day given the rough terrain and the fact that snow had begun falling again. She could wear Frank’s extra overalls under her skirt, insulate her boots with bound strips of burlap, and wrap Cara in the Irish Chain quilt. If successful, they would be safe and warm by nightfall.

It would be a grand experiment in faith.


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This article has been read 233 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Ruth Thoutenhoofd02/24/12
Nicely written, but now I want to know what happens next!
CD Swanson 02/24/12
Yes I agree! What happens next? This was an interesting story and I wanted more. That is a sign of a good story...Nicely told and done.

God Bless~
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 02/29/12
This is a nice story, definitely a small part of something bigger. I loved the message and longed to read more.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 03/03/12
Congratulations on ranking 14th overall!