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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Question (05/24/12)

TITLE: Now What?
By JoAnne Nanton


Susan’s mom divided up the six kids among family members and left their third world tropical paradise in search of a better life for the family.

Susan was only five and could not understand why mom had to leave again. She clung tighter than ever to her leg, all the while sobbing nonstop. Her lips quivered in her pleadings, “Mama, don’t go. Please, Mama, please don’t go!”
Mama sat towards the edge of the Morris chair, drawing Susan close to her bosom. She stroked her wavy curls in a front to back motion and peered into her eyes, whose sockets were bulged with fluid.
“Oh, sweetheart, don’t cry.” Mama pleaded, while reaching into her purse and pulling out a crumpled Kleenex, partially smeared with plum pink lipstick.

“Mama’s coming back soon, okay?” She tried to persuade her.

The eight years could not pass fast enough. At 13, a torturous past signaled the need for a new start and her change had finally come. She and her three younger siblings set off, bidding goodbye to sad memories.

Her hairdo consisted of a single plait pulled off to the left side of her head. Two larger, identical plaits were set off at the back and tied with two-inch bows made of broad white satin ribbon. Her white socks and black Mary Jane shoes added to a childish look. Even while she was estimated to being a kid in her mama’s eyes, nothing was further from the truth; her innocence had already been savagely stripped from her.

She had been battered and scarred, and embarrassment ignited low self-esteem, promoted poor self-worth and invited promiscuity. A new thirst needed to be quenched, not the one for mama’s arms to caress her to sleep, to brush her hair into place, or to reassure her that all was well. It had become free reign to any who’d even remotely show some sort of affection.

Susan stood before the door mirror in her new bedroom. She was alone, her head tilted off towards the right shoulder and she could hear herself ask, “Now what?“

She continued, “What would life be like in this new place? Who would be my friends? Would I have friends? “
“O God, how do I sort out this ugly mess?” She stomped in disgust while grabbing at her pink terry robe. “Where do I start?”

“O God, can you help me? Please show me where to start. ” She cried out as she gave a final plea before slumping over to waist height and burying her face into her sprawled fingers.

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This article has been read 233 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Leola Ogle 06/01/12
Oh, this is so sad! Poor little Susan! My heart just aches for her and all those like her. Thanks for sharing! God bless!
C D Swanson 06/02/12
How do I climb into the computer to hug the MC? Oh my aching heart! Well written entry. Nicely done. Now where are my tissues? God bless~
Laura Hawbaker06/03/12
Good descriptions. I could see and feel the MC's pain. However, I found the flow of the story a bit choppy and confusing. Why was her mother leaving the third world tropical paradise? Why and where did the MC go at age 13? Sometimes telling a story in a limited numbr of word is challenging!
Hiram Claudio06/04/12
This did have the feel of being a mere glimpse into a much large story. However, it made me want to read that story and I too thought the way you painted the MC's pain and struggle was well done. I like that in the midst of all she's been through, she's calling out to the Lord for answers and for the strength to make it through.