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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Gossip Mill (05/08/14)

TITLE: And Baby Makes Two
By C D Swanson


She knew what they were saying behind her back. She heard the whispers as she walked through the advertising plant. It was an average sized facility with one hundred employees.

She was the assistant manager. Lilly Smith got her promotion fairly quickly, within six months. As soon as she did, the entire place began to speculate, conjecture, and shake their heads when she walked by.

She was pregnant and didn’t know what to do. An abortion was out of the question. But, she and her fiancée had just parted ways. They were to be married until he abruptly pulled out of the relationship. She was devastated by his leaving. She never thought she’d be in this predicament, given her upbringing as a Christian.

“Lilly, you’re wanted in the President’s office, again.

Sandra’s tone was anything but polite. She was up for the same promotion and could hardly believe it went to Lilly. She felt for certain that she was having an affair with Mr. Freemont, the President. How else could she climb up the ladder so fast— bypassing her in the process—to land that promotion? Obviously, she was carrying his baby. They all surmised it was his. There was no other explanation.

“Thank you Sandra.” She chose to ignore the snide remarks and comments in passing. Lilly was not going to get into the cesspool with any of them.

She heard the incessant chatter when she walked by. It would stop for a moment then pick up as she passed them. Mr. Freemont’s office was a welcome refuge. “Yes, you wanted to see me sir?”

“I just wanted to compliment you on your work ethics. I understand that you stayed late to finish the Landings Project. And, because of that, we landed another multi-million dollar account. I knew you were the best person for the position when I promoted you. Young lady, you’re an asset to this place. You keep this up, and before long you’ll be the VP in no time!”

“Thank you sir. I appreciate the comment.”

“You’re very welcome. I just wanted to congratulation you again…and give you this gift certificate.”

She glanced at the gift certificate for three hundred dollars. “Mr. Freemont, I don’t know what to say.”

“I have to take this call, see you later.”

As soon as she walked outside his office the staff grew silent pretending to be busy at work until once again, the incessant chatter picked up. “She’s about five months pregnant. What a disgrace. I wonder what they did in that office just now. She doesn’t even seem to mind, look at how she ignores us.”

She was beginning to cry as she walked into her office. She sat down and openly sobbed, “Dear God forgive me, I don’t’ know what to do. I was supposed to marry him, and he left me. Now, I’m six months pregnant…and I don’t know if I can keep this baby. I can’t do it alone. I can’t. Help me, and forgive me for being in this predicament. I’m so sorry Lord. This little innocent baby girl has no clue that I’ve no clue how to care for her. Help me Father, in Jesus name…help me.”

As she blew her nose she noticed an envelope on the desk. It was addressed “To Mommy.” She managed to open it with shaky hands, and began to read:

Dear Mommy,
If I could talk right now this is what I’d say to you:

Hold me cuddle me in your arms,
Keep me safe from all that harms,
I don’t know if we have one or two,
I don’t care if it’s old or brand new

It quiets me and soothes all my tears
When I know that you are near
With your help I’ll find my wings
And be moving on to greater things

Soon enough I will walk, run and play
Entertaining myself the whole day
So Mommy I hope that you will see
I love you and thanks for having me

She looked up to God and knew he’d sent that note. She felt peace and warmth. She smiled and knew the Holy Spirit was with her. Thank you God.

She rubbed her tummy. “Savannah Rose, what do you think of that name my little angel?”

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This article has been read 293 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Robert Douglas Brown05/15/14
What an excellent article! This goes to show that no matter the situation, God will come through if you allow him. Somehow I know that the unborn baby would be brought up by a terrific Christian mother. A top prize article!

God Bless!
Grace Merkey05/16/14
Good example of how words hurt. You did well with this.
Noel Mitaxa 05/16/14
Very powerful and succinct portrayal of all-too-common scenarios: workplace resentment and personal desertion.
The word limit may have got in your way through the middle,, but the note from upcoming Junior injected realistic hope into Lily's morale. Well done.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 05/17/14
This is a powerful piece. I could feel the angst as I read. Your opening pulled me in right away and I was eager to keep reading.

The main red ink I would offer would be watch for the sudden POV shifts. At first, you show what's in Lilly's thoughts, then jump right into Sandra' in the next. One way to avoid this would be to just show us what Lily sees, hears and thinks. For example: Lilly shuddered at Sandra' tone. Tears welled up in her eyes as she remembered Sandra venting to another co-worker when they all found out Lilly had gotten the promotion over Sandra. "There's no way she got that on her own; I bet she's having an affair with Mr. Freemont... " It's not perfect, but just an example of how to show it from the MC's POV.

Overall, you did a great job. You nailed the topic and my heart ached for the a MC. The ending was great too. I like the idea of her finding the note. You did a great job with this one. The message is powerful and a good reminder for all.
lynn gipson 05/17/14
A most excellent piece of writing. This seems to be a sort of soliloquy, so I don't see the office chatter as a change of POV, rather what was going on with those gossips. Very well told, touches the heart of those who find themselves in such situations, and it happens a lot these days. This would certainly help another woman who is going through the same thing.

Heartfelt and beautifully written.

A winner in my book, for sure.
Joe Moreland05/18/14
This is well written, and I certainly felt the pain and angst of your MC. In my experience most gossipers do not have the guts to say these things within the subjects hearing, they say it behind their backs. So that part felt a little unreal to me, but, if you had an office full of totally brazenly cruel people, I guess that might be the way it would play out.

It certainly gave me something to think about, so I'm not criticizing how you wrote it at all - your writing was superb and the cruelty made the note at the end all the more impactful.