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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Fulfillment (04/06/06)

TITLE: Wrong Again!
By Shannon Redmon


Little brown eyes peeked around from behind the curtain.

“Betcha’ can’t find me!” The time had arrived for my youngest son to start his hide and seek ritual. I pretended the dark lump disfiguring the curtain couldn’t be seen.

“Where could little Marek be? Is he under the table…no. Is he behind the door? Wrong again. I think I know where he is!”

I rushed over and tickled the curtain. The hidden silhouette collapsed to the floor in a heap of giggles. Marek emerged from his cover and revealed a large smile.

“Mom, have you seen by ‘B’? I can’t find it anywhere.”

The ratty blanket had been my six year old’s companion for sometime. We had tried to talk Marek into giving it up but the blanket won out over the nighttime sobs.

“Have you lost it again? Maybe its time to let it live in the cedar chest with Mommy’s quilts since it keeps disappearing.”

“Not yet mom. I still like to sleep with it.”

“Well, I’m sure it will show up. Keep your eyes open and if you haven’t found it by bedtime I will help you.”

His worried eyes brightened at my promise but the phone rang demanding my attention.

“Hello? Oh, hi Sue... No, I haven’t made a decision about the job offer. My husband and I are still discussing it... I would be glad to let you know something by the end of the week... Okay…you have a good day too. Goodbye.”

My finger tapped the back of the receiver. Thoughts whirled with possibilities…extra money, a stimulating career, interacting with people again.

“Mom, come find me now!”

Marek interrupted my decision making process and curls of hair peeked from behind the bar stools.

“Are you behind the curtain again? Nope. How about inside the cabinet? Wrong again. Wait…I think I see some…”

I reached over and tugged on the unruly strands of hair.

“Ahh, you found me again.”

“Well, I have been playing this game a little longer than you.”

His laughter turned serious as he looked at me.

“Mom, are you going to start your kay-rear again?” I struggled to stifle my giggle at his pronunciation.

“That would be career and Daddy and I are still thinking about it.”

“Can I come with you to work?” The question I contemplated everyday hung between us.

“No, I am afraid you would have to go to school and then grandma would keep you for a few hours until I could pick you up.”

He watched his hands tug at his shoe laces. “Well, why do you want to go to work?”

“It would be fulfilling and a way to earn extra money.”

“Would we still get to play hide and seek?” Worry crinkled the lines in his forehead as he scrunched up his nose.

“Oh…I wouldn’t miss playing hide and seek with you for the world.”

“Great! I am going to go find the best hiding place and you won’t be able to find me this time.”

Marek ran from the room and the pink streaks in the sky announced it was time to prepare dinner. After half an hour of peeling carrots and slicing potatoes, I realized I had never heard the hide and seek trumpet call. The carpet muffled my steps like an Indian hunting in the forest. I searched his bedroom, no sign of Marek. Darkness filled the bathroom and without his blanket, he would never go in there. I proceeded to the master suite and found a new hump under my bedspread.

“Where is Marek?” Could he be in my closet? Nope, not there. How about under my bed?” Wrong again.”

I peeled back the covers and found him curled up asleep with his ratty blanket snuggled close. I sat on the bed and fingered his curls. The answering machine picked up a call.

“Natasha, this is Sue again. We have decided to offer you another five thousand a year and believe this will convince you to take the job. We are looking forward to working with you.”

I eyed the phone. Wrong again.

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This article has been read 1142 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sharon Singley04/13/06
This is just wonderful. You have so accurately portrayed the fulfillment a mother has with her child.
Jan Ackerson 04/14/06
You do a great job with dialog, and the suspense of the missing blanket mirrored the suspense of "take the job or not." Well done!
Sandra Petersen 04/15/06
This was so very sweetly told. Exactly the reason I am a stay-at-home mom. Favorite line: "Maybe its time to let it live in the cedar chest with Mommy’s quilts since it keeps disappearing." I could almost see Marek curled up with his 'B' in Mom and Dad's bed. Loved the repeated refrain of "Wrong again." Really pulled the whole piece together. Thanks for reminding me of why I made the choice I did sixteen or so years ago.
Lynda Schultz 04/15/06
There are lots of things that money can't buy - and this is one of them. Good job.
Donnah Cole04/16/06
You conversational parts are well told. The story is very engaging and endearing. Good job!
Marilyn Schnepp 04/16/06
This beautifully written story shows me just how much I missed; but for some of us there was no choice - either work or starve. But through your story I embraced the thoughts of 'what Might Have Been'...if things had been different. Nice Write and an endearing Read. Thank you.
Linda Germain 04/16/06
How many of us were touched as our hearts and memories automatically zoomed back to our own children and their favorite blankets?
This is a precious and well told story with universal appeal. I had to smile, remembering that my 21 year old son's little long ago blanket lies in the cedar chest in the hall this very moment.I just may have to take a peek and a "smell" again. Those times went way too fast.Thanks for a lovely reminder. :0)
April Bailey04/17/06
Very well written. I was immediately drawn in by the playful game of hide and seek between mother and child. It felt as if I were watching a movie more than reading a story. Loved it!
Beth Muehlhausen04/17/06
Bravo - well done! The relationship comes through loud and clear...so endearing. :-)
Shelley Snyder04/17/06
What an enjoyable story to read. I am not a mother, but the story hit home with me in that I would love to be a SAHM someday. Well done!
Marie Hearty 04/18/06
I absolutely loved your story. As a mother, I can identify. The dialogue was great and I loved little Merek.
Pat Guy 04/19/06
I loved,'...kay-rear'! Too cute!

Welp .. you've done a good job of capturing that deep bond which is priceless.

This could be used as a devotional!
Helen Paynter04/20/06
congratulations on your win
Doug Jenkins04/20/06

Really well done! It is worthy of its accolades and more.

Debbie OConnor04/20/06
Great story, Shannon. You painted the picture well. Congratulations!