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

TITLE: Tracey's treasure
By Karen Ward


“I won’t do it!”

Glass shattered in every direction as the rock that Cole had thrown hit its mark.

“Now look what you’ve done! You are going straight to your room and not coming out until dinner!”

Cole’s face was fierce. He swung his fists wildly towards his mother as she came towards him prepared to manhandle him to his room for time out.

Later that night on the phone to her own mother, Tracey voiced her worst fears. “Maybe there really is something wrong with him. Maybe it’s a mental illness, maybe he’s allergic to something, or maybe it’s just because I’m a bad mother. Mum, I don’t know what to do. I’ve tried everything I can think of, and he just won’t stop.”

“Have you thought about trying a counselor? He has been through a lot, with the divorce, moving schools…”

“He’s seen the school counselor, doesn’t seem to have made an ounce of difference.”

“Are you being consistent with him?”

“I’m trying Mum, it’s not easy when you’re by yourself you know.”

After hanging up, Tracey’s thoughts continued…

I’m sure Mum thinks it’s my fault. Maybe she’s right. I thought getting married and having a baby would be the highlight of my life, now I’m divorced and Cole is on the road to who knows where. He’s only 8! What am I going to do if this doesn’t just go away?


The crowd was larger than she had expected.

“And finally, announcing the winner of this year’s Real Estate Institute of Australia’s award for the Residential Salesperson of the Year, Tracey Greenshaw.”

As Tracey confidently shook the president’s hand, and received her trophy, she felt as if the world had slowed to a halt.

All these people think this is a big deal. It should be a big deal, but it doesn’t mean anything to me right now. I’ve never been so numb in all my life. Not even when the police came and told me about Cole. Nothing matters. Nothing seems important. Just keep smiling Tracey, then at the end of the day you can go home to your bourbon.

She smiled, and the crowd saw only an attractive, successful career woman. They knew nothing of the struggles she had faced to get there, nor of the battle currently raging within.


A sparrow landed on the windowsill, and Tracey watched it with joy as she repositioned the crocheted rug on her knee.

Lord, we’ve come a long way, and I sense you’ll soon be calling me home. I want to come Lord! Heaven is a much greater prospect than this, even though you’ve given me so much to be thankful for. I still can’t believe I wasted so much of my life trying to find fulfillment in people and things. Only you have been the answer to my longings Lord. Only you have satisfied the desperation within. How would my life have been different if I’d discovered that treasure sooner? I know Lord, your timing, not mine - but recovery and rebirth at age fifty five? Surely I could have gotten to know you sooner and saved a lot of heartache?

She felt her heart pounding fiercely in her chest, and knew that her time had come, but rather than the fear that had permeated the first half of her life, as she faced her maker, she knew only contentment.

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This article has been read 1178 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Debbie OConnor04/13/06
I like this story, but I think I would have liked it more as one continuous story rather than three vignettes of Tracy's life. Great message.
Ann Darcy04/13/06

I agree with Deborah, I think I might have been more attached to Tracey if it had all been one continuous story. Great message, thanks so much for sharing it!
Alexandra Wilkin04/13/06
I liked the way you handled the little windows into the different stages of Tracey's life... but what happened with Cole? God bless.
Suzanne R04/14/06
I liked the way you built the concept of fulflment into each stage of her life, showing that all she thought would fulfil her didn't ... and when in the eyes of the world there was nothing left, she was finally fulfilled. Well done!
Marilyn Schnepp 04/15/06
I was very disappointed in the unfulfilled finish. What happened to Cole? The writer brought him up to lure this Reader into reading the story...then left me hanging - cheated of fulfillment. Oh well; surely I will find fulfillment in one of these 200 some entries! Oh, by the way...nice story, well written, just not fulfilling enough for this particular "pickie-unish" type reader.
Jan Ackerson 04/17/06
I'd be especially interested in knowing what happened between vignette #2 and #3. We understand why Cole turned out the way he did, because you gave us hints earlier, but we don't really know what circumstances changed Tracie's heart. Just a sentence or a hint would be enough...The writing here is very engaging, especially in the first third. I could feel Tracie's frustration, and she was a very realistically written character. Splendid story.
terri tiffany04/17/06
I think this was well written. I did find myself wondering why so many years in between and was left hanging somewhat with her life.
Beth Muehlhausen04/18/06
Interesting...very interesting...although I agree that I'd like some more threads to tie this all together. Still a thought-provoking read, and being a little older than what was portrayed in the last vignette...well, it definitely made me THINK. :-)
Christine Miles02/16/08
Kaz, I dare you to write a 100-word vignette to go between the second and third one.