Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)
TITLE: The Babby's Coming
By Sally Hanan
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As the fog swirled around their emaciated bodies, wisps seemed to curl themselves around Maureen’s fingers, up to her very nails that dug deep into Garret’s palm every three minutes.
“T’wont be much longer Maureen,” her husband whispered in her ear, encouraging her on. “T’wont be much longer.” Maureen arched her back as her belly tightened up for the hundredth time that morning.
Someone had provided a precious sheet to cover Maureen’s legs, and a mother of many knelt before her feet, watching for signs of birth.
“I see her! I see her crown!” The shout rang through the crowd, instantly causing many bodies to move farther away from the birthing trio. Garrett stood up to peer through the hanging sheets of gray fog, and finally he saw her too: the statue recognized by the world as the woman of liberty.
Trembling with excitement, he bent down to Maureen’s protruding belly. “Hey Babby, we’re nearly here!” As if in response, the baby’s foot shifted through her mother’s taut, fragile skin and kicked. Maureen’s weak smile was matched by a huge one from the midwife. She poked Garrett in his leg.
“The babby’s coming, Son. Look!”
Gingerly, Garrett lifted the sheet and watched over the minutes as new life slipped out of its familiar home. Eyes brimming with tears, he waited for the midwife to clear out her mouth before he wrapped the sheet around the warm, wet body and wiped her tiny face. He couldn’t remove his eyes from her, and finally managed to get a few words through his tight throat to his exhausted wife.
“It’s a girl, Pet. What’ll we call her?”
“Maureen lifted up her frame on both elbows to see her daughter. Right behind her husband, coming ever closer toward the boat, was the staunch, proud figure of womanhood - a woman who was gripping, yet offering to share the best a mother could want for her child - the torch of light and truth.
“Prosperity,” she said quietly, and she reached out her arms for her daughter, put her to her breast, and listened joyfully as Prosperity suckled her first drops of sustenance on the shores of the land of plenty.
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