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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)

TITLE: The Babby's Coming
By Sally Hanan


The couple huddled together on the deck floor of the creaking steamship, eyes straining … waiting. A small crowd had gathered with them, all bodies tilting from left to right together with the rise and swell of the tide.

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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This article has been read 1479 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Trina Courtenay05/18/06
Hook, line and winner in my books. Drew me in to the very last line. Simply loved this story.
Jessica Schmit05/18/06
I agree. Superbly written. Right on topic. I'm thinking you're American. Good job.
dub W05/19/06
Pretty good piece. Watch the pronoun reference.
Kenny Blade05/19/06
Good piece. It was a very visual story and with the word count you used, that is quite a compliment. Excellent
Amy Michelle Wiley 05/22/06
I love it. Beautiful story.
Jan Ackerson 05/22/06
I particularly enjoyed the double meaning in "I see her crown!" Well done and very atmospheric--as the grandchild of two who made just such a journey, I loved this little historical snippet.
Phyllis Inniss05/22/06
Love it. Very vivid and warm. Your telling of it was great.
Anita Neuman05/23/06
"I see her crown" - that cracked me right up! Great job on this story - touching, humourous, and spot-on with the topic.
Valora Otis05/23/06
I'm nearly speechless...WOW! I savored every single word. Now this is prosperity! Bless you!
Dr. Sharon Schuetz05/23/06
This was a great historical piece. Very believable. Loved it.
Maxx .05/23/06
Very well written, very polished, great scene, good timing. All good! The only nit pick ... you used the word bodies 3 times and body once. Expand your word choices a bit and this would be perfect. Excellent writing and could be a winner!
Linda Watson Owen05/23/06
This is great!! Love the play on words...crown, sheets. This is pure poetry for sure. Just delightful...pulls at the heartstrings!
Joanne Malley05/24/06
I really enjoyed the simplicity of this story, yet it's overflowing with originality. It leads to the slightest indication of prosperity, yet packs a big punch at the end. Very well done in such a few amount of words! Good job, Sally. :) Jo
Venice Kichura05/24/06
Wow! This is excellent!
Beth Muehlhausen05/24/06
Patriotic, riveting, hopeful, futuristic....can't begin to pin down the adjectives that come to mind! Well done!
Rita Garcia05/25/06
Delightful, heartwarming, great entry!!