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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Joy (05/18/06)

By Mary Alice Bowles



Atwood Illinois, August 15, 1965

My name is Anna. I cannot tell you my real name or the name of the state, because in the year of 1965, my dad became the governor of that state.

That particular Saturday morning, I sat looking out the window, feeling a little sick to my stomach.
I watched as a strange red Cadillac pulled up in front of my house. I had never seen anything like it before. A man jumped out of the driver’s seat with a long black coat on and black leather gloves to match. It was like a scene from a Pink Panther movie.

He came to the door and rang the bell. Mom screamed from the kitchen, “Anna, can you please get that”? I answered the door and there he stood, perched like a living statue. He reached out his hand to me quickly and said, “Hi, my name is Paul and I am lost, can you please give me the directions on how to get to Bentwood"? I reached out to shake his hand and said, “Wait just a minute let me go get my mother. She knows every town around here”!

As I was speaking, I was waiting for him to turn my hand loose, but he never did, instead he quickly took my other hand in his and clamped a pair of handcuffs over my other hand. I started screaming, but no one came to help, not even my own mother came out of the kitchen.

I was in so much shock and disbelief at the next thing he did; he took me by both shoulders and led me toward the car. After he shoved me in the back seat of the Cadillac, a woman was waiting for me who then lowered a red handkerchief over my face and eyes and told me in a very gruff voice, “don’t worry Anna, we are not going to hurt you!

It seemed like we drove forever, but I guess it wasn’t, because only a period of about an hour passed before the drive was over. After we got there, the woman took the blind-fold off, I looked around and we were in a deep deep forest and a tall red building loomed to the left against the blue of the summer skies.

They escorted me inside the building where I met a woman named Cicely.
She said, “Hi Anna, my name is Sister Cicely and this is a home for unwed mothers. You will be staying with us for the next seven months. She took me to my room all made up with blues and pinks with pictures of little lambs and tigers all over the wall.

On March 10, 1966, I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl. The nurse said, “What will be this ones name”? I Said, “Joy Angel, I will call her Joy Angel.” After naming her, I was forced to sign the papers to give her away.

Years passed I grew up and married a wonderful man; we bought a country home just on the outskirts of Atwood. We raised two wonderful sons, and then I became the grandmother of a baby boy, but no matter how many baby’s I held in my arms they still ached for Joy Angel. My heart cried out daily.

In the summer of 2000, my husband came in and said, “Looks like we have some new neighbors up the road on the old Bowman farm”.

The very next day I went with my two home made pies to welcome our new neighbors.
I was amazed at the way that place had changed, there were flowers in every corner and little angels waving to me from every nook and cranny of that yard.

I rang the door bell and stood waiting for the new woman of the house to answer my call.
Finally the door opened and I looked into the face of loveliness. She was too pretty for words and those two little girls hanging on to her skirt was a scene right out of Woman’s Day Magazine.

I said, “Why hello there, my name is Anna Nicole Martin and I’m the neighbor just three miles up the road. I come to welcome you to our neighborhood”! Her smile invaded my thoughts and she said, “Why I am so glad to finally see a human face, my name is Joy Angel Morton and these are my baby girls, Megan and Tiffany.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Carla Feagans05/25/06
Hmmm, let me first say I really liked this story and the writing overall was very good.

However, I found several things a little "off" or disconcerting. First, it begins with a precise location and "My name is Anna", then immediately says you can't tell the real name or location. That tripped me up a little, it might have been better just to say "I'll call myself Anna" or something like that (then again, maybe it's just me).

The beginning and the way it was written, through the abduction, made me think it was a little girl, so I was startled to find out she was pregnant and had to go back and reread it.

The second half seemed to have a lot more typos/grammar errors, seemed a little hurried.

I liked the phrase "...tall red building loomed to the left against the blue of the summer skies", but then when I noticed it was in a deep, deep forest, I thought you probably wouldn't see the blue skies much for the trees.

Also, I thought it was strange that the two last names at the end were so similar, Martin and Morton.

Again, overall - great story and good job writing it, but these few things did trip me up a bit.
Mary Alice Bowles11/22/08
Thank you Carla for blessing me with your comments.

Ever simce this message, I have been been watching all my
typos/grammar,,,,I try my best to watch all the errors.

I will always remember the things you said, and I hope I have improved on all my things you said was wrong.

I love writing and I have now published three books and all the feedback here on Faithwriters helped me, because every time I start to do something wrong, I hear your voices.

May God watch over and keep you in his love...

Thank you all so very much!

Mary Alice Bowles