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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Mountains (09/20/04)

TITLE: Purple Mountains Majesty
By Marina Rojas


She sat in the backseat of the ’56 Buick morosely quiet. The perfect picture of teenage angst, she was balled up in the corner of the car door, sighing as often as she could muster strength between restrained sobs.

How could they do this to me? She lamented. These people hate me. I was adopted, I know. They just won’t tell me that I’m not really theirs.

If anger could be seen, it would have been a gloomy cloud hanging over her very being. She was so angry; she refused to open her eyes to look at her surroundings.

“Well, Sweetie,” her mother’s voice cheerfully announced, “We’ve left Ohio! There’s the sign, Welcome to Indiana!” She paused for dramatic license. “California, here we come!”

Cathy twisted out of the position she was in, to avoid her mother’s attempt to pat her leg. Jerking herself back into a fetal position as she crammed against the big car’s armrest, she closed her eyes to pretend she wasn’t there.

All she could think of was her friends back in Ohio. They had all just become juniors in high school, and everyone was so excited about the upcoming football games, dances, and parties. What was her parents thinking when they decided to go to California? They had ruined her life!

Sure, her Dad gave them some dumb story about not being able to work construction in the bad weather, but why didn’t he just look for some other kind of work? Why didn’t he just shovel snow? Ohio had plenty of that this time of year. Why didn’t he just look around?

Her thoughts turned into a low whine in her throat. Even her best friend, Bev, had talked to her Mom, and she could have stayed with them to finish out school there. She could come to California afterwards to join the family. But nooooo. These people were so selfish; they couldn’t see what was best for her.

The trip to California lasted forever. As they traversed the infamous Route 66 her mother would read some inane bit of trivia about the state they were “just leaving” or “just heading into”. She would go on and on about the landscape, or the sights along the road.

But Cathy never looked up, refusing to be caught up in this merry adventure that had left her life a shambles. Cathy was going to show them what an awful thing they had done to her, hoping that soon they would turn around and take her back home. Home. Ohio. Ohio was an Iroquois Indian word meaning something great. What was wrong with her parents, leaving something great for California?

She counted the states they crossed, as they drove farther and farther away from home: Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Texas, New Mexico, and then Arizona. All the while, she kept her eyes shut tight, her head down. She refused to look. They couldn’t make her look. They couldn’t make her be happy. Not about this.

At the border of Arizona and California, they were stopped and asked questions by uniformed officers. Her head popped up to listen to what they wanted. Did they know she felt kidnapped, and needed to go home to Ohio?

Oh, no. All they were asking about was stupid fruit and plants. Dad said they were looking for bugs. Hmpf. Big deal California didn’t want them to bring in their Ohio bugs. She laid her head back on the thick upholstery of the Buick’s safety.

Rolling her head she caught a glimpse of something that took her breath away.


Never before had she seen anything so beautiful, so majestic. The mountains were so far away, yet they seemed so close. The clouds in the sky above them afforded a moment of shade that turned their landscape below a deep purple. Purple mountains majesty. She realized how overcome with awe the author must have been when he wrote those words.

Becoming spellbound by the huge desert mountain range her thoughts turned to God for the very first time in her life.

These mountains make every thing else look tiny. God must be very big. He must be an incredible artist to be able to create something so magnificent.

She fell in love with the mountains that very moment. She vowed to never leave them. Later in life, she fell in love with their Creator, who vowed He’d never leave her.

Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Malley09/27/04
Very nice story. Thanks for the message that God will never leave us.
John Hunt09/27/04
Nice stories. Sometimes the best experiences in life are the ones that we didn't look forward to.
L.M. Lee09/27/04
man you captured the heart of a teenager perfectly in this piece. I loved the closing.
Norma OGrady09/28/04
Yeshua bless
Carol Shaffron09/28/04
This is a very creative story with a nice surprising ending---isn't it just like God to give us a lift after we've acted like such selfish little brats? Very, very realistic. I can see my own attitude in Cathy when at times things don't go My way...then God steps in and I feel so silly for how resistant I was
Excellent story! It kept my attention all the way through and i loved the ending as well.
Hope Horner10/02/04
Great story. I could really feel the difference betweeen Cathy's anger and her mom's cheerfulness. The mountains are one thing that I love about California, too. How neat that they can be a reminder of God's majesty. Keep writing and God bless.
Lucian Thompson10/02/04
Marina, Very well told story!