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Previous Challenge Entry
Topic: Rejoicing (11/22/04)

TITLE: Sarah Come Home
By Deborah Anderson


Sarah was the youngest of our five little ones. Her golden, blonde hair accented her round, hazel eyes. She was beautiful. She was of a small frame since she was only seven, yet still acted quite the lady. Sarah had a gentle spirit, but was a loner. She always stuck close to my husband and me. That’s why we became so alarmed the day she disappeared.

“Honey, have you seen Sarah?” I asked my husband.
“No, I thought she was with you,” he said.

She was usually under foot with one of us. I knew I hadn’t seen her for a bit. I always paid close attention, but it was hard keeping up with her, and her siblings, too. I needed extra hands as it was. I decided to look around the house. Mom was in the living room. I checked there first, thinking she might be with her. She loved sitting with Mom.

“Mom, have you seen Sarah?” I was trying to keep my composure. Sarah was Mom’s baby.
“No, what’s wrong?” she asked.
“Nothing’s wrong, Mom. I’m just looking for her.”

I looked everywhere, and still couldn’t find her. Something didn’t feel right. I was beginning to panic. By now, my husband had gone outside, looking.

I walked into our foyer in the center of the house, and yelled, “Sarah, come here, now!” I rarely hollered at her. She had such a sensitive spirit, so she would know I meant business. Her brothers and sisters heard the fear in my voice. They began crying. There was still no sight of her. We all began wailing and calling for Sarah. A few moments later, my husband came back inside.

“Did you have any luck?” he asked. He was breathless.
“No,” I cried. I ran into my husband’s arms.
“Where can she be?”
“Honey, she’s fine,” he said.
“But she’s never been out on her own like the others. She has to be terrified,” I cried.
“God will help us find her,” he said.

We decided to take our search to the streets.

“Mom, keep an eye on the others,” I said. Mom looked up at me in tears.
“Do you think she’s hurt?”
“I don’t know, Mom.” It was all I could do, to keep from breaking in front of her.

Tom and I grabbed our keys and bolted outside. I took the car and he took the truck. We began driving up and down every street in our neighborhood. I could hear my husband’s voice echo a block away as he called for Sarah. My heart wrenched. By now, the sun had started to set. We arrived back in our driveway close to the same time. We went back inside to check on Mom and the others.

“Did you find her?” Mom asked. The expression on my face told her everything. Her bottom lip began quivering. “We’ll find her, Mom,” I said.

Tom and I walked back outside and stood on the driveway. Tom raised his arm and pointed. “You go that way and I’ll go this way,” he said. We hugged each other and parted ways.

It was now dark. As I walked, I talked out loud to God through my sobs.

“Father, I can’t bear to lose Sarah. Please, bring her home safely. You know where she is. You can send your spirit where I cannot go. Please, Father, please." I looked up and saw a family with their children, gathered around a table on their deck. I hadn’t seen them sitting there. They had apparently been observing me having my conversation with God the whole time. It didn’t matter. I was desperate.

I turned the corner two blocks away from our house. Off in the distance, I heard my husband’s voice.

“Deb, she’s back!” he yelled. I gasped. Was I hearing things?
“Did you hear me?” It was his voice again.
“I hear you!” I shouted. I took off running. Tears were streaming down my face. I was rejoicing. I nearly fell down coming up the driveway. My husband was waiting for me.

“Where is she?”
“In the house, honey,” he said. I ran inside. Sitting before me, was my beautiful little girl.
“Oh thank you, Father,” I cried. I reached down sobbing and picked up Sarah.
“Where have you been young lady?” I inquired. She didn’t say a word. She simply nuzzled up against me and purred softly. Her paws flexed in and out against my shoulder. My cat had come home.

Member Comments
Member Date
Lynda Lee Schab 11/29/04
HA! You got me! I was all prepared to leave you feedback about my own son and how we searched everywhere for him in a panic, only to find him sound asleep in his wagon in the garage. I was right there with you and felt your fear...your panic... LOL
I love twists and this was definitely a good one! Great job!
Love, Lynda
Lucian Thompson11/29/04
Wooo…what a twist. You had me going all the way. So funny! Great job of building suspense.
darlene hight11/29/04
This was great! I
thoroughly enjoyed it!Of course I too am a cat person.
Karen O'Leary11/29/04
Good story with a surprise ending. I enjoyed it. Thank you for sharing this.
John Hunt11/29/04
Heh heh.
Very clever, you got me too.
Nicely done.
Joanne Malley11/30/04
Hmmm, I see you fooled quite a few people! Happy endings are the best after a rollercoaster ride of emotions...great story.
Norma OGrady11/30/04
Great story telling!
Lois Jennison Tribble12/01/04
In the steps of O. Henry. Great job, Deborah!
Debbie OConnor12/02/04
Oh that was mean! I hung on every word thinking it was your daughter. I'm laughing now. A wonderful writing job with a great twist. Excellent.
Sandra Clayton12/03/04
A good story, making a great point!
Linda Germain 12/05/04
Good Job, Deb! This old mother was sputtering because you were wasting precious time and not calling the police! LOL. This is a real "gotcha" .Been there, done that with the kitties...gotta love 'em. :0) ~LG~
Phyllis Inniss12/06/04
Tears came to my eyes because I thought Sarah was your daughter. Lovely twist. Glas you got her back.