Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Write for the ACTION and/or ADVENTURE Genre (11/13/14)
- TITLE: Beauty for Ashes
By NNEAMAKA NZERIBE
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She stood there, watching her mother and wondering as she always did about her dad and how he continuously mistreated her mum. Her mother, who was once a pretty lady, now looked twice her age while her dad looked more like a younger brother than her husband. Blessing quietly reached out to her mum and then she heard it “Hide and take your younger ones with you, now!!!”
Immediately she sprinted off to do as she was told, as soon as she opened the door, she sighted a man dressed completely in black, she tried to change directions but instead she got a slap that took her flying against the wall. She reached for her face as she saw four more figures all dressed in black. She felt the wetness and knew she had urinated on herself. Blessing knew she was experiencing a new kind of fear.
She had not noticed before but her father lay helplessly; hands and legs bound together, he looked so weak and defenceless. She might have felt pity or fear for him but at that point she only felt disappointment. She recalled her mother’s word of wisdom “Prayer changes things” and she prayed like never before.
At that moment in a state of panic, as I watched him he opened his mouth almost inaudibly at first and said the words that my mum had always wanted to hear; “I am sorry” he repeated it twice before she heard and understood him. A little smile formed as Blessing remembered her memory verse for today Romans 8:28a “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God”
My mum just kept staring at him devoid of all form of emotions from the doorway, at that moment I knew that if anything happens to any of her children she would never forgive him. I started sweating profusely but Gods promise in Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding” kept me from screaming as I rested in my trust for God.
Beauty my 3 year old sister gently opened the door. I tried to tell her to go back in, but she ignored me as always and went straight to one of the men and said “Uncle” and tried to hug him. I screamed “Beauty, No!!!” but it was too late. My mum ran out at that moment and began to cry and beg “Please, do not hurt her, she is just a child”
The man grabbed Beauty roughly and left, a stifled cry escaped from my mum but the gun pointed directly at her kept her quiet. After over an hour of ransacking, and grabbing all available valuables, they were finally ready to leave; but Beauty was nowhere in sight.
Our Beauty stood in front of the door, munching sweetly on a pack of chocolates, oblivious of the panic she had caused everyone. She smiled sweetly at us, my mum just held her close not wanting to let go. The question on my mind remained which “Uncle” but I knew the answer already. We would never know because to Beauty everybody was an Uncle, Aunty, Mum or Dad, finally I started laughing and everyone joined in on the laughter. We really did not want to know or did we?
I was so grateful to God because it had been exactly 2 years, 2 months, 3 weeks, 5 days, and 15 hours since we talked, played, and laughed like a real family. I knew because I was so sure that days like this were ahead of us and kept count of the days. We were experiencing his beauty for our ashes in the most unusual way.
That night we all slept together on the same bed, holding each other and reflecting on the ordeal we had just gone through and how God had kept us safe especially Beauty. We appreciated God again and again and prayed as a family. Blessing was elated because she knew her earnest prayer had just been answered by God.
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