Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: The Pen is Mightier than the Sword (04/08/10)
- TITLE: Parallel Universe
By Rikki Akeo
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Diane was preparing dinner for her family when she overheard the evening news report.
"In other news, the body of a newborn baby boy was discovered along Highway 395, stuffed inside a duffel bag. We will update you as more information becomes available."
Oh God, Diane gasped. Why would anyone do such a horrible thing?
As days passed, Diane's mind refused to be comforted. Rage clouded her ability to think rationally until she was reminded to overcome evil with good.
"I would like to claim his body and give him a decent burial," Diane said to the coroner.
"…and you are?"
"A concerned citizen."
"Right. Right. Listen, lady. There's a lot of red tape involved. We need to know who you are and your motivation. You'll have to be cleared by the detectives on this case and…"
"I'm not making it hard on purpose, ma'am. It's not everyday that an interested party isn't somehow mixed up in the case and becomes the suspect."
"Just tell me what I need to do. I've nothing to hide."
She named him Jeremiah, meaning God will raise up or set free. His grave marker looked like a crib mobile with all the things that dangled from it.
Within days, the coroner called Diane for two more babies that suffered similar fate. She named one Isaiah- found in a dumpster at only two days old, and the other, Rebeka, whose two-year-old body was found washed ashore along the beach.
Diane funded an area within the cemetery to these little ones and chose "The Garden of Angels" for the name of their final resting place.
Eventually, Diane's Garden grew to over fifty marble headstones. Fifty discarded lives at the hands of their parent who was supposed to love and protect them. Diane struggled with the rage that had tormented her with Jeremiah. It wasn't enough to bury them. She sought the Lord’s guidance.
"Each one of your children I have wrapped in cloth and carried to their cement box. Each child I have embraced although they have no breath. Help me, Lord. Lead the way."
Diane had a thought. "What if these mother's could legally abandon their babies, retain their secret, and their newborns could live?"
Diane set about writing a law that would accomplish her thought. Tirelessly, she plucked away at the computer keys until the final draft was complete.
The Safe Surrender Law was enacted in 2001.
Lorena sat below the street light of the abandoned park when she felt the warmth of liquid seeping down her thighs. She read somewhere that she could leave her baby at the fire station with no questions asked…
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