Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: FOLD (10/08/15)
TITLE: Back in the Fold
By LeslieJean Anderson
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“Glasses… I need my glasses,” I muttered.
All of a sudden the fuzzy heads began making noises. I saw something that looked like a high five and hands started clapping. Suddenly lips were on my forehead and somebody wriggled my glasses onto my nose.
As I blinked, the heads came into focus and I saw my parents, two doctors, a nurse and a priest. A priest? What for? My parents knew how I felt about those religious parasites.
My mother’s face came into focus as she leaned close to me. “Thank God they found you, Brandon! We have been praying for you all these years. The entire church has too.”
I winced at that, remembering my mother’s insane devotion to church. But she seemed genuinely happy to see me. Maybe she wouldn’t ask about where I’d been.
My father was holding my hand, and blinking hard. “My buddy. My little buddy’s back.”
Suddenly I coughed and felt dizzy. The doctor suggested that my visitors should leave for a while.
“He’s got a long way to go, but he’s breathing on his own now. That is a good sign,” he said.
I closed my eyes and heard the priest mutter a short prayer. Then they were gone and I felt a nurse doing something with my arm. As I drifted off to sleep I wondered if I would ever wake up again.
Much later I did wake up – to the sound of alarms going off in my room. A nurse was yelling. A doctor ripped my sheet off and slammed something into my chest. I drifted off again, but this time I could still see everything. I felt like a floating camera. Four people were bending over a bed while red lights blinked and machines blared. Who was in that bed down there?
Instantly, I found myself in another room - a little chapel. Both my parents were on their knees in front of a large cross. My mother was holding a rosary and my father was hunched over a Bible. There was someone else there too, on her knees. My sister. My older sister, who used to tell me every day how stupid I was. And how stupid our parents were. Now she was crying and praying out loud. I heard her say my name.
For the first time in many years I felt compassion for them. They all seemed to be in such pain. I wanted to comfort them. I moved closer but stopped when I realized they could not see me. Regret washed over me. Suddenly I felt heavy and cold and sensed I was sinking. My spirit cried out, “No! Not yet! I love them!”
I glanced up at the cross and whispered, “Please let me tell them that I love them.”
Suddenly I was back in the hospital room looking up at a grandmotherly nurse.
“What happened?” I mumbled.
“Bad reaction to your meds,” she sighed. “You gave us quite a scare, young man. Upset everybody. Your life is important, you know.”
“It is? To whom?” I really wanted to know.
“To your parents and your sister first of all. They have been by your side 24/7 for two solid weeks. But most of all your life is important to God.”
More of that God talk, I thought. But then I remembered the cross, and I felt warm inside.
Just then the door opened and my sister strode in with my parents behind her.
“Brandon! You’re awake!” she exclaimed. She lifted my hand and kissed it. “Hey Bro – don’t ever leave us again! I prayed that God would find you and save you!”
Suddenly her cell phone went off and she jumped up. “Gotta get this, Bro – it’s the babysitter.”
My parents took her place.
“What’s with Sissy, the wild child,” I asked.
“She’s back in the fold, Darling. She’s happily married now and a prayer warrior at church.”
My dad chimed in, “She says the birth of her first child proved God to her. Your mother and I were so surprised.”
My mother handed my glasses to me and I gazed at my parents in silence for a minute.
“Well, get ready to be surprised again,” I said. “By the way – I love you both. Did you know that?“
749 words This is a work of fiction.
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