Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: PUZZLE (11/24/16)
TITLE: Finding Meaning in the Challenge
By Ken Grant
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"Got it!" She exclaimed with joy as she placed the object down and completed the picture before her.
She continued to stare at the beautiful panorama that lay before her. It reminded her of a time when she was a little girl and the world had been so shiny and new. She felt a small tear fall on her left cheek, but it was a tear of joy, not of sadness.
"Did you finish, mom?"
Carolyn felt a hand on her left shoulder and she turned to look at a kind face. She studied her features which seemed so familiar and yet not. Strangely they reminded her of herself at a younger age. Through the fog she remembered that the woman had called her 'mom' and that must be true. She had to be a mother and this woman must be her daughter and that was a good thing.
"May I have another beautiful picture to put together?"
"Of course, mom. You liked this one?"
"Oh, I did. I liked it very much. It was difficult, but I finished it."
"Would you like an easier one?"
"Oh, no. I like this kind just fine."
"I'll get you another."
"Thank you so much."
Annette, Carolyn's daughter, stepped outside of the room and began to walk toward the closet where the puzzles were kept. She watched with fascination as some of the other denizens moved about their various activities. Some seemed better than her mom, but many did not. She opened the closet, chose a picture that she thought her mom would like, and headed back to her room.
"Don't do that young man."
Her mom's voice carried well into the hall and Carolyn hurried her steps. She stepped into the room and saw her mother and brother staring at each other like two bulls ready to charge at one another.
"What's going on here?" She asked no one in particular.
"I just tried to take her completed picture away?" Her brother replied.
"Because she's done with it."
"Did she say that?"
Her brother's reply was a look that could kill before he stomped out of the room without a word.
"Who was that?" Her mother asked.
"He doesn't act like my son."
"I agree. I'm sorry. Here's a new picture."
"Thank you. You are very kind. Did you say you are my daughter?"
"I believe that. You have kind eyes."
Carolyn watched her mother get to work on a new picture before slowly stepping out of the room. She closed the door carefully and turned almost into her brother.
"I've had enough of her."
"She didn't do anything wrong. You were trying to take her picture away."
"It's a simple picture. It's made for a child."
"It's everything to her. Don't you get that?" It brings her joy."
"How can something so simple bring her joy?"
"Does it matter?"
"I suppose not. I just never expected this."
"I didn't either, but it's what we have to deal with. I thank God every day for that closet over there. Those pictures are keeping my mom alive."
Her brother is quiet for a while before saying, "I have to go now. Are you coming?"
"I'll be right along."
She watches her brother walking out before turning back to her mom's room. She walks in the room and stands watching her mother putting another picture together. She looks so content. The pictures give her a purpose and that is everything.
"Thank you God," She whispers before stepping out with a smile on her face and just a little hope in her heart.
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