Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: SURPRISE (07/25/19)
TITLE: A Stormy Green Sky
By Debra Hindman
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Kathy, jolted from the bedroom where she had been studying her dictionary, pressed her pretty freckled nose against the front room window, as she and little brother, Keith, caught Momma scurrying across the newly seeded front lawn, to meet with neighbor Janet in the middle of the street. Jostling chubby baby boys on a hip, both mommas shouted over the blasting tornado sirens, pointing excitedly towards the dark green sky. The daddies were at work.
Daddy said green is the color of life. Doesnt much look like life in the sky right now, mused Kathy. A twister can be hiding, in a dark green sky, Daddy had instructed her.
Fat raindrops splashed on Mommas white ruffled blouse, as she darted back towards their new home. Kathy, a wary eye on the storm, recalled how last year Momma had persuaded Daddy to make the move from his hometown, a small farming community, to a bigger town, an hours drive from Daddys ornery cousins, who were always persuading Daddy to go to their family-owned smoke-filled beer joint on Main Street, on Friday nights, without Momma. Kathy wasnt surprised when she had overheard Momma putting her foot down to Daddy about moving, and a job transfer.
The change brought some of what Momma was looking for, not all. She spoke about going to church, which she had done as a child. Kathy often heard Mommas tearful prayers for Daddy while she sat at the kitchen table sipping her morning java, Mommas word for coffee. Daddy was not interested in church.
Fridays soon became family drive-in movie nights, where they watched Rock Hudson and Doris Day on the big screen, while eating hotdogs, and drinking pop in cold glass bottles in the backseat of their new white Pontiac Tempest, which had not yet found its way to Sunday school.
Grab your Barbies, Kathy, Momma cried to her eldest, interrupting Kathys reverie. Hurry Keith, get your Lincoln Logs, we are riding with Janet and her kids to her moms house in Careyville. Bertie has a basement.
Kathy, dictionary in hand, Momma holding the curly-haired blonde baby and diaper bag, and little Keith clinging tightly to his cherished tall round, warn container of logs, raced to Janets car. Passing wheat fields and over train tracks, they soon arrived at Berties house, where they were pushed by the oppressive sky and blasting sirens to the safety of the houses basement in the little salt mining community.
Silver-haired Bertie offered cold bottles of pop to the thirsty travelers. Kathy tucked her long legs under her as she plopped on an old worn couch. Thoughtfully, she exchanged her dictionary for another book lying near a bright green ceramic lamp on the end table, a childrens illustrated Bible with worn pages. Mommas like-new Bible is on the top shelf of the hall closet, and no one reads it, she mused, while listening as Bertie told Momma about her little white-steepled church, just around the corner, offering a childrens choir, and Sunday school. Perhaps we could all walk over for a tour after the rain, Bertie coaxed.
Kathys attention turned to her reading. Hoping the sky would soon clear, she pondered the Word before her.
Storm sirens completing their duty, the mommas each breathed a sigh of relief as light poured through the small basement windows. Lukewarm java, and sticky glazed donuts left unfinished on the yellow chrome table, babies on hips, the mommas headed upstairs to surmise the color of the sky.
Sliding her tortoise shell glasses up her freckled face, Kathys heart beat faster as an unfamiliar flow of words touched her heart. Who is this Light and Life called Jesus, she wondered? She flipped through the pages: what is the salt of the earth? Suddenly, Momma hollered downstairs, All clear! The storm has ended, kiddies, come on up!
Stepping happily into the sunshine, Bertie led the walk, whispering faith-filled words from her seasoned heart. The little family, chased to her by a sudden, ominous stormy green sky, filed happily down the narrow sidewalk, while Bertie breathed a quick prayer for her unexpected visitors, Let Sunday bring us all together again in the little white church. Not surprisingly, ever full of hope, she just knew it would be so.
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