Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Don't Cut off Your Nose to Spite Your Face" (without using the actual phrase or litera (02/14/08)
TITLE: A Sterile Graveyard
By Debbie Roome
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A masked figure appears briefly, contempt reflected in steely eyes. “We’ll be with you in a minute.”
I know what he’s thinking. Another stupid teenager. Another young girl with no morals or common sense.
A sob breaks from a salty reservoir, trickling onto stiff, surgical sheets as I gaze into the glare of halogen lamps.
“Where are you, God?” I beg for a response. “Are you up there? Do You exist? Do you care about me?”
Thoughts swarm like angry bees:
“Catch the bus home, Lisa. Don’t walk through the park.” Why hadn’t I listened to Mom? Why was I so arrogant as to think this couldn’t happen?
He had appeared from nowhere. A shadow with a grip of iron, dragging me through damp undergrowth, branches whipping my face, twigs scraping and bruising as he hurled me to the ground. The horror of that night remains. A raw wound, festering and suppurating with every breath I take. It feels like I haven’t slept for months and my family are concerned and troubled. I can only imagine their pain if I tell them the truth. If I tell them I’m carrying the child of a rapist.
My hands caress the gentle swell that I disguise with baggy clothes; the thickening that is becoming more prominent by the day. I wish I could be sure I’m doing the right thing. Will I really be happier without this uninvited stranger? Without this being who only offers nausea, fatigue and shame?
The door whooshes open and a snatch of song penetrates my grey tomb.
“Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.”
The pro-lifers are proclaiming hope and their words pierce my soul. They were clustered on the lawn as I entered the clinic. A motley collection of humanity with gentle eyes and a firm message. Their placards seem engraved on my heart.
Life is sacred
Don’t do this to yourself
Abortion destroys two lives not one
God cares about both of you
We can help
Two masked figures approach and my gut lurches with the finality of the moment. “Who is right, God? Do You care about me, about this unborn child?” Google pages run through my mind: Images of dismembered babies sucked and scraped from the womb. Pictures of burnt and battered bodies spread on surgical trays. Story after story of emotional pain and grief, even from those who were convinced that abortion was their answer. Do I want to inflict wound upon wound? Cause further damage to my body and soul by blotting out this life?
It’s as though a shaft of sunshine illuminates the room. A ray of God’s perfect love, opening my eyes, penetrating my blindness.
I throw the sheet from my legs and scramble off the table. “I’m not ready. I don’t want to do this.” They reach out gloved hands to grab me, to restrain me and pull me back but I’m already through the door.
The doctor barges in as I’m pulling my clothes on. I can see he’s annoyed, his eyes glinting like knife blades, his tone angry. “Don’t be silly, Leigh. Come back and let us do the procedure. It’s the easiest answer to your problem.”
“It’s Lisa, Doctor and it’s not the easiest answer. In the long run, it’s actually the most damaging. I’m sorry for wasting your time.”
I walk towards the pro-lifers, my hands cradling the life within. It’s not going to be easy but I will find the best way for both of us. A woman breaks away from the group and comes to meet me, her eyes welcoming, her hands extended. “I’ve changed my mind.” I whisper as she embraces me. “Will you help me?”
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