Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: START (02/25/16)
- TITLE: A Vision of Mother
By LeslieJean Anderson
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Finally I calmed down enough to put the top up and lock the doors. I wiped my face, trying to catch my breath and think.
Noticing the lengthening shadows, I made myself get out of the car and put the hood up, indicating engine trouble. Then I got back in to pray.
“God, Please - I need your help again! I needed a safe person to get me to a phone - and fast before it gets dark!”
Safe people were in short supply in my life. I’d been struggling with an abusive ex-husband, and my parents couldn’t help me. They had both passed away, leaving me alone. I especially missed my mother. She always knew what to do. She’d been the rock of the family while my father traveled for his business.
She’d taught me to pray when I was afraid, and I’d been doing that day and night for weeks. That very morning, I thought I’d received an answer. I’d heard a voice in my spirit saying, “Call Aunt Peggy.”
Aunt Peggy was my deceased mother’s sister, but our families had been estranged since I was little. I never knew why. However, as soon as she heard my choked-up voice she insisted that I come to stay with her. I was on my way when the car broke down. Now I was stuck in the middle of nowhere.
Finally, just after the sun slipped behind the trees, a small truck pulled up behind me. I watched as the driver approached. He was middle-aged and I could see fishing poles in the back of his truck.
Trying to appear calm, I managed a smile as I rolled down the window.
“Trouble with your car, Ma’am?” The “Ma’am” was a good sign. Headlights started appearing in the constant flow of traffic.
“I don’t know what happened. Maybe it blew a hose. Do you know about these engines?” I felt better when he nodded and pulled out a flashlight.
While he looked at the engine, I got out of the car. I tried to engage the man in polite conversation. His name was John. He had a family. He seemed mild-mannered. But I smelled alcohol on his breath. Still, I felt no alarm in his presence. So I finally asked him to drive me to the nearest exit with a garage and a mechanic. He agreed.
John took me to Gary’s Garage, owned by his friend. I could see a public telephone, which meant that I would soon be calling my aunt. I was almost safe now. I waved a grateful goodbye to John.
Immediately I tried calling my aunt, but the line was busy.
“We need to get your car off the side of the road, Miss,” said Gary, who was all business. Gritting my teeth nervously, I climbed into Gary’s tow truck. Later, as Gary was unloading my disabled car, I asked him where the nearest motel was.
“The nearest one is 50 miles away, Miss. But my mom lives down the street and she can put you up for the night. She’s done it before for my stranded customers.”
By this time it was after nine o’clock. It looked like I had no other choice. What was I getting myself into now?
“I have to make a phone call first,” I said.
This time the call went through. My aunt asked to speak to Gary, and after a short conversation he gave me a thumbs up and headed off to look at my car. I got back on the phone.
Aunt Peggy sounded just like my mother. “Janie, don’t you worry about a thing now. Your uncle and I will be there in the morning. Gary knows we’re coming. We’ll pick you up at his mom’s house.”
Gary’s mom was in her eighties but she kept her place spotless. Exhausted, I fell into her guest bed. The next morning we chatted pleasantly over breakfast. When the doorbell rang, I ran and opened the door.
Aunt Peggy was standing there smiling, but I was speechless. I thought I was seeing a vision of my mother. It was then that I remembered - she and my mother were identical twins.
I fell into her arms.
747 words Creative non-fiction
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