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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Spring (as in the season) (11/28/05)

TITLE: Spring's Ending
By Allison Millward
12/04/05


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Mai had left behind a fine Spring to fly to her son Tien. It had been a Spring of hope and had meant so much to the whole family.

It had seemed as if there was a new plea to spare her son's life as each tree blossomed. The sweet smelling Spring blossoms - how sweet it would be for a victory to come from all the protests. Then, as each bee stung at the flowers to source the nectar, there were stings and blows to Mai as each plea failed. Tien would die by hanging in twenty-four hours....he was a drug courier - the worst of crimes in this overseas land.

Mai had one last request before she spent her last hours with Tien - she had asked the authorities to allow her to hold her son...this had never been allowed to anyone before this. While she waited for the answer, she spent the time in prayer at the small local church. She took a small amount of comfort from knowing that Tien had accepted Jesus some time ago. She prayed that she would be allowed to hold him for the last time, but it was not long before she was told that her request had been denied.

Arriving back at the prison to spend the last hours with Tien, she noticed that his smile was wider. He was so calm. As she sat in front of the thickened glass partition, the guard behind Tien pointed toward the small opening at the bottom of the window. Tien lifted the normally locked, small door. Mai looked at the guard with unbelieving eyes - he just smiled and nodded. God answers all prayers...in His own way, and in His own time.

Mai reached her small, soft and trembling hands through the opening - gently touching Tien for the first time in years..and now, for the last time. As he leaned lower and closer, Mai was able to touch his now tear-stained face. Only a mother would understand what Mai was feeling and thinking.

After much talking and tears, the guard indicated that time was almost up. Tien whispered: "Mama, tell me again how Spring was when you left home..then I want you to go...just turn away and leave."

Mai began by telling him how all the climbing roses had begun to produce tiny new, green leaves; how all the new vegetable plants had begun to sprout. They laughed together as she reminded Tien that the possums running across the roof were getting annoying..as usual at this time of year; and his most least favourite loud bird was nesting in the tree outside his bedroom window..again!

Squeezing each others hands one last time, Mai began to stand up as she continued. "Everything was waking up son. So many tiny buds waiting for the sun's rays to burst them open with its warmth; birds flying so freely looking for their mate....everything glistened in the morning dew - that is how Spring was when I left................" Her voice broke off as she whispered, "Goodbye my son."

"My last Spring Mama - just for now," she heard Tien call as she went through the doorway.

Tien had made his peace with God. He believed that he was going to a new home; that like the new beginnings Spring brings in nature, he was going to his new beginning. He had learnt that each new day with God in his life brought seasons of change within him. He knew that he could face his punishment with the faith that, although we reap what we sow, God is always there to forgive us when we go in repentance to Him, having truly seen the error of our ways.

Back home, right on time, twenty-five church bells echoed out through the streets....One bell for each of Tien's years - he was gone.


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This article has been read 631 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Christine Rhee12/05/05
Heart-gripping!!
James Clem 12/06/05
Yes, a little too real.
Jan Ackerson 12/07/05
Beautifully written.
Marilyn Schnepp 12/09/05
A very touching story; and if "true"...a sad one. Saw a couple of flaws (learned instead of "learnt", etc) but otherwise well written. Good job...and kept the interest of the Reader throughout. Thanks for sharing. God Bless