Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Lock (03/06/06)
TITLE: RIBBONS AND CHAINS
By Teresa Hollums
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The voices from the other rooms came with repetitive consistency:
“Honey, could you deposit this check in the bank and take my pants to the cleaners?”
“Oh, yeah, mom, I also need you to call my scout leader and tell him I forgot that I had to stay after school to work on a group project. Say, that reminds me—I also need some poster board to us with the project.”
“Mom, if you are going to the store, I need some more writing paper. And I really would like some of that glowing ink that Sue has, too.”
An insistent ringing interrupted any other requests. She stopped cleaning the dishes long enough to answer, “Hello, Judy, this is just Mary reminding you to bring a dish for the church social tonight.”
“What are you bringing?” Judy asked.
“Oh, how about you’re bringing your famous chocolate cake?” Judy suggested.
After a minute’s hesitation due to her trying to find when in her schedule she could fit in buying the special chocolate from a grocery store, she answered, “I’ll try hard. It may be hard to fit all that in with some other stuff, but—I’ll try.”
And the requests seemed to continue to come. The woman looked longingly at her computer and checked her watch for even 20 minutes to just write a friend or check e-mail. She recalled her friend, Jolene, had asked if there were a time they could just go eat lunch. How she would have loved to have just been able to not check with anyone. The daydream of freedom floated tantalizingly in front of her nose. But as hard as she tried, her family’s requests, the church needs, even her own wish for freedom to do as she pleased seemed to all form just links in a chain to bind her spirit tighter and tighter to earth and reality of demands.
Suddenly the world seemed overwhelming and a tiny tear formed in her eye. It gained momentum as it flowed down and her longing to be free formed a piercing wedge in her soul.
Quietly, a tiny hand tugged at her housecoat. She looked down at some crystal blue eyes. “Mommie, mommie, I don’t feel very good. Could you take me to the doctor?” the voice that belonged to the blue eyes requested. “Oh, no,” Judy thought, “this has just got to be the last added weight to that chain. How can I ever get all this done?”
In that split second of the look from those innocent blue eyes, her own heart was captured all over again, and she reached down and pulled the small body close to her with tenderness. She felt the fever beginning as she examined the small flushed face.
“Of course we will go, Kimmy,” she replied, but I have to call the doctor first. Right now I think we can find a baby aspirin to help you feel better until then.
And the chains, still there, miraculously metamorphosed into magical and silky white ribbons. And again the tie that binds became the tie that also blesses.
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