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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Rest (01/17/13)

TITLE: Family
By Darleen Coon


“I hate being so tired; it’s been six weeks since I had influenza.” Lottie sighed and plopped into the nearby rocking chair.

“But Momma, think how fortunate you and Daddy are to have survived. After all, many did not recover.” Anna knelt in front of her and hugged her tight.

“I don’t mean to sound ungrateful. I am just weary of not being able to do everything I usually do.” Lottie stroked Anna’s hair.

“I don’t mind helping Momma. I’m just so thankful that you and Daddy were in town the day that the orphan train brought us and that you adopted us.” Anna closed her eyes briefly, than peered heavenward.

Looking intently into her face, Lottie placed her hands on Anna’s shoulders. “But we didn’t adopt you so that you would have to work your fingers to the bone.”

Anna grinned and patted her hand. “I know that. Now you just sit still and rest until dinner.”

At the dinner table that evening Sam suggested to Lottie, “Sweetheart, I’m going into town in the morning for supplies. Why don’t you come along and see Doc? Maybe he can give you a tonic or something to make you feel more like yourself.”

“Brian and I can take care of the chores here at home.” Anna chimed in.

Lottie held up her hands in surrender. “Alright, I’ll go.”

When they arrived in town the next morning, Sam headed directly to Doc’s office. Lottie placed her hand on Sam’s arm. “Sam, you can just drop me off and go run your other errands. I don’t want to leave the kids any longer than we have to.”

“Are you sure?” He looked into her eyes while she nodded.

The bell above the door jingled when she entered. From the back room she heard, “Have a seat, I’ll be out in a few minutes.”

After a few minutes a man came out of the back room. “Hello, I’m Dr. Miller—and you are?” he extended his hand.

For several seconds, she gaped at him opened-mouthed, and then she slumped into the chair.

As she came around, she heard Sam talking to someone. “I’ve never known her to swoon before. But she has not been herself since suffering from influenza. Do you think you can help her?”

“Sam,” Lottie moaned turning her head from side to side. “What happened?”

Sam held her hand. “Well, Darlin, you passed out and Dr. Miller had one of the kids run to fetch me.”

Dr. Miller stepped forward. “Mrs. Best, why don’t I examine you to find out why you’ve been so ill lately?”

Lottie stared at Dr. Miller and nodded her agreement. “Wha, what happened to Dr. Fisher?” She croaked.

“Well, he was getting up there in years and the influenza epidemic about did him in. He didn’t get to sleep or eat for days on end because he was so busy taking care of folks.” He placed his stethoscope on her chest. “Take a deep breath in and out please.” He placed a hand on her forehead and looked into her eyes. “Anyway, he went to live with his daughter. I’ve been here about a month now.”

“Is your,” Lottie swallowed and licked her lips, “name William?”

His eyebrows shot up as he continued to look at her. “Have we met before?”

“I’m your sister, Lottie.” The tears rolled down her cheeks.

“Lottie!” He placed his hands on either side of her face, searching her eyes. Then he hugged her tightly.

“Oh, Lottie, I gave up ever finding you again! When that farmer took me to work on his farm and the orphan train continued with you still on it, my heart just broke.”

"Well, now you’re here and we can be family again!” Lottie swiped at her eyes while William handed her his handkerchief.

“My dear sister, unless I miss my guess, you’re about to have more family than you know what to do with. While you were out, I asked your husband some rather intimate questions and I believe that the reason you’ve been so tired is because you’re pregnant.”

Lottie’s eyes widened in disbelieve, “But, but we’ve been married over five years. We didn’t think we could have children.”

William wagged his finger in her face. “Well, turns out you’re wrong. As your doctor, I am ordering you to rest as much as you can.”

His eyes twinkled as he added, “Oh, and visit with your brother often.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
C D Swanson 01/25/13
Awwww...I loved this sweet sweet story. This is my kind of read, happy endings, good reunions, and wonderful things to come in the future. Great job, well written, and a joy to read.

I want a sequel! Tell us more. God bless~
Jan Ackerson 01/29/13
Good job with the surprise near the end; the influenza was a great cover story. I thought there was perhaps too much story here for 750 words, and as a result, some of the characters had to summarize events in the past. And I needed some additional details to firmly establish the setting. The mood is lovely, and the story is a satisfying read.