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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Vision (08/03/06)

TITLE: The Unwanted
By Amy Michelle Wiley
08/07/06


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It was the stench that first drew Annalisa. The eleven-year-old American lost a piece of her childhood on that foreign jungle trial, staring at the decayed body of an infant. The horror she felt in that moment stayed with her all her life.

Her mother pulled her away and hugged her tight, but comfort was not to be found. There is no easy way to explain to a child that babies can be left for a slow death simply because they are unwanted.

The family’s safari vacation was the beginning of a vision for Annalisa. She vowed then, in her young heart, that she would fight against this practice. She would do all in her power to save these abandoned babies.

____________________


Mba! No!” Uloma’s hands reached, still bloody from the child that had been wrenched from her. The pain of her heart drowned out the throb in her still-heaving womb. “Umu aka mü! My babies!”

Her scream dropped to a whimper as her husband stepped into the room. His voice was hardly a hiss. “What have you done? You have been cursed.” He spat on the two naked infants squalling on the dirt of the floor.

Uloma could not bare to watch as he snatched those of her own flesh. Guilt welled up in her at the feelings of love she felt toward the twins. How had evil violated her in such a way? She looked toward the god of fertility in the corner.

“Forgive me. Protect me from the Evil One.” She buried her face in her hands and rocked. “What have I done? Oh, what have I done to deserve this?”

____________________


Kwemto slunk against the wall. Even his hands pressed against his ears could not drown out his father’s drunken shouts. The child’s belly protruded, swelling painfully within his paper-thin skin. He did not dare ask for food, though it had been two days since he had eaten more than a mouthful of yams.

As though his thoughts had been heard, his father turned upon him. “What are you staring at? Do I have food? Do I have clothes for your back? Get out! Get out and do not come back!”

Kwemto ran, scrambling for the door. He pushed away his thoughts, his feelings, and concentrated on the pounding of his feet upon the packed dirt.

____________________


Nne Liza! Ms. Lisa!” Two pairs of dark eyes gleamed at Annalisa from the crack of her door. “A woman just had twins. We followed to where they were left, just like you told us. ”

Da alü. You have done well, girls.” Annalisa opened the door, her heart beating fast. “Soon it will be dark and we may go to them. Hurry, help me prepare.”

Time dragged as the three waited for darkness to fall. Finally they slipped out of the mission. The flashlight barely illuminated the tangled path, and every shadow seemed to be a snake tensing to strike. “Pray, girls.”

A faint cry reached Annalisa’s ears, and in a moment she was kneeling beside the twins. One of the infants’ eyes were wide with panic, yet even her scream was only a whimper. The other’s eyes were glazed over, and the child lay still. Annalisa stifled her tears as the light caught a grotesque bulge in the child’s arm. “Be careful of her arm. We will set it when we get her back to the mission.”

The path back home seemed to take even longer. Annalisa kept her ears trained to catch the sound of approaching footsteps. Just as the little procession neared their door, a muffled sound startled her. Lord, please, protect these little ones!

Yet the form the light caught was no angry soothsayer, intent on ripping the babes away. No, it was a boy not much more than a babe himself, crouched against the wall. His grimy hands covered his mouth in an attempt to stop his sobs.

Annalisa smiled gently. “Are you hungry? Come in and have some ofe. Don’t be afraid.”

She led them into the safety of the mission--this threesome that had become six. As she lifted the weaker twin to her heart, pulling her close to comfort her cries, she knew her vow had been realized. The ever-present memory of that first dead baby faded and became a vision of the future. A vision of a house, filled with plump children, singing the praises of a God who wants the unwanted.




_____________
Author’s Note: Though this story is fiction, the abandonment of unwanted children and babies, especially twins (who are viewed as cursed), is very much a reality. May we lift in prayer those like Annalisa, who have been called to reach out to “the least of these”.


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This article has been read 2731 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Sue Dent08/10/06
Heart rendering and educational. I did not know that this culture viewed twins this way. What a calling to help protect and save the unwanted. What a marvelously written story!
Brenda Craig08/10/06
This reminds me of the scripture, "All things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose." Her disturbing encounter fueled a vision of salvation. I loved this demonstration of hope in action.

Disturbing yes, but her vision shines like a beacon, a lighthouse in a dark world. Wonderful job presenting hope and light in the midst of complete darkness. Excellent job!!!
Jessica Schmit08/10/06
This was not only extremely well written,but it holds one of the most powerful messages within a story that I've read in some time. I truly hope to see this one place. I think it's a gem. WoW!!!
Rita Garcia08/10/06
God bless you for sharing this poignant and powerful message. This is a message that needs to be "shouted from the housetops" everywhere, until not one baby/child is left unwanted.
Ann Darcy08/10/06
I second everything that has been said. Wonderful story and message!
Pat Guy 08/11/06
It's very hard to read stories like this. Although well written to the point it takes us to these children and puts a desire in our hearts to hug, feed and clothe them - it's not enough - because children live like this everyday with no hope.

Well done Amy - I hope it moves all the more the reader to do something ... anything.
Jen Davis08/11/06
A very touching story and a powerful message. Thank you for reminding us to keep "The Unwanted" children and those like Annalisa in our prayers.
Jan Ross08/12/06
Heart-wrenching story, for sure! Thank you for sharing this powerful story of a young woman's passion to be an ambassador of life straight from the Father's heart! Excellent! :)
Folakemi Emem-Akpan08/14/06
Very thought provoking entry. I was hooked. The story line is very captivating but I noticed something. Uloma is a Nigerian name (the killing of twins was practised in Nigeria centuries earlier) and Kwemto is a Ghanaian name. How was the missionary able to rescue both the Nigerian twins and the Ghanaian boy the same evening?
Venice Kichura08/14/06
I hoping this is a winner!
Excellent writing, striking the heartstrings! You have a gift for describing what's going on as well as constructing action sentences (rather than a piece bogged down with the passive voice.)
Virginia Gorg08/14/06
I could see and taste the description. You put together a heart-wrenching story of the plights of these innocent children.
Jan Ackerson 08/14/06
Heartbreaking, and masterfully written. Excellent.
Beth Muehlhausen08/15/06
What a gripper. Sad but bitter-sweet b/c of a Greater Love that lays down its life for others. Very well told, engaging, involving at the heart level. Can't read this w/out a little internal bleeding, you know?
Joanne Sher 08/15/06
This will haunt me for days. So masterfully crafted and exceptionally told. What an exceptional job!
Shari Armstrong 08/16/06
Heart breaking - well done as always. Thankfully there are those who reach out and care for God's little ones.
Trina Courtenay08/17/06
Amy, Congrats on placing! This touches deep within. Thank-you for sharing and educating us reader's about the Unwanted.
Rita Garcia08/17/06
I have tears in my eyes, I am so thankful your story won and that many others will be able to read it. Blessings and CONGRATULATIONS!
Sherry Wendling08/17/06
Amy, congratulations! This masterfully woven story pulls my heartstrings right to the core. Your opening and closing are amazingly strong, and the middle did not disappoint!

I love the way your ending illustrates God's hand in using the first horrific encounter with the dead baby to birth a vision of compassion later on. You go!
Kaylee Blake 08/17/06
LOVED IT! Congratulations. I have heard of this practice and it just makes me sick. Great job with the emotions (the charchter's and the reader's).
Debbie OConnor08/17/06
Hi Amy,

This is really an outstanding entry. I believed in your characters and felt the setting.

The opening line threw me a little. Stenches usually don't draw people, they repel them. I thought something along the lines of the stench being unforgettable would be stronger and more accurate (my opinion, the story is great).

The transitions did jar me. I got comfortable with Annalisa and then I was with strangers. I am not a fan of the lines/stars to break scenes. I like things to flow. I think the 24 years later would have helped me, as well as an explanation of the shifting locals.

Still, this story deserved to win and I'm glad it did. Congratulations! :-)
Crista Darr08/30/06
Amy, I am so thankful that God has given you such an incredible gift. You are Annalisa! Through the power of your written words, hearts will be moved and babies will be saved.
Suzanne R08/31/06
CONGRATULATIONS, Amy!!!!!

This is indeed masterfully written. It is horrible and yet beautiful all at once.

Well done!