Writing challenge #3
THE WINNER OF OUR 300 WORD WRITING CHALLENGE #3 is writer Samanda Primeau, known on these forums as TheDustyZebra.
The quarterly challenge requires entrants to write a story of no more than 300 words, inspired by a picture chosen by the moderators. The image is above, and the winning story is below. Congratulations TDZ!
To Accept with Serenity
The pictures in our hallway trace the lifetime of our angel; cherub-cheeked baby, laughing little girl, impish smile in school pictures — one, two, three, but no more. The last picture tells a tale we don’t repeat to anyone, ever.
Grace disappeared on her 8th birthday, on vacation in France. She went to bed after her party and simply vanished. Months of endless nightmare followed: fruitless searching, skeptical and then downright hostile interrogations in a language we had quickly to master, and in the end, no trace. No Grace.
When the call came, my wife sent me to talk to the old man; she’d had more than she could take of false hopes.
I met him at the specified church, noting that he had failed to mention the adjacent graveyard.
“I know where your Grace is,” he’d said, but the tale he spun was ludicrous, impossible.
“I’ve lived here all my life; I’ve seen things.”
He showed me the statues — hundreds of years old, all, yet this one over here appeared only a dozen years ago, and that one just a few years before it. He showed me pictures. Pictures of the graveyard over the years, and pictures of missing children, clipped from newspapers.
“But that’s ridiculous,” I said. “How could that be?”
And then he took me to the last statue. My angel Grace’s sweet face, there in that stone monument at the edge of a cemetery in France.
“But this statue is ancient, just look at it!” Reason warred with emotion in my heart.
“Well, yes — and no. It’s been here for about 200 years. But it disappeared for years, and only recently reappeared.”
“This angel was gone for eight years. Well, 8 years and 9 months, to be precise.”
Photo provided by Culhwch
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