To help make things a bit more interesting, I have decided to occasionally repost a story that I have written as an entry into the FaithWriters (an online Christian writing group) writing challenge. I haven't entered any challenges for a very long time, but I looked up my own profile tonight and made myself cry with one of my entries, and realised that (in my opinion) some of the things I wrote were quite well written. Feel free to ignore it when I drop in an old story of mine, but I am hoping that by sharing I will begin to feel inspired to get back into writing, so I am really sharing for my benefit more than yours.
The way the writing challenge works is that we are given a word or phrase and have to write something about that topic, between 150 and 750 words. The first one I'll share is the one that made me cry tonight. The topic was 'Siblings' and I wrote this in 2008.
Warning: Contains heart breaking themes for some mothers.
I wanted a twin brother!
That day in the shed when dad asked if I would like a brother or a sister, I told him straight out what I wanted, but I guess he just didn’t listen close enough. I could hardly believe it when he and Momma came home with a tiny little baby wrapped in a fluffy pink blanket.
Now, I don’t deny she was a cute little baby, but she wasn’t a twin brother. I reckon it would have been quieter around the house if Dad and Momma would have just listened to me in the first place. She was one noisy little girl. I couldn’t understand why all of a sudden I wasn’t allowed to make a sound around the house, and yet that little baby girl screamed all day and all night.
My poor Momma seemed like a different person. Her beautiful blue eyes were always full of tears and she hardly ever brushed her hair. When I was just a little boy, I remember Momma used to let me pass her the hair pins as she carefully piled her hair up on top of her head. For ever so long after Emily-Sue came to live with us, Momma’s hair just hung down her back, looking tangled and sad.
I remember the first day Momma did her hair again. It was the same day Emily-Sue laughed. Momma and I were kissing her little wriggly toes when all of a sudden she let rip with a big baby giggle. Momma laughed too and when Emily-Sue finally fell asleep, Momma brushed her hair, piled it up on top of her head and then came and held me in her arms for the longest time. She told me she was sorry she had been busy and then she let me help her make sugar cookies. We ate most of the dough before they got cooked, so we had to make a second lot so Dad could have some too.
I guess after that I didn’t mind so much about Emily-Sue not being a twin brother. As she got bigger, she got more fun too. When she started crawling, we played chasing games around the table legs. Momma would laugh and laugh at us as she did her chores. One day we dragged the toy box out in the middle of the room and Emily-Sue started chasing me around it. After a bit, I was getting sore knees, so I just went and sat nearby and watched. She didn’t see I had stopped and she went on crawling around and around that box for ages. Momma and I had a good laugh about that one.
I still remember the morning Momma found her laying still and blue in her crib. We tried and tried to get her to breathe again, but she just wouldn’t. Momma lay on the floor and cried and cried until I ran next door and got Mr Thompson to come and see what had happened. After that the house seemed all full of strange people and they took my beautiful baby sister away. Now Momma’s eyes always have that sad far-away look in them. I can always tell when she’s thinking about Emily-Sue.
Sometimes we just sit and hold each other and cry. I don’t want a twin brother anymore, but I’d give anything to have my Emily-Sue back again.