Well folks, remember my little email contest? It was difficult to choose a winner, everyone that entered really put in effort, and I saw some very creative and inspiring short fiction. So thank you to everyone.
But I did have to pick a winner - so pick one I did. This piece really stood out for me. In fact, I'll be honest and tell you it brought tears to my eyes. So congratulations AMY DICKERSON! Amy included a picture of the object that inspired her, and I've pasted it below as well. thank you, Amy for sharing this with both myself and my readers.
A thin wisp of cloud swirled up and touched the sleeping child’s nose. He twitched as the fluffy stuff tickled him, and awoke with a loud, “Kerchoo,” that shook his tiny body. Still groggy, he stretched his arms and legs. Far, far down below he caught a glimpse of the earth, but this was something he saw everyday and unimpressed the child rolled back over to sink into his slumber once more. Upon closing his eyes, however, he found that his sleepiness had faded. In fact, he felt more awake than he had in a very long time. Tipping his head over the side of the cloud he looked again at the world. The tiny orb looked different somehow. The patches of blue still spread wide across the sphere, but instead of lush green, it was a brilliant white that caught the boy’s eye. He rubbed his nose and took a good sniff. Ah, yes, the cold, crisp, clean smell of snow.
This meant only one thing--it was time again.
The house looked the same as he remembered; red brick with white columns. He leaned against the bushy remains of an aster in the front flower bed and pressed his nose against the window. There, inside, he saw a white Christmas tree with shining white lights, a silver nativity set, and six stockings hung. Was this the year that his would be forgotten, left in a box in the basement because really there was no reason to put it up? He cupped his hands against the glass, a smile spreading across his face as he saw his own stocking hung from the grandfather clock. And there on the table was his picture, where it had been for as long as he could remember.
The boy moved to the kitchen window to look, his breath catching painfully as he saw her…his mother. She looked just the same. True, a few more wrinkles framed her eyes and her hair was a tad bit shorter, but this was still the woman who had sat by him for months, stroking his hand as the monitors beeped. This was the woman who had sang to him and kissed him when the doctors had said there was no more time to be had. He watched as she sat at the table, silently arranging roses and pine boughs, tears streaming down her face, and though he wanted nothing more than to rush to her side he knew it was not yet time. Instead the boy walked into the garage and got into the car. He buckled himself in the passenger seat and waited.
A few minutes later his mother came out of the house clutching a tissue in one hand and her handmade arrangement in the other. She set the flowers on his seat. The two of them rode in silence through the town, down the slush covered streets until at last the iron gates of the cemetery came into view.
And then they were there.
The woman let out a shaky breath and the boy slid his hand into hers. Together they tromped through the snow to the gravestone--his gravestone.
“Oh, my sweet precious boy,” the woman whispered. “How can it have been four years? How can I have gone on four years without you?”
The boy squeezed her hand tighter, tears flowed down his chubby cheeks, but he refused to let go. There would be time to wipe them away later.
“You know that I still love you, don’t you?”
He nodded and pressed his face against her side. Deep inside her chest he could feel her pain growing, a burning ball that threatened to consume her. She swayed and a heart wrenching whimper, no louder than a newborn kittens mew, poured out of her. Her knees buckled. The boy wrapped his arms around her legs, using every ounce of strength he possessed in his little body to keep her standing. He knew he couldn’t let her fall. He couldn’t let the pain take control. He wouldn’t let it win.
He loved her too much.
And so the mother and child stood before the stone, only the child's strength and love holding the two of them up. A few minutes later the woman took out her tissue and wiped her face. Blowing a kiss to the cold granite stone, she turned and walked back to her car. Like a balloon set free from a careless child’s hand, the force holding the boy to the Earth released him. His heart was heavy, but also glad, he’d accomplished his goal. And he’d be back to do it again whenever she needed him.