Extreme Writing Challenge #33: “Miracle”

Do you ever have one of those days that just NEEDS to end with chocolate?  What a long Monday!  It’s especially dangerous when Valentine’s candy is 75% off…

Here’s a new story for you all.  I’ll let you know what the challenge was at the end!


We found Ava walking barefoot down the middle of the road.  The only light was that of the moon and a million tiny stars hanging like glitter in the sky.  Ava’s feet were crusted with sand and motor oil, but she pretended to like it.  Stan found a rag in the glove box, and Ava dusted off the bottoms of her feet, ignoring the trenches between her blistered toes.

“Stan, see if there’s any food left in the cooler,” I told my husband.  We were on our way home from a picnic in Mule Deer Cove.  To Ava, I muttered, “Dear, you look famished.”

Picking bits of sagebrush out of her hair, Ava asked, “What day is it?”

Stan said, “It’s Tuesday, the 19th.”  From the cooler, he dug out a chicken leg wrapped in foil and handed it to the young woman.  She took it from him, uttering a “thank you” so soft you’d have thought it was the wind who said it.

“I should be dead,” Ava told us, unwrapping the chicken leg.  Even in the August heat, she was shivering.  Stan draped an old hunting coat over her shoulders.

“Do you need a ride somewhere, dear?” I asked.

“How far are we from Bear Lake?”

Stand told her it was close, only four or five miles away, and Ava graciously accepted the offer of transport.

I helped her into the front seat, hoping she wasn’t as fragile as she looked.  As I climbed into the back, she began to nibble at the meat still half-wrapped in foil.

Stan began to pull back onto the road when Ava cried, “Wait!”  She cracked open her door and let go of a wave of vomit.  When she finished, she began to weep into the oversized arms of Stan’s coat.

Ava had been to hell and back, that much we could see.  I hoped something good awaited her in Bear Lake—someone who was missing her, a home-cooked meal, a shower and a soft bed.  As brittle as she looked, I had the feeling that the moment Stan and I found her was the moment she began to heal.

In Bear Lake, Ava asked us to stop at an unmarked building on the main street that ran through town.   A small boy tried to peek out the window unnoticed, but we all saw him just before he darted behind the faded paisley curtain.  The sight of him pulled a single tear from Ava’s eye.

As she slipped out of Stan’s coat, I ripped out a page from the small book of prayers I kept in my purse.  I folded it gently and gave it to her, saying, “Read this when you get inside.  You are a real miracle.”


The challenge for this story was:  Every sentence contains a unique word containing two vowels in between two consonants (for example, “road”).

Now, let’s all go eat some chocolate!



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