Annart's Writing Challenge - Wagon Wheel
I am responding to a writing challenge from Ann Carr to create a story from a painting of her little girl at Burnham Beach. Thanks to Annart for this opportunity.
Jillian loved the water, spending almost every weekend at Burnham Beach. Getting away from home was so peaceful that she called it her paradise. Her parents had a new baby, just learning to crawl. She loved to care for Strawberry, but admitted the nearby beach was more fun. She would spend hours on the beach by herself, gazing at the azure colored water, the fish flipping around, and the sun setting on the horizon.Her goal was to become an expert at taking pictures to capture the colors of the sun, fading on the horizon at this private beach. She was a preemie, so now at age thirteen, was a little thing with a dark ponytail, a sheepish grin, dressed in jeans and shirt,
Her parents were never too happy with her for spending so much time away from home and from Strawberry. They wanted them to be close and for Jillian to have a chance to take charge of her once in a while. However, Strawberry thrived, and Jillian did babysit her every few weeks when her parents wanted to get away for dinner
The Wagon Wheel Accident
Then, something unexpected happened. Jillian was at the beach and suddenly had a vision of Strawberry in the water, struggling to get to the surface. She didn’t have a face, but she knew it was Strawberry. Then the vision disappeared. Jillian gathered her belongings and ran so fast across the field to their one story ranch house that her legs began to hurt. When she opened the front door, she saw her Dad slumped in a chair with Strawberry sprawled motionless on the floor.
She later learned he was refinishing a small wagon wheel on a chair, while the baby crawled on the floor. Her dad left the room to get juice for her, and while he was gone, Strawberry apparently managed to pull herself up and grab hold of the wheel. It must have suddenly come crashing down, hitting Strawberry. Jillian could see her dad was frantic, and paralyzed with fear that she was dead, and said her mom was shopping. Jillian saw he was not taking action, so she raced to the phone to call 911. She was still breathing, and the ambulance rushed her to the hospital, admitting her with serious injuries that would take a long recovery. Strawberry had broken bones and might need plastic surgery on her face. Thank God, she had a chance to recover.
Prayers for Strawberry
Jillian was heartbroken about her tow - headed chubby ten month old sister with sparkling blue eyes, as she began her recovery with the family spending long hours in the hospital. To their subdued delight, after about three months, she was ready for discharge with some injuries that could be permanent; the little one was on the way back. Every day Jillian stopped by the beach to say prayers for her little sister
The Accident Changes Lives
Jillian spent more time with her sister with the realization that life is short and precious, and she could lose someone in an instant. She wanted to hold on to what she had forever, and thanked God and Angels for the vision that helped save her life. Jillian’s mom reminded her of the strange child’s body that had washed up on the beach near Burnham around that time, making them wonder if the vision was truth or fiction. It haunted Jillian for a long time, and she spent very little time at the beach that used to be the paradise of her life. Priorities changed for the entire family after Strawberry's accident.
It takes but a split second
To lose a little one.
So eyes-ears must open be
Til setting of the sun.