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She Gave Her Life for Me

Story ID:9259
Written by:Michael Timothy Smith (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:Fiction
Location:Caldwell Idaho USA
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I entered in the 24-Hour Short Story Contest this weekend.
Here's the directions, topic and word count I received.



She wiped her hands on her apron, peering out the window.
Red and orange leaves hurried by as the cold autumn wind
battered the small cabin. The girl should have been back
from the errand by now. At that moment, she saw the flying,
fiery red braids. The devil's mark on her right cheek, a
constant reminder, was clearly visible, even at dusk. The
girl, breathless, burst through the wooden door.

"Ma! Come quickly!!"


WORD COUNT: Stories for today's topic must not exceed 900

Your story must touch on this topic in some way to qualify.
During each contest, several writers ask if they must quote
from the topic directly. No, you don't. You are even
permitted to change the gender and age of the character(s),
as well as other details. However, it must be obvious to us
that the story was written specifically for this assigned

Here's my entry.

She Gave her Life for Me

Miriam woke to the touch of Sandy's cold nose on her cheek. She opened
her eyes. Sandy stared back with her soft brown eyes. Miriam yawned and looked
out the window. The eastern sky was painted deep red.

"Sandy, it's too early to get up"

The big collie swished her tail.

"Alright, I'll get up." Miriam stretched and swung her feet to the floor. Sandy
stood and turned in circles. Her long tail beat against Miriam's legs. "Come on, Girl.
I'll let you out."

Miriam opened the back door and Sandy ran outside. It was her routine to
run through the forest every morning. She loved to chase the squirrels down by the dry
creek, a few hundred yards from the house, but hidden by tall pines. Behind the trees, the
peaks of the Rockies scratched the sky.

Miriam turned on her coffee and settled down to watch the morning news
more shootings in Chicago and unrest in the middle east. She turned the television off.
The news depressed her.

The room grew dark. Black clouds blocked the light of the rising sun. Miriam
looked our the window. "Looks like we're in for a bit of rain." she murmured.

The gathering wind rocked the tall pines. The first few drops of rain pattered on
the windows. Miriam watched through the window as the rain grew heavier. She went to
the door, opened it and called, "Sandy! Come on girl."

There was no sign of her companion. The rain washed the dust from her
old jeep, which she'd bought for driving the narrow mountain roads.

She walked into the kitchen. Weather like this needed a good stew to take the
chill out of one's body. She gathered carrots, potatoes, onions and other vegetables
from the pantry. From her refrigerator, she got the fresh beef her farmer friend
gave her the day before.

An hour later, she had a large pot with all the ingredients and added spices
simmering on the stove.

Miriam opened the door to the storm. A few wet pine needles blew into the
cottage. "Sandy!" she called. There was no sign of her dog.

She returned to the kitchen and stirred her stew. The scent from the bubbling
mixture filled the kitchen and made Miriam's stomach growl. "Maybe I should
make a couple loaves of bread." she said to the empty room. "Nothing makes a home
feel more like home than the smell of bread baking in the oven."

A clap of thunder startled her. She wiped her hands on her apron and peered out
the window. Leaves, pine needles and cones hurried by as the rain soaked winds battered
the small cabin. Sandy should have been back by now. At that moment, she saw the
flying golden ears of her dog as she ran from the woods toward the house.
Miriam rushed to the door to let her in. She opened it to the wind. Debris and a
breathless Sandy, burst through the wooden door. "My goodness, Sandy. You're a mess.
You're soaked and covered with dirt. You need a bath." She approached her dog, but
Sandy turned from her, ran to the door and scratched to be let out. "What are you doing,
Girl? You just came in."

Sandy rushed to Miriam, bumped her legs and ran back to the door. She looked
at Miriam and whined. "What's wrong with you, Sandy?" She paused, saw the look
of urgency in her dogs eyes and said, "OK, you can go back out."

She opened the door and looked out. The dry creek, normally hidden by
the trees, was now a raging river. Its water quickly spread across the driveway
in her direction. "We have to get out of here, girl."

Miriam hurried to her kitchen, turned the stove off and was about to put the stew
in a container, but the power went out. "There's no time. We have to hurry."

Leaving her stew, she grabbed a few supplies, leashed her dog and darted into
the driving rain.

She turned the old jeep down the mountain as the rising river sloshed
under the tires.

A mile down the road, she peered through the windshield and almost missed
the fact that the raging creek had washed away the old wooden bridge.

The rising water surrounded her. There was no where to go.

Her jeep began to rock and then float.

White water roared all around her.

Miriam wound the window down, grabbed her dog by the collar and climbed out
onto the roof.

The jeep, now a raft, floated on the water and jammed between two towering

The waters rose.

Miriam reached up and grabbed a branch and climbed. She reached for
Sandy, but a wave of water got her first. Sandy whined, tried to swim to Miriam,
but the water was too strong. She disappeared from view.

Miriam cried out, "Sandy!"

Sandy was gone.

The water climbed the tree. Miriam did the same, always keeping ahead
of the flood.

Rescuers found Miriam the next day. She sat on a branch, thirty feet in the

A week later, when it was safe to return, Miriam saw the damage. Her cottage
was gone. There was nothing left. The flood took everything, including Sandy.

She turned to the friend who brought her back and cried. "Sandy gave her life
for me."

Michael T. Smith

Word Count 893