Red sky in the morning… I cannot finish the old saying. Not today. Not today.

I’m on the verandah sipping my coffee. The sun’s first rays are creeping over the horizon and the scattered clouds are colouring redder and redder. Not the soft pink or orange glow of most mornings; this sky is angry, a forewarning of tragedy.

Not today. Not today. I mutter again. My coffee tastes like dirty dishwater. I tip it out and hope it doesn’t kill my roses.

I shower and dress. Today I drive to the city and accompany my daughter to the hospital where doctors will induce her baby. Her longed for, precious baby after years of very expensive IVF treatments… and disappointments. So many disappointments.

My highs and lows have been a thousand times worse for Poppy but, finally, she has carried this baby to full term and her doctor says it’s time for a new life to enter our world.

My old car starts without a splutter and I offer a thank-you skyward. The red has dissipated but gloomy grey prevails.

My journey is uneventful but I cannot shake the foreboding image of that early red sky. There is no response when I knock on my daughter’s front door. Her neighbour appears wearing a crimson dressing gown. ‘She went to the hospital,’ she says. ‘She couldn’t reach you and the baby was coming.’ I curse my temperamental phone.

I catch every red light on route to the hospital, trawl the car park and finally squeeze between two dusty pick-ups.

Heart in my mouth, I run to the maternity ward.

A titian-haired nurse greets me and quickly leads me along the corridor.

I hear an anguished scream and the nurse grabs a white gown from a trolley.

Not again, not again. I’m frozen with fear but the nurse, oblivious, pushes me through the door.

‘Just in time,’ I hear someone say.

‘One more. One more.’ My daughter grips my hand and pushes.

Two minutes later I’m holding my precious granddaughter. Scarlet.

Red sky indeed.

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2 years ago

The application of various shades of red throughout the story (roses, Poppy, crimson dressing gown, red lights, titian-haired nurse) carry the reader through the red sky in the morning to the best red imaginable: the granddaughter Scarlet. Hopeful and heartwarming.

Carrie OLeary
Carrie OLeary(@carrie-oleary)
2 years ago

Oh, the tension in this, Sandra! Very well written and had me gripped through to the end.

musing mind
musing mind(@musing-mind)
2 years ago

Heart warming story. A happy ending with a new dawn. l loved your smooth narration.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

Hiya Sandra, your story tells of so much pain and anxiety. And you make it so much easier for me, a male, to enter the world of Mother and Daughter, and the difficulties in carrying, and finally the happiness when the baby is born. Thank you for sharing.

Susan Giles
Susan Giles(@susan-giles)
2 years ago

Very much enjoyed your story. Once finished, I had to go back and locate all the references to red. I especially liked her daughter’s name, Poppy. Thank you for this story.

Christer Norrlof
Christer Norrlof(@christer-norrlof)
2 years ago

A well written story, Sandra. You make the intensity and the worries very real to the reader. With all the signs pointing towards a catastrophe, it feels as a great relief when the baby finally is born and all is well.

2 years ago

What a lovely story, Sandra! Even without the underlying color theme, it would have been a gripping, emotional, and memorable read. But the way you subtly weave shades of red throughout is simply brilliant!! Congratulations on a superb story!

Katy Bizi
Katy Bizi(@katy-bizi)
2 years ago

Your story was wonderful and most importantly very original. Dawn is a representation of new beginnings and this is exactly what is happening for your character. Congratulations, Sandra!

Linda Rock
Linda Rock(@linda-rock)
2 years ago

Congratulations Sandra. A very emotional story. And all those references to Red, very cleverly done.

Eric Radcliffe
Eric Radcliffe(@eric-radcliffe)
2 years ago

Hello Sandra, well done on your story. Reaching out to the reader and communicating is what we all strive to do, and you are up there with the best. Eric.  :wpds_grin: 

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
1 year ago

Hello, Sandra. It is a very lovely story and heartwarming. Congratulations on your win and on having a granddaughter/grandson. Well done.

Lotchie Carmelo
Lotchie Carmelo(@lotchie-carmelo)
Reply to  Sandra James
1 year ago

You are very blessed to have them, Sandra. I have 3 daughters – the eldest is 12 years old, the second is 9 years old, and the youngest is 1 year and 3 months. They are my inspiration and my everything.

Last edited 1 year ago by Lotchie Carmelo

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