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Rated: E · Short Story · Contest Entry · #2271695
The tension mounts...

The Countdown
WC 297


The family gathered in the living room. Ellie’s parents had flown in from Denver, her husband’s parents from Chicago, and her sister from Prague.

Ellie and Seth’s four sons sat on the sofa, behaving themselves for once.

The unveiling was set for five pm and Ellie was getting nervous. She knew how excited they all were, except her sons, of course. Boys don’t really care about much of anything not related to their personal needs, especially in the age range of five to nine.

Her mother-in-law finally asked the question. “So, Ellie, what are you hoping for?”

The polite answer slid from her mouth. “I don’t really care, just so it’s healthy.”

She was secretly praying for a little girl: someone she could relate to; someone she could dress in pink for once; someone not as rough-and-tumble as the boys.

“Almost time,” said Seth from the back of the room.

An envelope with the secret color sample sat on the coffee table, waiting for the parents-to-be to open it.

She assumed her husband wanted another boy. He was always joking about having enough boys for a baseball team.

Seth joined her at the coffee table and picked up the envelope.

“Three, two, one,” the crowd said in unison.

Please be pink. Please be pink. Please be pink!

They opened the envelope.

It’s the wrong color.


“Boys,” she said as excitedly as she could, “you are going to have a baby brother.”

Her sons jumped for joy. Ellie looked over at Seth. A tear slid down his cheek as he plastered on a fake happy face.

The boys ran up and jumped around excitedly.

They would have five strong sons; what a blessing that was—and Seth and Ellie knew it.

They did a group hug through happy tears.
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