Drama Fiction

Cora was faced with the harsh reality of living permanently on the streets.  Her life and her chance to return to normalcy were long gone. To make her plight even worse, Cora had discovered cocaine. At first, she resisted it but was told it would help her forget all her troubles. Contrary to a girl who set out to trample underfoot everyone to prevail, Cora’s confidence was virtually zero level. 

She spent the night at a rescue mission the night before but was awakened at 5:00 am. She checked in the day before, which included filling out forms about who she was and where she was headed. Before she could get a bed, she was required to attend a religious service that she felt was demeaning, for the pastors were often from a different religion than her own.

 She dreaded leaving the mission, especially in inclement weather, but this morning was different. The previous evening, while panhandling, a kind Samaritan handed her a fifty-dollar bill. Her quest for that day was to score a fix, which she succeeded in but was ultimately broken and several City blocks away from the shelter. 

Suffering from tremors, shakiness, and chills, she was overwhelmed by her depressive circumstances as well as her loneliness.  She walked aimlessly until she fell on the sidewalk and almost lost consciousness. She realized she was only a few yards from a church. She looked around and was thankful no police cars were approaching. She picked herself up and made her way to the church steps to sit and rest. She heard singing coming from inside and remembered hearing the same tune when she attended church as a young girl. The name of it was It is Well with My Soul.

 Memories of her youth came flooding back, and she wept. She missed her family, but they were a foregone conclusion, for she had not seen them in decades. 

When her sister, Claudia, was born, she changed Cora’s world.  She felt her new sister had taken the shine away from her. She no longer had the sole care of her parents. She could no longer do the things she had always taken for granted anytime she pleased. She couldn’t sleep with her mother whenever her father was out of town on business like she used to.  She had to take turns with Claudia. She could no longer sit on the couch between her parents at night, and it was just the three of them. Claudia was always there too and stealing affection away from her. Cora raged with jealousy when Claudia breastfed. She felt neglected whenever her sister was coddled by their parents or anyone else.  Cora was losing her parents to Claudia, or at least, that’s what she had convinced herself. She was getting the short end of the stick. She would often withdraw from them to punish her parents for spending time with her baby sister. She hated Claudia and wished she was never born.

When Claudia was four years old, she picked up one of Cora’s dolls, which forbade her from touching it. She dropped the doll to run when she heard Cora shout and ran inside the bedroom closet.  Standing at the entrance where her younger sister hid in terror gave seven-year-old Cora a sense of dominance. Her jealousy raged as she leaned forward.  She jabbed her sister’s knee with a kitchen fork, leaving four bloody prick marks. Cora was frozen with shock at Claudia’s screams of pain and realized that she had gone too far in tormenting her sister. 

After Cora’s high school graduation and her first college year approached, her parents discovered she had not registered. 

 “What do you mean, you’re not going to college?” We’ve been preparing your college career for years. Don’t blow your chance,” her father demanded.

 “I have other plans,” Cora replied tersely.  

 “You are making a mistake, honey,” her mother added. She reached over to hug Cora, but she pulled away and got up from her chair to leave.

 “Don’t throw your life away, Cora.” Her dad shouted as she walked away.

 “Please, don’t walk away, honey,” her mother pleaded. “Go to college, sweetie.”

Early, the following morning, Cora packed her clothes and all of her belongings. She left home before her parents awakened and never returned.

So many memories of her beautiful family, from long ago. She shrugged off thoughts of the past to focus on her immediate survival plan. She had to get back to her familiar domain, where she could find shelter for the night. It was almost dark, and she didn’t have enough money for bus fare. She saw a well-dressed couple who had walked past her. They were holding hands, and they seemed very happy. They kept walking and turned to climb the steps leading to the church entrance. This was Cora’s chance to ask the couple for the bus fare. They’re church people, she reasoned.  Surely, they will help. The city bus passed by every thirty minutes, and she couldn’t lose her chance when it stopped running at the end of the day. 

“Sir?” Cora spoke out to the well-dressed man. “Can you perchance spare me enough change for bus fare, please?”

The couple turned to look back at Cora. She was in utter disbelief when she saw the stylishly dressed woman face to face and turned to run away when she realized it was Claudia, her sister, who she had not seen in decades.  Likewise, Claudia recognized Cora and shouted out to her. 

“Cora! Please…is it you?” She stopped but kept her head turned away in shame. “Oh, Cora, I can’t believe it’s you! Where have you been all this time?”

Overwhelmed with humiliation, all she could say was that she was sorry, as she kept her head down and tried to hide her face.

Claudia’s husband, Brent spoke up as it began to rain. “let’s all go inside the church to get out of this weather.” 

He and Claudia were on each side of Cora and guided her by her arms. Once inside, the two women embraced.  They looked at one another in stunned surprise. 

It was Wednesday night prayer service, and fewer members than usual were present. They entered the auditorium and sat on the back pew as the parishioners continued singing. The pastor stood to take prayer requests as Cora and Claudia quietly talked. Toward the end of the service, the pastor commenced with an altar call for anyone to come before the congregation who wished to show their commitment. The sisters stood and held hands as they made their way to the altar.

April 15, 2023 16:25

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Viga Boland
15:21 Apr 24, 2023

This is a very touching and realistic story. I could completely relate as there was always a similar sibling rivalry between my two daughters. So, a very relatable plot with credible characters. I did, however, find the odd sentence or phrasing that seemed awkward, like these below: “Contrary to a girl who set out to trample underfoot everyone to prevail,” “When Claudia was four years old, she picked up one of Cora’s dolls, which forbade her from touching it.”


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Rita Kimak
13:55 Apr 24, 2023

You have such an easy flowing way to your writing. Such a nice story. So when’s your book?


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Helen A Smith
10:27 Apr 24, 2023

I love this story, especially the ending. It was sad that the parents failed to tackle the jealousy issue early on. It’s such a destructive feeling And spoiled the MC’s life. What a shock to see her sister! I wasn’t expecting that. Good story with hope for redemption.


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Mary Bendickson
01:20 Apr 20, 2023

A life changing moment.


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