Fast & Furious Contest Flash Fiction Winner: Lily’s Gift by Lori De Jong

“Tilda, she’s so beautiful, don’t you think?”

Tilda Atherton looked at the tiny infant girl in her sister’s arms. “Yes, Lily, but you remember what we talked about when you came to live at Hudson Place, right? How other families were waiting for a baby and could take good care of her. Remember?”

Lily’s bottom lip quivered as tears welled in her eyes. “Tilda…she’s mine. Jesus gave her to me. I can’t give her away.”

Tilda winced, her heart hurting for her sister, whose special needs kept her from understanding she’d been pregnant, much less able to articulate how it had happened. Leading Tilda to the agonizing decision to place her in a care home for her protection.

“Miss Atherton,” the nurse said. “Will the child be placed for adoption?”


“No!” Lily cried. “Please! You take her. You’ll be a good mommy, Tilda. You can feed her and play with her and ̶ and teach her stuff, like you teached me.” She held the child out to her. “You take her.”

Tilda reached for the small bundle. She had no intention of raising the child herself. Lily would simply have to understand it was the best thing…for…the…

She brushed a finger down the baby’s downy soft cheek. She really was beautiful. So tiny and pink and perfect. Would she live a normal life? Or be fated to a life like her mother’s? Would she be a good student, would she like ballet? Would she understand the difference between right and wrong, safe things and things that were a danger? Would she be her mother’s daughter, or Lily’s crowning achievement?

She nestled the baby closer. Maybe this tiny girl was a gift, as much hers as Lily’s.

Tilda looked up at the nurse. “I’ll be taking her with me.”


    • Erin, thank you so much! And I sincerely apologize for the lateness of this reply. I’m only just realizing there were comments on the post! I appreciate your encouragement. Blessings!

    • Thank you, Susan! I’m only just today realizing there were comments on this post so please forgive the lateness of my reply. I really appreciate your kind words!

    • Marlene, thank you so much for your kind words. And please accept my apology for not replying sooner. I only saw these comments today, but I didn’t want your thoughtfulness to go unrecognized. I appreciate the encouragement!

  1. OMGoodness Lori, I have tears in my eyes and can barely type these words. BRAVA!!! And CONGRATULATIONS!

    I have two siblings with special needs and have worked with special needs adults in job development for many years. While reading this, I felt like I was witnessing this scene with one of my sweet clients. So, so powerful!

    • Dina, you can’t know how very much that means to me! As writers, especially Christian writers who want to spread the joy of the Lord, we always want to move our readers. So your comments mean everything! Please forgive me for not replying sooner. I just realized today that there were comments on the post. Thank you again for your sweet, sweet words!

  2. I’m always amazed when I see flash fiction done well…how you get a full story arch into such few words. Well done. You took us on the full journey. Congratulations.

    • Libby, thank you so very much for your kind words! I appreciate it! And please forgive me for replying so late. I didn’t realize until just now there were comments on this post. Again, thank you so, so much!

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