The challenge was to write a story using the following words:
LAMP SHADE, HOUR GLASS, DIAPER
Margarete adjusted the old, tattered, crooked lamp shade as she was doing her dusting. It would hardly stand straight anymore being knocked over by the children so many times as they ran through the house playing. Suddenly, her thoughts turned to how the hour glass figure of her youth had been obliterated by the pregnancy. Now, rather than having romantic adventures with her husband, her days were spent changing diapers and wondering how she was going to be able to afford the newest addition to their family.
Margarete's husband, Sam, was having to work two jobs just to pay the rent and utilities and there was little left over for food. She had worked before the pregnancy, but complications in the pregnancy rendered her unable to work. To make matters worse, the electricity, water, and gas bills almost doubled in a two year period and the price of gasoline had gone up to such an extent that it was costing Sam almost as much in gas to get to work as he was making. They had thought it would be alright to have a child, but the husband's first job laid everyone off and only rehired them with the understanding that they would start over with base pay and lose their benefits. Since jobs were scarce, he had reluctantly accepted.
Margarete had tried making crafts and selling them on weekends to supplement their income, but no one was buying. No one had the money to buy anymore.
Margarete missed her husband. When he made it home from his second job, all he had time to do was sleep, then get ready to go back to work when he awakened. A tear rolled down her cheek as she contemplated the situation.
Margarete had thought about taking her life, but there was the baby to consider. Who would take care of him if she did? Sam couldn't because all he had time to do was work and sleep. Her parents were in almost as bad a situation as she was having lost their business due to the Walmart opening in the area. There was no way that their small business could compete with Walmart's buying power.
Sam's parents weren't in any better shape. His dad had worked at the factory for 20 years and was now in fear of losing his job after already losing his 401K. It seemed that there was no way out. She prayed that the world would end soon.