Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Back On The Mat- First Campaigner Challenge


Shadows crept across the wall. They were familiar and daunting all the same. My competition. 
Leaner, stronger, and better prepared gymnasts. They hadn’t suffered the fall and recovery at the end of last season.
I did. 
And I was back, but I wasn’t sure I was ready.
I stepped on to the corner of the mat.  
Presenting myself to the judges with the brightest smile I could muster, I breathed in, held it, and finally exhaled. Taking my opening position, I waited for the music to begin.
The cellos started in the background. I counted: six, seven, eight. I raised my arms up over my head and reached. 
Boom came the drums; I started running across the mat.
“Do it!” I heard my coach call out.
Running. Roundoff, handspring, handspring, tuck. I landed. Solid. I smiled. The music continued as did my routine. Leaps, splits, aerials. It was back; my momentum, power, speed, and confidence. My orange and black leotard ablaze in the lights.
My accident on the bars was well behind me.
I started running for my final tumbling pass. My count was off, I missed a step, and now for the second time in my life, everything faded.
(200 words)

**this story is dedicated to my daughter who inspired me to get back into gymnastics

The challenge, from Rach Writes: Write a short story/flash fiction story in 200 words or less, excluding the title. It can be in any format, including a poem. Begin the story with the words, “Shadows crept across the wall”. These five words will be included in the word count. 
If you want to give yourself an added challenge (optional), do one or more of these:
·                     end the story with the words: "everything faded." (also included in the word count)
·                     include the word "orange" in the story
·                     write in the same genre you normally write
·                     make your story 200 words exactly!



32 comments:

  1. Wow. Nice entry. Different from the others, and very good. Kudos!

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    1. Thanks Melissa! It was a slightly different kind of writing for me too, my current wip is a children's book, but it was fun to try something different and these challenges are great for that!

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  2. Oh no! Great ending. Best of luck with the judging! :-)

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  3. Ooh that was really cool! I'm a figure skater and I know what it's like to not feel fully prepared for a competition... Great job!!

    I'm entry #19

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    1. Thanks Jess. I'm looking forward to reading through more of the entries. The first two I read motivated me to try this one out.

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  4. That was really different and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. well done.

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    1. Thank you Sally. Glad you enjoyed reading it, I had fun writing it.

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    1. Thank you! It does seem to be quite different.

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  6. I wanted her to "stick it!" Great job!
    I'm #160.

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    1. Thank you. I'm looking forward to reading your entry.

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  7. Creative and well written. Nice job on the challenge :)

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  8. Loved the buildup of hope, if only she could have pulled through. That's what I call an emotionally driven piece. Nice one! :)

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    1. Thank you David. I have to tell you that after reading your piece for the contest, I looked into it and was inspired to participate. Thanks for the motivation. :)

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  9. Wow, great description of the heat of competition! I was so in her head! Hope it wasn't a serious tumble at the end...

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    1. Thanks! I suppose that if I keep working on it, I'll have to figure that part out. :)

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  10. I really liked this, the short quick words kept up the tension and feeling of adrenalin so well. Nicely done :D

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    1. Thank you. It is a fast paced moment only lasting seconds in real life. I think I felt the adrenaline too!

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  11. Excellent entry! So different from all the rest.


    Lee (#126 on the Campaign Challenge List)
    An A to Z Co-Host
    Tossing It Out
    Twitter: @AprilA2Z
    #atozchallenge

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  12. I really liked this one! Like Jess (my sister) said in an earlier comment, you really captured what it's like to not feel prepared, I'm a figure skater as well, nice job!

    I'm voting for you! :)

    I'm #37

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    1. Thanks Alyssa! I'll have to read your entry next, Thanks for the vote!

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  13. I could feel the exhilaration of getting it righ, until of course it went so wrong. Nice job. Mine is #71

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    1. Thanks! No plot without conflict, right? I'll have to go and read yours next.

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  14. Aw, it's too bad that it went so wrong for her at the end. Great character POV though!:-) I'm #61.

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    1. I was totally in her head. Thanks! Off to keep reading entries!

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  15. There's something special about sports, whether watching, listening, or reading, that draws the spectator closer to join with success or failure. This was a great piece. Well written. Good luck with the contest.

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  16. Witnessing sporting accidents is always a special kind of terrifying. Good job on this entry. I enjoyed it.

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  17. Very different entry! Well done!

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Thanks for stopping by. I LOVE comments!