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.
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.
**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!