It’s a double-whammy this week, as I’m incorporating both Julia’s 100-Word Challenge for Grown Ups (week 57) prompt of “…returning to the routine…” and Lillie McFerrin’s Five Sentence Fiction prompt “AWKWARD” into the same post. Actually, it’s a triple whammy, since I’m also using Monday’s Fearless post to coincide.
To catch you up, Julia’s 100-Word Challenge for Grown-Ups gives writers a phrase or picture prompt, and we have 100 words (give or take; see the link for details) to write a story around it. Lillie’s Five-Sentence Fiction gives a one-word prompt, and we’re to write a flash fiction piece, consisting of only five sentences, that corresponds to said prompt.
I didn’t think I’d be able to participate at all this time around, as my schedule has been so hectic…but the pieces just fell together right, for me. (Maybe you disagree.)
“Hope In You”
The bar turned slick beneath her hands, and her arms quivered all the way to her shoulders as her foot slid over the mat. It wasn’t from any thought or impulse, though, but mere weight, and that more than any pain or effort made the tears well.
Graceful, darling dancer: she’d never be that again, not if simply returning to the routine of standing on her dumb, labouring legs was this hard.
Spitting a plea for rest (and hating herself for it), she transferred to the chair, feeling weak, broken, hopeless.
Until she thought of him, and his smile, and pushed herself up again.
Julia’s prompt is a bit easier to recognize, here, than Lillie’s is, but hopefully you can see how I related this to both.
What awkwardness – or return to routine – did you describe, this time around?
Nice work! 🙂
Nicely done. He must be something special.
Thanks, Vanessa. 🙂
Thanks, Sandra. I’m trying my best to make him more than just a pretty face. 🙂
Well done. You convey the struggle in such a realistic emotion/tone. Thanks for sharing. (and incorporating both challenges is a true bonus!) I think concise writing is fun, difficult and well worth the result. 🙂
Great job blending the two challenges. I liked the idea that she was a dancer at one time, and she’s back at the bar trying to walk again, whereas a bar in her dancing career would have been an important challenge in another way.
I think this is excellent – both the way it is written and the story itself. With regard to the last sentence, the importance and significance of that smiling, encouraging face should never be under-estimated. I hope he never feels the burden. And what would she use to spur her on if he weren’t there. Would she just wallow? Her dependency is heartwarming but simultaneously worrying. Well done!
Challenge mash-up! Great idea! This is really nicely done–you made me care about your aging dancer, and I smiled too when “she thought of him.”
Loved this mix of the two! 🙂 x
Really fantastic job combining the prompts. I love her spirit and resolution to try again in the final sentence. Nicely done 🙂
Thanks, Andrew. Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
Thank you, Lorraine. This character’s conflict is so different from anything else I’ve done. I’m glad she works.
Yes, the challenge really is in keeping everything tight and concise. It’s been great practice for me in all my other writing! 🙂
The balance of those two bars was something I hadn’t considered. But I like it! I may have to use it in a larger focus, if you don’t mind. 😉
Thanks, Julia. The prompts really worked for me, this time.
You’re so right that co-dependence can be both good and dangerous. It’s a balance I’ve really enjoyed exploring.
Thanks, Kern. Mostly, the mash-up happened because I was running out of posting space, but I’m glad they work together, this time. 🙂
Thanks, Beth. One aspect of these challenges I enjoy is pushing my own boundaries.
Thanks, Lillie. I’m so glad I was able to work them both together, especially for this character with a larger story. 🙂
Yes, I like doing that too. 🙂
I don’t mind at all. 🙂
Amber is nothing if not determined.
Great work capturing the struggle not only against the weight of the world, but the drag of a broken body and the two-fold level of drive she has to overcome them both.
Thanks, Shade. Amber is certainly a different mindset, for me, though I struggle sometimes with her voice. This serious piece made it a bit easier.
Glad you liked it. 🙂