The Champ

Another Friday, another bash at the tempting weekly prompt supplied by the folks at Flash! Friday. Recently inspiration, writing and general life itself have lacked any spark. So I was delighted to find that this week I was accorded runner up position – behind that goliath of flash fiction Karl A. Russell  (you should check out his winning entry by the way!).

The photo prompt is below, the theme this week was clumsiness.

Hope you enjoy



Shiva. CC photo by Raphael Goetter.
Shiva. CC photo by Raphael Goetter.


The Champ

Lights flashed as she took her position. The audience silent, transfixed by her feet precariously balanced on the thin strip beneath her. This day had been coming, all her mentors and friends had promised her as much. The inevitable outcome, forged from her single-minded pursuit of that perfect state.

Heart pounding, she raised her arms midway, taking in a breath. She was back in the old school gymnasium. The scent of talc, the complaint of equipment, Skye’s perfect ponytail bobbing to and fro in front. For years she followed in the wake of that hair, in the shadow of that girl. Well, where was perfect Skye now?

‘When you’re ready Madam’

Snapped back to reality she takes a step, then another. Maybe this time she’ll win.

Then a treacherous foot betrays her, ensnaring the other. The harsh bite of tarmac as she hits the ground.

Blue and red flashes across her vision as the officer stoops down, breathalyzer in hand.


Judges Comment

I love how this story lets our own preconceptions from the image lead us astray, then strengthens those preconceptions with the flash back moments, then turns it all on its head. The lights? Not a spotlight, but a cop car. The audience? Not thousands of fans but a cop. The inevitable, promised day? Not the shining Olympic moment but the low point on a self-destructive path.  Each of those moments draws us down the wrong path and yet entirely holds up even when we know where the story’s going while rereading.



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