100WCGU: By Leaps and Bounds

Week 72 for Julia’s 100-Word Challenge for Grown-Ups is a phrase prompt:
…you said you’d do WHAT?….
We have to incorporate the phrase above, but that means we get to use 105 words, rather than just 100.

My entry is actually a discarded holiday story, so I hope you won’t mind me going back in time a bit….

By Leaps and Bounds

“You said you’d do-”

“What?! I said, I’d help with rehearsal!”

“But, you know the routine. And we need a male dancer-”

“I’m not a dancer.”

“So, it’s not your preferred sport.”

“It’s not a sport at all! Sports are about athletes, and competition, not…glittered faeries jumpin’ about in tutus-”

“You wouldn’t wear a tutu-”

“I don’t care! I’m not doing it.”

“Fine. I’ll ask Joseph.”

“Wh-! Joe? He moves like a duck!”

“I admit, he’s not as good as you-”

“He can’t even land a proper sissonne-!”

“…Shall I take that as a yes?”

“Damn.”

“Don’t worry, love. You’ll make a brilliant Mouse King!”

James Streeter (ENB) as the Mouse King. Public publicity photo by Patrick Baldwin.

James Streeter (ENB) as the Mouse King. Public publicity photo by Patrick Baldwin.

My sister and I used to have a tradition of writing holiday stories, which we’d then trade on Christmas morning to read. This was an inexpensive and fun treat (especially before we had jobs and thus money to spend), and it kept us busy so we weren’t clamoring around the tree at 5am. As growing girls tend to do, though, we fell out of this tradition long ago.

I still think about those holiday stories. With perhaps one exception, they weren’t very good (mine weren’t, anyway), but it was a special kind of joy to know someone was eagerly awaiting the words I’d written. I think that’s why I take part in these challenges: to give a little brightness to at least one person’s day.

WHAT did your characters do, this week?

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16 thoughts on “100WCGU: By Leaps and Bounds

  1. Really cute, Mayumi. I like this piece. I could sense the character really loves to dance but is too macho to admit it, even before the end.

    Your tradition with your sister sounds neat and fun. Did you ever keep the stories you both wrote?

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    • Glad you enjoyed it, Kate. 🙂

      I did keep all those old holiday stories; they’re in a binder on my bookshelf, along with the first and second drafts of plenty of later forays. I kept them for nostalgia, mostly, and sometimes for a laugh. (Though, if you were to press me for honesty, I’d have to admit to lots of love for them, no matter how poorly they may have been executed.)

      I don’t know if my sister kept her stories; we haven’t talked about them in years. I hope she did, though. She’s a big reason why I started reading, and writing my own worlds.

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  2. He never stood a chance, did he? Love the way he was manipulated into this.

    What a great tradition of you and your sister writing stories for each other. I wish I’d had someone like that in my childhood to share a love of reading and writing with.

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    • He never stands a chance with her, to be perfectly honest. 😉

      I need to entice my sister back into writing “for real.” She taught me so much, I think she’d enjoy these little challenges.

      Thanks for stopping by, Sally-Jayne!

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  3. That was fun to hear the voices go back and forth in my head, with the reluctant one’s voice growing shrill as it went on, then ending with a grumpy, grunt of a “Damn.”

    That’s so nice that you and your sister were bonding over writing! And yes, just having the expectation of someone reading your stuff is definitely a joy. I just end up getting embarrassed and tell people, “No, it’s really not that good.”

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    • That’s pretty much exactly how that conversation should sound, spooney, so thanks for the kind words. 🙂

      I know what you mean about the embarrassment factor, especially with people whose opinion I respect and admire. But, if we never show anyone our work, we may never know it’s worth to anyone else. Artists are both their own harshest and most lenient critics, so it’s always good to get a new perspective.

      Thanks for the comment. 🙂

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  4. What a great Christmas gift idea! And this story is really fun. I think someone knows exactly how to get someone to respond the way she wants. 🙂

    My characters are doing a good job of getting my butt in the chair to work on revisions this week. I hope they keep up the pressure. 😉

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    • That’s great news, JM! (It also leads a bit into my Saturday post, so double-thanks for the wind-up!)

      I love it when a story grips us like that. Whether it’s “Write me!” or “Revise me!” or even just “Read me!” That prodding to get back to the other work I love is always the best motivation. Let’s keep that momentum, eh? 🙂

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    • Thank you, Anna!
      Only, I’m not merely being self-deprecating when I say those old stories were awful. They really were! I still get a chuckle from them, though. 🙂

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