While watching the Olympic opening ceremony I wrote a little story and entered it in a contest.
It has nothing to do with the Olympics, but is just based on the theme of the contest, Balance, and the things that came out of my fingers. Enjoy.
Annabelle stands out on the middle of the tightrope and looks at the audience below, all smiles and cheers and breaths held in. Annabelle bends her knees to regain her balance but keeps smiling, the show-smile she put on as she entered the circus tent. Her father stands below and waves his hands into the air and shouts into the audience to spur them on.
The smile Annabelle has on is the same one her father uses when he leaves the trailer with small sores on his knuckles and a wife crying inside saying “Belle, baby, it’s all right mama’s all right.”
It was Bellow who made her think life could be okay again. He rode a horse in the circus and had brown hair and a gentle way with animals. They rode out in secret once and kissed, in a meadow after midnight. He whispered to her under the stars and kissed her and her heart was his.
Annabelle’s father claimed a single drink just calmed the nerves, told her he was afraid of the crowds and realized what he said and made Annabell promise never to drink, and never to tell anyone. She promised, but took a sip later. Alone, just to see. It felt good, a warm, stinging sweetness. Her head hurt the next day and the tightrope was longer and thinner.
“Good luck up there.”
“Thanks,” she says.
“You’ve been drinking.”
Annabelle sees her lie in Bellow’s eyes. She turns and enters the main tent where she draws a flask from a small pocket and takes a sip to calm the nerves and clear the head.
Annabelle stands out on the middle of the tightrope and thinks of the drink and the lie she told Bellow. Was it drinks? Did Bellow know? Did he still love her?
The ground rises up and her mind screams “net!” but the net snaps and the audience gasps. Annabelle lets out a breath, slowly. She does not inhale again.
No balance is needed to lie still on the ground.