Below is the draft of the story I wrote for this exercise. It’s a little longer than 500 words – I got carried away – but it was fun to write. Please feel free to include yours in ther comments and share them with others!
I put the items, location, and animal I chose in BOLD.
This was it. Leila stood looking out at the night sky, a blanket of stars before her, emptiness below her in the darkness. She didn’t want to do it; but she knew she had no other choice. An icy wind whipped through her body and she felt her fingers and toes grow numb. There was only one way out of this situation. For too long she had waited. Agonized. Suffered.
And now it came down to this.
Her phone buzzed to life in her pocket, which startled her. She fumbled with her numbed fingers to grasp the phone in her jacket pocket. She saw the name on the screen, closed her eyes, then answered.
“Hello,” she said as her teeth chattered.
“Are you coming down the slope soon?” the voice on the other end began. “We’d like to go get food sometime tonight.”
“Okay, okay,” Leila said with frustration. She looked down the snowy hillside of the ski slope. She was alone and the ski lift had come to a halt. It was just her.
At the edge of a double-black diamond ski slope!
Why did I think I could do this? she thought to herself. To impress your sister, duh!
Her sister who was not impatiently waiting for her with the rest of the group at the bottom of the run. Her sister who was now calling her to get her to come down.
“On my way,” Leila said as she disconnected and put the phone back in her pocket. “Hope they have good food in the hospital cafeteria,” she said to herself. “Because this isn’t gonna end well!”
She heard a growl. Was it her stomach? No, she would have felt that, too. She looked to her right. Nothing there. She heard the growl again. To her left. She swallowed and looked to her left. A coyotecrept toward her. It’s mouth in a snarl.
Leila did her best to stay calm, and reached into a pocket on her ski pants and pulled out a half-eaten candy bar. “I know chocolate is bad for dogs,” she said, “but I think you can handle this.” She tossed the candy bar in the coyote’s direction. It looked at the sugary bribe, then back at her.
“Darn!” she said, then looked down the slope. “And down we go,” she said in a low voice, hoping the animal eyeing her would stay put.
Leila leaned forward quickly, her skissliding inch-by-inch toward the edge. She gripped the poles tight, took a deep breath, and felt her body descend.
The powder churning up around her skis was a comforting sight; she had been terrified it was ice all the way down.
Leila felt herself picking up speed. She wavered a bit, but maintained her balance…at least for the moment.
Then the ice came. Her once seemingly sensible speed went from manageable to uncontrollable. The wind whipped through her hair and around her goggles. Her blue beanie was ripped from her head as she careened faster and faster down the slope.
With all her might she attempted to form a wedge with the front of her skis to slow herself down, but she hit a bump in the icy terrain that sent her sprawling off balance. She felt herself launch into the air, her body like a wayward missile with no clear target.
And she landed on her side, but continued to slide downward. Pain radiated from her side and the arm she landed on, but she was grateful her phone was in the opposite pocket. However, she had her sister’s “lucky charm” in her other pocket…of the side she landed on. She shifted as she slid and pulled the lucky charm out to look at it: a small Funko Pop! of Wonder Woman.
She chucked it up the slope only to see the coyote making its own slip-sliding way down toward her.
Leila’s legs were heavy from her ski boots; her skis were on two separate solo runs down the hill, and from her viewpoint it looked like they would arrive at the bottom before she did!
Not wanting to wait around for her new friend, Leila shifted head-first down the slope and “swam” the rest of the way down the mountain.
As she arrived at the bottom of the hill – still on her side – her sister stood over her. “You couldn’t have done thattwo hours ago?” her sister said.
“If I knew it would be that easy,” Leila replied, “I would have!”
“Where’s my lucky charm?” her sister asked.
“On the mountain,” Leila said as she awkwardly stood. “But I think the coyote up there will try and get it first.”
Her sister considered the news. “I’m good,” Leila’s sister said. “Dinner?”
“Yes!” Leila said.
I look forward to reading yours! Have a great weekend!