General Non-Fiction posted February 3, 2020

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A hard decision


by Xia Thornwood

A true story contest? I stared at the computer screen. What in the world should I write? Do I have anything to share that would interest anyone anywhere?

I guess I could write about the time cows got into our horse pasture. It wasn't just a regular herd, either. It was a mother and her two calves, which added an exhilarating edge of danger to our herding attempts. I could try to capture the thrill of adventure as my brother and I grabbed our swords and stepped out after them. Or the ecstasy that comes from facing challenges with someone you trust so completely, the euphoria of being trusted in return.

I could write about my first taste of highschool drama: how I'd liked him from middleschool, and still cherished the dream that maybe, now that he went to a different school, maybe he remembered me, or even missed me. I could try to put to paper the numb apathy when my friend told me he had someone else. Or the way it finally hit me when I went home. How all I wanted was to have my mother hold me.

Or maybe I could tell of the time I playfully called my father names. It was all in good fun, and we laughed, but I felt like I had crossed a line. I worried I had spoken hurtfully as he flicked my ear and walked away. I could tell how my laughter twisted into sobs in the empty, dark room, as I cried tears of anguished shame into the fur of our poor cat. I could try my hardest to record how I loathed what I had said. I could try to grasp the words to tell of my silent vow that night, as I promised myself to keep my good fun kind for the rest of my life. I could write about the pain of learning lessons the hard way.

But to write a story well is to connect with the reader.

And to connect with the reader is to share emotions.

And to share emotions is to be vulnerable.

So I set my pencil to the page and began a different story.

"A true story contest? I stared at the computer screen..."

True Story Contest contest entry
Pays one point and 2 member cents.

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