Advent Shorts: Day 10 – Broken Bones Hill

Hi all!

Hope you’re all well. We’re now fifteen days away from Christmas! I can hardly believe it! How are your preparations going? Are you in the midst of shopping? Baking? Decorating? What is your favourite part of the Christmas season?

Today’s short is shorter than usual, but definitely not the shortest. That’s a lot of short in one sentence 😉

I’ll be honest and admit that this isn’t one of my best. Still enjoyable, I hope, but not up to my standards–self-imposed as they are.

Here it is anyways. And here’s hoping tomorrow’s will be better!

Broken Bones Hill

This was going to be that do or die moment that would define Rachel for the rest of her life.

Poised on the cusp of the downward slope, her grip on the sled tightened, until her hands turned whiter than the snow below her feet.

The courage she needed to take the plunge was not something innately bred within herself. It was something she had to search deep for.

Her past experiences were tales of cowardice; she had spent every day of her thirteen years avoiding conflict, avoiding violence, avoiding highly stressful or volatile situations.

It was to others that she turned then for the right inspiration. She had witnessed many brave acts in her lifetime.

She thought of her sister, Anna, four years her junior, who had taken a stance between her and the bully seeking to steal her lunch money, even though she was five inches shorter and twenty pounds lighter.

She thought of her mother, making the choice every day to bear a badge and gun and protect the general public from those who craved chaos.

She thought of her father, choosing to pursue his dream of writing despite people calling him ridiculous.

All acts of bravery in their own right. All great examples for her to be motivated by. If they could find courage despite the fears, why couldn’t she.

She forced her gaze to assess the drop.

‘Broken Bones Hill’, they called it. No one had ventured to slide down it in five years, not since the last person to do it had ended up in the hospital with a neck brace.

But here she was. Daring the impossible. Daring to fly.

It had been her own choice, not an action imposed upon her. She had urged herself to this point, to prove that she could live. To prove that she could be stronger than the disease in her bones.

This was her moment. She had to believe in herself.

The toboggan fell against the snow, a mist of it rising up upon the impact. She sank onto the wooden seat.

Her heart rate accelerated, a frantic pulse. Panic throbbed within her, seizing her limbs, commanding her to turn away from the insanity of the act. This was too extreme; she could prove her mettle a different way. That flight instinct was irrepressible, second nature, calling her away from the sheer slope.

But she couldn’t flee. Leaving would mean surrendering to defeatism, accepting her fragility.

It was time for her to emerge from the shadows of her own wariness, time to free herself from the chains of her caution, time to live life without dreading death.

She swallowed down her strangling fear, refusing to allow it to suffocate her.

She closed her eyes, took a breath.

They opened and she propelled herself forward.

Down the slope she sped. The cold wind whipped past her face. She did not feel it. Exhilaration from the thrill of being nearly airborne invaded her body. It numbed her sensations, overpowering her mind and heart.

A cry of delight fled her lips when her sled made contact with a bump on the hill’s surface. She soared through the air. Weightless, she extended her arms, imagining them as wings, imagining herself being carried into the heavens.

Rachel fell back down to earth and the sled veered dangerously beneath her, teetering to the left.

She put all her weight towards the right and the sled straightened beneath her, securely balanced once more.

The rest of the ride was less eventful and she crested at last to a halt a little beyond the hill’s base.

Rachel leapt up before the sled had come to a complete standstill beneath her, her arms flung towards the sky. She shouted out her bliss,  the rush of triumph an electric current surging from her core that flowed through her entire being. Breathless, she was aglow with confidence and delight.

She had never felt so alive.

FIN

May inspiration flow like ink upon your quill,

 

Faith  quill-ink

© 2015. Faith Rivens.

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2 thoughts on “Advent Shorts: Day 10 – Broken Bones Hill

  1. That one airborne moment…I have dreams like that, and they never end well. It’s easy to imagine the fear and subsequent thrill of this ride. You do a great job bringing the excitement she feels to the reader. Well done!

    Liked by 1 person

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