What an amazing experience! I’m in the final three for Project Writeway.

This has been an amazing experience. I've learned so much from these challenges and I'm so excited to be in the final three. Thank you to all my friends and family for voting even when you didn't know which one was mine. I hope you've enjoyed reading the entries. The last challenge is to write my novel as flash fiction. This is an entire story in 99 words.
And here's my entry for the murder/mystery.
Mary Multnomah
            At the bridge next to the falls, Susie's hair blew behind her as smooth and white as plain butter cream icing, the sweetness on top of a cake.
            The rest of the choir members stayed in the spray of the falls, but I huffed and gasped for breath as I followed Susie and Tom up the asphalt path. I'd heard Tom talk as we changed into our tuxes before the performance on our choir trip through Oregon. He said he'd hook up with her again on the bus as we drove all night to get home. 
            Couldn't she see? See that Tom only wanted her body. He didn't appreciate her voice. If her hair was like icing, her voice when she sang was like pudding in the middle of a layered cake. It's richness moistened your lips, covered your tongue, and became part of you.
            Before the last switchback at the top of the falls, I leaned against a boulder. But then I heard her words, her pain. She was pregnant. He said she'd better take care of it. That he didn't need this now when he had a full scholarship. That he'd jump off the falls right then if she didn't promise. Or that maybe she should jump. I heard the scream, the cry of desperation.
            I ran around the boulder. Susie was gone.
            I charged. Tom hit the falls. His arms and legs flopped like an empty pastry bag until he disappeared to the bottom, 600 feet below.
17 Years Later
            When Kelsey ran, she could deal with what was ahead. One step at a time. Even in the heat of the desert. Today, at the beginning of the cross country season, she ran with her team on Mount Lemmon, an elevated oasis of trees. 
            As Kelsey neared the turn before the last mile of the run, sweat prickled under her armpits, glued her hair to her forehead, and squelched between her knees.
            "Hey, ice princess," Porter called from behind. "Swish that white hair this way. Might cool me off."
            Kelsey unwound her elastic and whipped her hair at Porter.
            "That's what I'm talking about." He grinned.
            Kelsey slowed, her feet flat against the trail. If Porter wanted to continue to run with her, he'd slow down. If he didn't, she'd given him a chance to pull ahead. He stayed.
            Kelsey slipped the water bottle out of her back pouch and squirted it over Porter's hair, already dark with sweat.
            "After this, we're going to the water park," Porter said. "You could come."
            "I'll ask," Kelsey said. She wanted to. But was it worth the lecture about how men cause nothing but pain?  Her mom never said that's what happened with her dad, but that's what Kelsey guessed.
            She squeezed the last drops of water into her mouth. In the parking lot a few runners pulled sports drinks from a cooler in the trunk of the coach's car. Instead of high fives and checking hydration, the coach stood with her arms crossed talking to a woman whose white-blonde hair hung down her back in soft waves.
            It couldn't be, Kelsey thought. Not my mom. Kelsey leaned forward and sped up, running on the front pads of her feet. Her mom never ventured up any mountain or climbed stairs or rode the elevator.
            "We have to go," her mom said, clamping her hand on Kelsey's sweaty neck.
            She shivered with the cold of her mom's touch.
            "Kelsey." The coach patted her arm. "We're going to miss you."
            "What?" Kelsey looked from her mom to the coach.
            "Susie, your daughter is a great runner," the coach said. "Make sure she keeps it up in Oregon."
            Oregon? Kelsey knew her mom hated the heat of Tucson almost as much as she feared heights. She complained about getting sweaty as she walked from the house to the car. The A/C bills here cost more than keeping a diesel truck full of gas in Oregon. It was too hot if you could cook an egg on the sidewalk. Not that her mom would want to, not with all the cockroaches. There weren't any cockroaches in Corvallis, where her mom was from, except for Kelsey's dad if he was still there. That had to be the reason why her mom had never gone back to Oregon, never taken Kelsey to meet her grandparents.
            Could this be about her dad?
            Bring on the pain, Kelsey thought.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 2nd, 2012 at 7:15 pm and is filed under Project Writeway. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “What an amazing experience! I’m in the final three for Project Writeway.”

  1. Kim Woodruff Says:

    Congrats! I'm so glad you made it to the final three. (I got eliminated.) Good luck with the finals!

  2. Docena Says:

    Kim, I was hoping you would post a comment. I am so sad you were eliminated. I guessed that you were Miss Scarlett. I liked yours the best, better than mine. You are an excellent writer. One of the other final three is a friend of mine. I imagined it would be the three of us in the final three. Your writing is crisp and moves fast and is fun to read.

  3. Harmony Says:

    So…I’m confused! I thought that dude pushed Susie off the falls then the other dude pushed that dude off the falls…what really happened?! It’s good. I want to know more! Congratulations!

  4. docena Says:

    Good. Glad you’re confused 🙂 At least you knew they were both dudes. The first scene is from the killer’s point of view. He doesn’t know what happened to Susie, just that she’s gone. Thanks for reading.

  5. Lauren Says:

    Suzie has got to be the mother of the girl who shows up at the end. Duh! 🙂

  6. Docena Says:

    Is that a duh for you? Did you just get it? Thanks for following, Lauren.

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