Challenge Taken: First Impressions

I know what you are already saying; another challenge so soon?  I am saying the same thing; it was not intentional; I just innocently had a peek at Kenneth Broad’s blog -where he had collated a few of his favourite short stories -which had been submitted as part of a few flash fiction challenges and my eyes got caught on his challenge (The challenge in question is thus:  Create one fictional story of 500 words that starts with the sentence “I cared what she thought, so when she dared me I knew I was in trouble.”) -I thought interesting but no; I will concentrate on my novel for now…

My mind had other ideas it seemed and started to churn through possibilities -I say that because at a very early hour this morning, when I was trying to sleep; a story popped into my mind and would not let up till I penned it (luckily I had a notepad handy).  I scribbled something illegible and had to the dechipher it later in the day; then play with the layout etc; long story short, its completed.  You can see the results below; hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Incidentally, for those who want to know the word count is 453 -title included.

First Impressions

I cared what she thought, so when she dared me I knew I was in trouble…  I jumped; the next preceding thoughts and words were something on the lines of:

One elephant, two elephants, three elephants…

‘Aaaargh!  What the hell!  What was I thinking?!!!  Why take on a silly dare -why oh why oh why?!!!’

…Remember to count!  Eleven elephants, twelve elephants; breathe; fourteen elephantsnot necessarily in that order.

I tried to move my arms in anticipated preparation to clasp the cord that would lessen my fall but they were pinned back by the vast strength of the atmosphere I was plummeting through at God knows how many miles per hour!

…Twenty-five elephants, twenty-six elephants…

I could imagine her grinning all teeth bared; getting a kick out of my meagre attempt of bravery…

…Thirty elephants…

Now where was that cord!  My arms were not moving; refusing to budge as the panic set in further; I could see below me; trees, open fields, a lake…

–Oh now I really had to try!!!

…Forty-one elephants, forty-two elephants…


-I think I felt a movement from my arms; I could feel the clasp near my chest; I tightened my grip and waited…

…Fifty-eight elephants, fifty-nine elephants, sixty elephants…

I pulled the cord ferociously; something snapped…snapped?!!!  I looked in horror as the realisation set in; the cord failed…  now what was that they said about if the cord fails??  Damn –I knew I should have opted out or taken the tandem option.  Now think hard fast!

As I searched the depths of my brain; trying to recall the random information fed to me prior the jump.  I remembered – the emergency cord for the reserve; my hands reached quicker than I could say so.

I waited in suspense as I pulled and prayed; something definitely gave way and I shot up into the air with a force I was not expecting –alarmed I thought this is it…  to think it came to this…  I silently said my goodbyes with a fear in the pit of my stomach.


I was gliding gently through the clouds…

Woo hooooo!

I did it, I really did it and on my own!  I could not wait to see her beautiful smug face; tell her she had better pay up or take my dare…  a smile crept on my face…  I was grinning –no laughing with relief and exhilaration!  My eyes fell on the landscape below then to the Swallows flying past…


I decided to enjoy the moment.  Facing Jenny’s astonishment would be a joy I would delve in later…  No doubt a big effort exhausted to impress her on my part; next would my turn to challenge her.


~ by yikici on April 22, 2011.

8 Responses to “Challenge Taken: First Impressions”

  1. I have to ask! Is this written from research or experience?

    I love it! Very clever idea. I think everybody has had a similar experience (well maybe not jumping out of a perfectly good airplane) of finding themselves in a position of extreme discomfort, being caught between terror and admitting defeat.

    I’m glad that the idea popped into your head. Thanks for taking part!

    • I’d love to say it’s from experience but sadly no; I did a wee bit of research for technical terms and time span to open the parachute etc; other than that it was a case of imagining what it would be like if I had made that jump. Having said that I have always wanted to do a tandem jump (I’m not that brave to jump out by myself!); I have looked into it and watched programs a while back so all that must have fed through into the story.

      Thank you for your comments and yes you are right; people do find themselves in predicaments that are not ideal and tough decisions and realisations have to be made; it’s part of life; therefore, it should also be part of stories me thinks… 🙂

      Thank you for an engaging challenge which prompted me with the opportunity to take part and have an epiphany during my sleep time!!! 🙂

  2. I would never jump out of a plane unless it was going to crash! Fabulous story with a bit of a nail biting moment.

    • Thank you Billie Jo, I surprised myself with that; sometimes inspiration comes at the oddest moments!! 🙂

  3. The moment of seeing the sparrows was nice, illustrated the peace much more vividly than any sort of paragraph could, I think.

  4. Love it. I was wondering the same about experience or research – which is great to have a reader wondering! 🙂

    • Aw Amber that’s a lovely comment, thank you 🙂 I’m glad it’s come across as believable!

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