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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bitter and Sweet (05/28/09)

TITLE: Fun and Reality
By Terry Atchison


“Will we be there soon? How much longer?” The voice of the little boy was tense with excitement.
“I want to ski the black runs today. 'The Tunnel', okay? Look at all the snow!” His little ten-year-old's hand was pointing toward the summits surrounding the car.
“Go faster, Dad! Faster!” Little Bobby was getting very excited now.

“Hon, we will be there in about five minutes. Please try to be patient.” Bob's mom, Jill, was smiling at her husband, Jack, as they wound their way up the snowy, mountain road.
“Just look at all those people skiing! I hope they will leave some snow for us. This is going to be a beautiful day.”

The family parked their car and bought their ski passes. Waiting lines for the ski lifts were filled with multi-colored ski suits. From a distance, they resembled giant jelly beans all in a row. The sun was shining, reflecting brightly off of the snow, so sunglasses were a must. The air was cool, but the temperature seemed very warm. At last, the happy trio were seated and commenced their journey to the summit.

“Look how well he keeps his skis together, dad. He is almost as good as us.” Little Bob commented on most of the skiers styles, as they passed beneath them.

“Are you sure that you want to try 'The Tunnel' run, Bob? It is one of the hardest ones on the station.” Jack was smiling and winking at Jill as he spoke.

“Sure dad. I will show you. I'm not afraid, and I will race you down it. You are too old to keep up with me.” He ended his words with a little punch to the arm of his dad.

They arrived at the summit and stopped for a moment, just to drink in the view. All around them was blue sky, free of clouds. The sun was brilliant, and they could see for miles in all directions. Mountain peaks, white with snow, were reaching for the sky. They faded to a bluish-gray in the distance. Jill sighed and closed her eyes. Her mind was taking a picture to be remembered at a later date.

“Let's do this.” Jack broke their moment with nature.

“YES!” Shouted Bob.

They skied down a slope a hundred yards or so, then through a small tunnel, to arrive at 'the wall', as some called it. Before them lay a run about one hundred yards wide and about three hundred yards down. It was filled with moguls on one side. The angle was so steep that in some places you could actually touch the mountain side with your hand as you skied down. This was defiantly not for beginners.

“Catch me, dad!” And off went Bob. He looked like a little sparrow, dropping down from a tree, as he sped down the mountain side.

Jack jumped and turned to follow him, and Jill, followed as the red lantern. The descent was very steep and technical, with some of the moguls reaching six feet in height. Jack and Jill followed Bob, speeding and jumping down the slope.

Bob reached the bottom first and pulled a bottle of water from his backpack. He was drinking as his parents arrived.

“Wow! That was great.” Jack exclaimed. “You beat me fair and square little buddy. Bravo.”

“That was wonderful.” Jill managed to say, between pants. “My knees have turned to butter.”

They continued their way, down the black run, skiing along at a very fast pace, taking curves on walls of snow. They shouted and laughed as each one passed the other again and again. It was a beautiful run, lots of fun.

The day passed. All three were having a wonderful time. Sunshine, snow, wonderful runs. What more could there be to better their day? The family finally stopped at one of the restaurants on the mountainside for lunch. They sat on the terrace and ate a raclette with a tasty salad Nicoise. Jack and Jill trinked a couple of glasses of Reisling, sneaking in a few 'I love yous', over the table.

Bob, Jack, and Jill were having the time of their lives. Jill felt such a love for her husband and son. Jack was feeling proud of his son for his skiing exploits, and was looking at his wife, thanking God for such a wonderful person. What a beautiful experience this day has been. All three were enjoying it to the max.

Jill's cell phone rang. It was their thirteen-year-old daughter, Roberta.

“Mom, I'm pregnant.”

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sara Harricharan 06/04/09
Well, that was certainly a good twist for the ending! Didn't see that one coming, though i was wondering what the catch would be.

One note, for a 10-year-old, Bobby seems to see-saw back and forth between a 5 year old and a 12 year old. Try to stay consistent with the age appropriate dialog and omit tags like "Little Bobby" when you've got a young character over 8 years old. it makes it more realistic.

Otherwise, good job. I hope the family can weather that surprise.
Stacy Wells 06/04/09
I agree with the other comment, but maybe I'm around the wrong ten year olds. Or maybe you were trying to give it a "Brady Bunch" feel, everything is too good to be true.

It was an awesome twist and certainly made a sweet day bitter. I was left wonderding why the 13 year old wasn't with the rest of the picture perfect family. That is a good thing, your story wasn't forgettable.
Gregory Kane06/06/09
Likewise I approached the ending wondering where the bitterness was. Your surprise would be improved by a reference or two to Roberta earlier in the story, perhaps by having the mother worry aloud whether she was okay.
Nevertheless an energetic story - almost makes me want to make a fool of myself on the slopes!
diana kay06/10/09
I liked this we have all been there in the car with a child impatient to get there! I agree I thought he was about 6 or seven and then when he skied to be 13 or so but the little sparrow description dd not fit. I liked the tension. I hoped he was not going to have an accident and be airlifted off the mountain. I think you should have made daughter older 16 maybe because it does not quite work otherwise.