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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Great Expectations (not about the book) (08/25/11)

TITLE: An Ice of aTime
By Rachael Severa


Alex’s “little sister” was the undesirable name that hovered over me, one of life’s pecking orders, but with all the advantages that a little sister reaps from having an older brother. In retrospect—Alex saw it as a great advantage in having an agreeable sister whose spontaneity and zest for living were equally matched, but with a less than “Take a look at me now!” presence.

This one particular year, we headed to Mammoth ski resort for a family vacation. Just barely eighteen, the image of me on the slopes flashed into an episode of Three’s Company. I prayed for the best.

Unpacking at the cabin felt relaxing instead of the dreaded chore. Alex noticed the pair of jeans I had on were his. “Just borrowing them,” I confessed.
He chuckled, “Make sure I get them back.” And then added, “Are you ready?”
“Already?” feeling rushed. “We have to eat something first.”
Alex is no friend to patience or to his first name. He prefers using his middle. We left, as the remaining daylight pulled us in.

At the Bunny Slope, Alex helped with my ski-bindings.
“To slow or stop, you want to snow plow” He said.
In trying, I couldn’t have been more of a klutz.

After a few exhausting hours of persistent training and downhill plowing, I knew tomorrow would bring a more rigorous day of excitement and adventure.

Rising to the smell of hot chocolate, bacon and eggs suited the occasion. I figured, since I learned quickly, skiing down a real trail would test my confidence. After swallowing my last bite, I studied the colored trail map:

Black Diamonds - Advanced ski trails.
Blue Square - Intermediate ski trails.
Green Circle - Beginner ski trails.

With a mental note, I crossed out beginners slope and went straight for intermediate and maybe advanced.
“Let’s go” my brother signaled. He went on giving direction “I’m going to head up to this trail, and you can practice going down that trail.”

Alex watched me off onto the chair lift having full confidence that I would do fine.
I practiced diligently with turns and learning the mountain terrain. Finally, Alex met me at the bottom, and we rode up together to a trail, I haven’t yet hit.

Skiing off the chair, I thought this was our stop.
“Wait,” he says. “We’re going on the Gondola.”
“OK,” I was for it.
Riding up, I noticed there were fewer and fewer people getting on.
“What trail are we to go down?” I asked suspiciously.
Alex said, “We’re going to the top.”

The sign read, Black Diamond. Alex and I ski off, and it’s just the two of us on top of an 11,000 ft. mountain looking down. There appeared to be a hundred moguls to ski over.

“My Lord,” I cried out. Visions of a broken leg, ambulance, and transport vehicle snuck in. My confidence diminished.

Alex gives me a slight, meet you down there gesture, and races downhill.
The one time I ever felt completely isolated: This is it!

To my surprise, my nervous state played Julie Andrews singing Sound Of Music on the Swiss Alps.

I skied around the first bump then the second, and third in turtle speed.
Next I hit another.
I just glided over the fifth bump.
Then a short burst of gravitation pulled me to the next.
“Alright,” I thought. I’m getting the hang of it.
I proceeded onward with my goggles, polls, and legs intact.

I missed a mogul and went off track, gaining speed, I hit the moguls like bike jumps catching air and couldn’t stop.
Bump after bump I hit, skiing onto a plateau and snow plowed falling backward in a sitting position.
What a relief! And there were people. I found civilization.

I started off again with greater expectations, until I skied over an icy patch.
Not enough pressure to stop. I lost control and tumbled onto the snow face down.
Sliding uncontrollably, I tried to breathe through the snow packs hitting my face.
Ice-cold, I felt when my jacket filled with snow.
Last thing I saw was the mountain shrinking uphill.
In my last attempt, my boots caught traction and stopped me.

My gear decorated the snow over 100 ft.

In my moment of recovery, Alex blocked the sun. “What did you expect?”

In a flash, I said “To live to tell about it.”

In Memory Of My Brother, 2007
A Man who truly lived
Your Little Sis

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This article has been read 410 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 09/01/11
This is a beautiful tribute toyour big brother. I loved the bond the two shared.

Remember to use a new paragraph for each new speaker. Also double-check the rules for punctuation inside quotes. You also switched tenses from past to present. Try to stay consistent.

I love your sense of humor and laughed several times. You painted agreat picture for me. I could visualize the MC's ski equipment all of the mountain. I also enjoyed your fresh take on the topic. Nicely done.
Sarah Heywood09/02/11
You painted a very vivid picture as you recounted this memory with your brother. Your last line was my favorite - it made me laugh!

Keep writing!
C D Swanson 09/03/11
Awww, what a beautiful story. A loving and poignant tribute to your brother. Nicely done, and had me smiling through misty eyes at the end. God Bless~
Jody Day 09/06/11
Nicely done. Loved the last line.
Pamela Weeden09/06/11
well done. This was moving to read and I liked the way you included humour as well as your tribute.

I would agree that you need to keep your tense consistent but overall, a lovely piece.
Lollie Hofer09/06/11
Love the tribute to your brother. Entertaining story, for sure.
Linda Goergen09/07/11
Enjoyed this light-hearted tribute to your brother and your vivid detail had me praying too, as I read, that you’d make it down safely! :) Well written. Thanks for sharing this special time.
Melinda Melton 09/07/11
What a wonderful story and tribute to your brother. I was right there with you on each trail and you brought back memories of my first Black Diamond. Whew! What a jarring experience that was.

The only suggestion I have is to start a new paragraph with each speaker.

Nicely done. Can't wait to read more!
Sarah Elisabeth 09/07/11
Aw wow, neat story! Sounded a lot like me and my big brother, except we've both skied since we could walk. Lots of great details put me right in the snow.

Loved your last line!
marcella franseen09/07/11
A great memory and story. It brought back memories of my skiing experiences. You definitely tell a good story. It's a beautiful tribute to your brother.