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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Sport or Fitness (02/15/07)

TITLE: Kaylee's Exercise
By Sara Harricharan


“Kaylee, time to go running!” Mom’s unwelcome suggestion floated through the crack of my bedroom door and around my computer desk, freezing all thoughts in mid-motion.

I glared at the gibberish on the computer screen resulting from interrupted thought stream. “Why?” I stalled, stretching and trying to make sense of the scrambled sentence.

Mom tapped on the room door and pushing it open without waiting for an answer. She stood awkwardly, laundry basket balanced on her hip, a feather duster in hand. “I mean it Kaylee, or else your cellphone will be chatting with your ipod.”

I winced at the reminder of my confiscated music player. “All right, I’m going…as soon as I finish this sentence.”

Mom shook her head, ponytail wagging for emphasis. “That was half an hour ago young lady, there is no more sitting in this room staring at a computer monitor-”

“Writing best-sellers?” I quipped. Mom frowned, but I was right. I was working on the last book in my trilogy.

Prayers and a bit of luck had found me a publisher and an agent willing to market the finished product of a 17-year-old. I squinted at the last sentence and giving up as Mom dusted my head with feathers.

“Even best-selling authors need their exercise.” She teased. “Your characters are pretty active.”

“Mo-om!” I dragged the word out, clicking save as the feather duster danced across my monitor. “Now I have to go. You made me lose my train of thought.” I pushed away from the desk, glancing out the window as Mom dumped my running outfit on the bed. “It’s windy out there.”

“Wear the gray hoodie with that pink panther on it.” Mom shifted the basket and squinted at my bookshelf.

I stepped back as she leaned over and ran the duster over the edge. “It doesn’t match.” I whined.

“It matches your sneakers.” She retorted, tapping my head with the duster again.

I ducked a moment too late, blowing a traitor feather from my forehead. “It’s pretty cold.” I tried again.

“Wear your hat and gloves.” Mom suggested.

“What if it rains? The weather report-”

“Called for perfect weather.” Mom shook her head. “If you think it’s going to rain, borrow the mini umbrella in the coat closet.”

“I’m hungry!” I mumbled through the hoodie, pulling it on and wriggling for it to settle.

“Eat a protein bar. Now out!” Mom ordered, she stabbed the air with the duster. I ran for the stairs.

Skidding to a stop in the kitchen, I nearly collided with Dad who grabbed my arm to steady me. “Whoa, and where’s the fire?”

“No fire.” I panted, reaching for the box of protein bars. “Just an insanely unpredictable feather duster.”

Dad’s eyes grew wide behind his glasses. “Where?”

“With mom.” I grabbed a pink wrapper.

“And you left her with it?” Dad started for the stairs as Mom appeared around the corner.

“Sneakers?” I asked around a mouthful of strawberry-vanilla.

“Hall closet, under your brother’s backpack.” Mom disappeared into the laundry room. “Bryan’s backpack.” She corrected. I trotted down the hall after her directions.

Dad caught up to me just as I stepped through the door. “Wait!” He called, handing me a little box. He waited while I opened it, a satisfied look at my exclamation of surprise.

“Aw Dad! You didn’t have to!” I threw my arms around his neck in thanks, pulling back to plug the new headphones into my digital voice recorder.

He grinned. “Have a good run.”

I rolled my eyes in response, but took the steps two at a time, heading for the sidewalk.

“Okay, recording now.” I pressed the button, settling into a light jog. “One morning, Melissa tells them about Dark Runner, an ordinary girl, who runs because she needs to in the name of freedom…”

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This article has been read 1534 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Julie Arduini02/22/07
This was fun! I loved the line about the traitor feather. I could see the mom with her ambitious duster and the dad all satisfied with the gift. Snappy, fast dialogue that read like a real teen family scene to me. Well done!!!
Joanney Uthe02/22/07
Great story. I can see this developing into the first chapter of something longer.
Jacquelyn Horne02/24/07
Loved this. I could just see the expression the mother wore as she "stabbed the air with the duster." Great job.
Joanne Sher 02/26/07
Your description AND dialogue are very well-done. This was a fun read.
Bonnie Way02/26/07
Really fun read - could definately be a novel! I particularly loved the part about her being a young writer, because I was writing novels at that age myself. You have great metaphors and great dialogue, and I liked how she's able to combine her running and writing at the end.
Michelle Burkhardt02/26/07
This flowed nicely. I enjoyed the dialogue between mom and daughter. Nice job.
Leigh MacKelvey02/27/07
Great job with descriptions and metaphors. There were so many clever sentences which mad the reading fun. One suggestion: When you want to trail off at the end of a sentence, hit the space bar once and then use 3 dots or periods. Example: The weather ...
Betty Castleberry02/27/07
Very cute. Good dialogue between the teen and her mom. Thanks for a fun read.
Donna Powers 02/27/07
I really loved the realistic dialog here. Very enjoyable and believable story. I especially liked the line: "or else your cellphone will be chatting with your ipod.” I'll definitely have to try that one. Well done; thanks for sharing this
Jen Davis02/28/07
I enjoyed this lively piece of writing which quickly illustrated this family’s dynamics of being both loving and fun. I also liked the image of Mom with the laundry basket and feather duster. For consistent verb tense change “giving up” to “gave up” in paragraph 7. I liked the ending too. This was really cute.
Loren T. Lowery02/28/07
Well written with a keen sense of both dialogue and character motivation. Pacing was good in keeping the reader engaged, too.
Patty Wysong02/28/07
Too fun! The feather duster touch added a lot of fun and the personalities were well done. Loved this! :-)
Amy Michelle Wiley 02/28/07
Hehe, love the ending! I like how you worked in how writers don't tend to exercise much, too. ;-) It was a little rough in a few places, but otherwise great story!