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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Season(s) of a year or life (01/13/11)

TITLE: Follow the Bouncing Ball
By Lollie Hofer


Lying peacefully in her crib and dreaming innocent dreams born only to babies, Violet jumped as a ball bounced off her bedroom door. With eyes wide open, she let out a wail. Totally frustrated, she tried to use her arms and feet to explain to Momma about the frightening noise she heard. Was it Violet’s fault if all her mother heard between sobs was, “Coo, goo, blaa, coo, goo, glump?”

Snuggling onto Momma’s strong yet gentle shoulder, Violet enjoyed the humming noise from her mother’s song. Dozing off to sleep once again, her tears and runny nose dripped onto Momma’s dress.


The toddler, with curly brown hair and brown eyes, was determined to catch the rubber ball. Every time Momma bounced the ball to Violet, she threw her arms wide open, missing the ball and falling hard onto her diapered bottom. Clapping her hands, through a mixture of giggles and squeals, she declared, “Again. Do again.”

As far as Violet was concerned, this was the best game ever invented. “No, no wanna take nap. Play again,” she screamed pounding the ground with her fists and feet. Fighting Momma all the way into the house, she made it clear she wasn’t done playing with the ball.


The shattering of glass interrupted the quiet of the summer afternoon. Violet had been tossing her ball into the air. Playing by herself, the goal of this game was to throw it up higher than the last time.

“Oh man, I’m gonna get in trouble,” Violet said while hitting her forehead with the softball glove. “I broke my record and the kitchen window as well.”

She knew she needed to quickly come up with a convincing story to keep from being grounded. The softball took an accidental bounce the wrong way, honest, Momma. Practicing her little-girl-look-with-the-big-brown-eyes, she took a deep breath when she heard her mother’s footsteps on the back deck.


“MOOOOOOOOM, Jimmy’s bouncing his ball in my room again. It bounced onto my desk and broke my IPod,” Violet yelled down the stairs. “Look dweeb,” she said grabbing her brother and dragging him from her room. “I. don’t. want. you. in. my. room. Do. I. make. myself. clear?”

Slamming her bedroom door, Violet ran to her unmade bed. Throwing herself onto the bedding she fumed. I never treated my older sister this way. Little brothers and bouncing balls should be outlawed. Or, at the most, four-year-olds should be sent to another planet until they turn five.

Picking up the IPod, she began to inspect the damages.


The loud crash in the living room sent Violet running. Wiping her wet dish-water hands on her jeans, she stared in disbelief at the basketball still bouncing around the room.

"What in the world?” she asked her ten-year-old son. “How many times have I told you not to play with your basketball in the house?” she demanded.

“N-n-n-o-o-o-t enough?” Timothy stammered.

“Right now I need to you go to your room,” Violet said while rubbing her temples. “I need to calm down first so I won’t be guilty of murder. I do want you to survive to see another birthday, you know. And then you will come back in here and help me clean up the mess.”

Bending over the broken vase and picking up a shard of porcelain, Violet thought back to her own childhood and the broken kitchen window. Turning around so her son couldn’t see her smile, she thought You were right, Momma. What goes around does come around.


Tossing the ball to her six-year-old granddaughter, the ball bounced not quite hitting its mark. Violet grabbed her back. “Getting old sure does suck,” she said under her breath.

Smiling at Nola with the curly brown hair and big brown eyes, Violet said, “Just a couple more throws and Grandma’s going in the house. I’m not as young as I use to be. Want to make some brownies after my nap?”

“Oh, Grandma, you’re the greatest. I love you,” Nola said throwing the ball gently to her grandmother.

“Oh yeah? Well, I love you better, bestest, mostest,” Violet rebutted.

“Well, I love you better, bestest, mostest with a cherry on top,” Nola declared giving Violet a big hug on the way into the house.


Lying peacefully in her bed, Violet jumped as a ball bounced off her bedroom door. Instead of irritating her, it brought comfort to her tired soul, knowing her family was close by as she neared the end of her life.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Joanne Sher 01/24/11
I like the way you kept the ball as the overarching theme. Neat approach to the topic.
Sydney Avey01/25/11
A nice device to show the seasons of life.
Shann Hall-LochmannVanBennekom 01/27/11
I love the irony of the learning ball. Thiswas such a delight read.

It's just my opinion, but when the mc was getting at her brother, I wordy if it would've shown her feelings more if each letter had been in caps with extra space between words Also I was reading this as taking place now which means Ipods weren't invented when she was a teen.

But that's just little stuff that doesn't really matter at all because you wrote a wonderful story that everyone can relate to. Congratulations on your well-deserved placing! It really was a delightful read.
Theresa Santy 01/29/11
What a great story of a bouncing ball that bounced its way through generations. I enjoyed watching the shift in perspective.