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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Bold (emotionally) (08/30/07)

TITLE: The Longest Walk
By Karen Wilber
09/02/07


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John wiped the sweat from his palms as he stepped onto the floor. This was it. His heart thundered in his ears. His mouth – a desert with no taste, no feel, just dust bereft of even a drop of water. He took another step. The crowd behind him grew restless. The buzz of barely suppressed laughter filled his ears, daring him to go further. There wasn't time to hesitate. He had to make a decision. He stepped forward.

Thinking back, it all appeared so effortless. He watched his companions take the floor, graceful in their movements. When the music and noise swelled it created a comfortable bubble from which to observe the proceedings. Then it was his turn. Faces turned toward him; some nodding in mirth; others shaking with pity for what was about to happen. Yet, he was prepared. He realized that he had been preparing all year for just this moment. Every sense was alert, ready to move forward. It was time.

The object of his dreams grew closer with every footfall. Then he stopped, frozen. John couldn't tell if it was the anticipation of the event to come or the fear of the ridicule he would meet if he turned back that mortified him the most. He was in no man's land now. He swallowed the urge to run away.

Halfway there. He couldn't turn back and admit failure. The only way out was forward. Doubt nagged at him, stalling his steps. Rejection would be the realization of his worst nightmare. Yet, the end might be sweeter than he had ever imagined. The journey's end might bring the fulfillment of all his dreams.

He looked up at the clock. Time was running out. He said a prayer. No matter what the outcome, he had faith that God would carry him through. A smile lifted the corners of his lips. His steps became lighter. Courage filled his heart as he closed in on destiny. The music faded and he heard his friends behind him, willing him on as the last song began. At the last dance of his Senior year in high school, John Palmer took a final bold step and held out his hand to the woman who would one day be his bride.

-”May I have this dance?”

-”I thought you'd never ask.”


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This article has been read 884 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jennifer Johnson09/06/07
Great build up to an unexpected ending. The mouth metaphor could be reworked...can't see a mouth compared to "dust." Good job capturing the angst of a teenager...most things are super-dramatic at that age.
Marita Vandertogt09/09/07
I liked this... good descriptions of his fear, leading up to an unexpected ending which gave the story that much more charm in retrospect. Well done!
Diane Bertrand09/13/07
I couldn't wait to see what poor jihn was trying to accomplish! Very suspenseful.Great light ending.
Mo 09/13/07
Great last 3 lines. Congrats on your placing!
Laury Hubrich 09/14/07
Congratulations on your 3rd place entry!
Laury
Dee Yoder 10/20/07
Excellent writing! Congratualtions on your win with this entry.