Empty Podium

My entry in this week’s Flash! Friday competition. The photo below and clumsiness had to be interpreted within your story. 160 word max as usual.


The conspicuous glow from two iPhones revealed their position on the wooden bleachers in this dimly lit gymnasium in Nowhere, Wisconsin. They still believed.

Being seventeen and marginally talented, I would occasionally place in the top ten in random competitions across the Midwest. We’ve been on the circuit for a decade and my parents still believed I could make it to the Pan American games or maybe the Olympics. They had dreams of gold medals being forged from their perseverance and dedication. All I wanted was to quit traveling and make new friends, maybe fall in love, enroll in college. Be something besides a teenager wearing a snug leotard that drew lustful stares from the married men stationed throughout the hormonal gym.

I balanced myself on the beam and waved to my parents. Mouthed a silent apology. I’m not a clumsy girl but today I will fall awkwardly on the dismount, hoping I fracture my ankle. My betrayal obscured. Undetected.


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