I swear, every week I look forward to @VinMcCarthy and his Flash Fiction Challenges. I used to write a bit when I was younger, but I sort of went on hiatus for a few years. Going to school took up a lot of my time, and it wasn't until a senior year writing class that I rediscovered my passion. And the Vingle community is so kind! And creative! Ugh, this is just the best.
Anyway, gushing aside, here's my contribution this week. I picked the second prompt: "There's something this person has strived their whole life to accomplish, and just as they try to really begin, they are stopped by some other force." I hope you enjoy it!
I call it:
*Just fifty more steps. You can make it.* The sword is just ahead of me, bathed in sunlight. I can practically feel it in my grasp already. I can imagine wielding it, fulfilling the dreams of a lifetime. I've spent so many nights feeling the weight of it in my palms, and it's so close to being a reality.
*Forty more steps. Keep moving. Come on!*
The harsh brambles and thorns underfoot tear at my already wounded ankles. I can feel blood seeping from the injury in my side. But I've come so far! I won't be deterred now. I promised everyone I left behind that I would return with the sword.
*Thirty more steps. Come ON!*
Onwards! To victory! To redemption! To glory and fame! I can practically taste it! Just a little further- I push my exhausted body past its' limit.
*Twenty-five more steps...*
No stopping now. No quitting! I wheeze and cough, but I have to push myself further. Once I reach the sword, all injuries will be healed. All my troubles will-
"Hey!" I almost trip over myself with the force of my shout. A woman is standing in the clearing, so close to the blade. Her armor is worn and dented, but she looks just as determined as I.
"Who are you?"
I clutch my stomach.
"I could say the same to you!"
"You're not thinking of taking the sword?"
I glare at her.
"I certainly can't have it!"
She returns my bitter stare.
"I'll get there first."
She is closer. But she's limping. *Just twenty more steps.* She shudders, wincing as she stumbles on a loose rock.
"You don't understand. I need it!"
I let out a harsh laugh.
"And you think I don't? I need to restore the dignity of my family! After years of defeat, I will return victorious with the most powerful sword in the world!"
She hisses through her teeth.
"And what will you do with it? Will you slay the dragon plaguing my village? Rescue the captives of the Evil King? The world needs heroes, not glory-starved weaklings!"
I nearly choke on my retort.
"You take me for a weakling?! How would I have traversed this wicked forest, with all the wild beasts and dangerous traps, if not for my strength and courage!"
*Ten more steps*. My breathing is heavy. She's so close! But I think I can reach it first. I pant. *So close. So close!*
"You didn't slay the beasts, and it was pure luck that allowed you to survive the traps." She edges forwards, wobbling on her unsteady feet. "I saw you in the distance."
*Five more steps.*
"It matters not the path I took," I whisper, "What matters is that I will reach the blade first!"
*One more step.*
My hands close around the hilt.
In the same moment, so do hers.
I came really close with that one!
I was 5 words short of the word limit. Phew! I hope other people participate soon, I really liked this prompt! Thank you again @VinMcCarthy :D