The Rodeo I Won

Good thing this rodeo was for writers and not for cowboys, because I would have died!

Several weeks ago, I was browsing one of my favorite blogs, The Daily Flabbergast, and happened upon an announcement for a “flash-fiction” rodeo contest. So, naturally, at 11:30 pm on a Tuesday night, I decided to saddle up!

The challenge, sponsored by The Carrot Ranch, was to write a story in exactly 99 words, based off the following verbal and visual prompt:

“Reach for it!”

Within the next 45 minutes, I had written a story. It won. Yay!

While the extremely precise word limit seemed at first like a daunting obstacle, a few years of scriptwriting helped redefine my idea of storytelling.

If you’ve ever read a play, you will notice that there is minimal narration in the script (with the exception of occasionally exciting stage directions). In a play, the dialogue is enough to tell a story. So that’s what gave wings (or spurs, rather) to my late night inspiration…

“Reach for the sky!”
“Teacher says the sky is the limit.”
“Shuttup. Gimme your paper.”
“But I drew this!”
“Gimme it. It’s better than mine.”
“But it looks like me, not you.”
“Here, you take mine. Trade pictures with me or I’ll shoot!”

“What happened to your eye, son?”
“A bully shot me with a rubber band, sir.”
“He wanted my homework. It was a self-portrait.”
“That’s awful mean. Did you tell your teacher?”
“Yes, Sheriff Brown, but I want him arrested.”
“Arrested? How do I know what he looks like?”
“He looks like this.”

Thank you for reading!

Before you go, I have two simple requests:

  1. If you plan to come back, help me get to know you by completing this short survey!
  2. If you are looking for a unique way to pay it forward this Christmas, help me spread joy to underprivileged kids!

One Comment on “The Rodeo I Won

  1. It was fun getting to know the story behind the story. I remember when I first wrote a piece for the Carrot Ranch. 99 words? I will never be able to write EXACTLY that many. Well, turns out, I would. It’s not easy, but it’s fun!

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