Friday, December 16, 2011

Write On Edge: Countdown Challenge

This weeks Red Writing Hood  challenge comes from . She gives us 300 words to write a piece of fiction or creative non-fiction about a countdown, starting with "Three. Two. One."

I offer the following: Downhill Fast

“Three,” she forced herself to breathe.

“Two.” She was a caged tiger, ready to fight the mountain.


The alarm sounded, Go!

She exploded from the start gate, her heart pounding wildly. Stabbing with her poles alternately at the snow before tucking them under her arms, she then dropped into her crouch and began her decent on the piste. She eased into her attack, building speed, with shock-like legs working beneath her. Rapidly approaching, the first series of plastic gates taunted her, but she refused to yield. The few cross-blocks were over in less than a second and she landed the following jump with practiced precision. The wind bit at her lips, already chapped from exposure, an odd comfort in a torturous sport. She blurred through another series of hairpins and banked into a turn that had a substantial drop. Her landing was flawless but she refused to celebrate. The mountain would not surrender that easily.

The piste threw more obstacles in her way. She scoffed at the safety net as she cut through the next bend, shinning the hairpins immediately following, catching air over the dips. More gates raced effortlessly by. Finally, the expanse of open land stretched out before her. The finish line was mere seconds away. “Come on!”  Screaming through her burning lungs and tiring legs, she pushed herself through the straightaway. “Come on!”

At last, her struggle against the mountain was over. She sailed across the finish, victoriously gasping for breath. The sound of blood rushing through her ears was slowly replaced by cheering crowds. Panting still, she stripped off her goggles to look at the scoreboard.

For the moment, she was queen of the mountain, crowned by a mere half-second. Still the event was young and more tigers eagerly waited at the top.


  1. By the end, my heart was pounding, too! Great job!

  2. You managed to make this exciting for even a non-skier. I like that the results were not final and she may only momentarily hold the high score. This is excellent.

  3. I ski, but not like that!

    Still the rush... and the internal monologue. I do that every time I tackle a trail.

    Love the use of the countdown... and the tiger.