Sunday, December 16, 2012

Holiday Writing Contest

The wonderful Susanna Leonard Hill is hosting her 2nd Annual Holiday Writing Contest. I didn't participate last year, but thought I would give it a try this year. It's been a while since I've written a short story, but it was fun to get in that mindset for a little bit.

Before I post my story, let me share a few of the rules of the contest from Susanna's blog.

Write a children's holiday story beginning with any version of "Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh." You may use that actual opening, or you may change it to any similar version "[Verb of your choice]ing through the [any substance you choose] in a [conveyance of any kind]." For example, "Dashing through the sand in a two-wheeled donkey cart" or "Sloshing through the swamp in a green and white canoe" or "Flying through the air in a striped hot air balloon..." You get the idea, I'm sure :) Your story may be poetry or prose, silly or serious or sweet, religious or not, based on Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or whatever you celebrate, but is not to exceed 350 words. 

So without further ado, here's my story!

The Perfect Solo
(346 words)
“Dashing through the snow, in a one horse open sleigh.”
            Would the song ever end? If there was one thing I couldn’t stand, it was my sister practicing over and over for the school Christmas program. With the lead solo, she wanted to be perfect. Perfect. Yes, Tiffany was perfect in every sense of the word – perfect grades, perfect hair, perfect smile.
            Then there was me. Ordinary Chloe. I struggled with math, had frizzy hair and wore glasses. My part for the program – a dancing tree. Seriously? Couldn’t I have at least sung in the choir?
            Finally the night of the Christmas program arrived. My fellow dancing trees and I took our places and waited for our turn on stage.
            I felt someone tug on one of my branches. It was Tiffany. She mumbled something I couldn’t hear.
            “What?” I asked.
            She mumbled again.
            “I can’t hear you,” I said a little too loudly.
            “Shush, Chloe,” said Mrs. Turner, my teacher.
            Of course, why would Tiffany get in trouble? She tugged on my arm again, and I turned around.
            “Shouldn’t you be getting ready for your big solo?” I asked.
            “My voice is gone,” said Tiffany.
            “I think I practiced too much. I can’t sing!”
            I could see tears rolling down Tiffany’s cheeks. I didn’t wait to admit it, but I hated to see her cry.
            “Let me sing for you. I’ve heard you practicing so much, I know it by heart. I can sing back here and you can mouth the words. No one will know the difference.”
            “Really, you’d do that for me?” Tiffany wiped her eyes.
            “Sure, isn’t that what sisters do? Help each other out?”
            Tiffany smiled. “I’m so glad I have you for a sister.”
            We told Mrs. Turner our plan, and she agreed it was a good idea.
            After the show, Mom and Dad gave us both a hug. “I’m guessing there’s a story behind what happened tonight?” asked Mom.
            Tiffany put her arm around my shoulders. “I have the best sister in the world.”
            I smiled. “Me too.”

I hope you enjoyed it! Have a Merry Christma