Saturday, January 3, 2015

First Step (Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge)

It has become proverbial: The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. 

Actually, Lao-Tsu's philosophy is more correctly translated, "The journey of a thousand miles begins beneath one's feet." 

This philosophy is behind New Year's resolutions and every anti-addiction program, from AA to Weight-Watchers. Yet more important than the first step is the second, and the third. Broken New Year's resolutions and gym memberships left to lapse after January 5th are legion.

Though the thousand-mile journey is begun, it must continue in order for you to arrive. Thus when I learned the Carrot Ranch Flash Fiction Challenge for this week, I immediately thought of the pain of taking physical steps on that trip to the goal:

December 31, 2014 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about steps, stairs or a staircase. Where do they lead? Who is walking or avoiding them? Are they clearly defined or ancient? Why are these steps important? Lead us on a 99 word discovery!

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First Step

She swam carefully up onto the beach. Sitting waist-deep in the waves, she twisted her hair to remove brine, delaying the moment she must stand.

That step onto dry sand would be a turning point for her; she could never return to her former world. Sighing deeply, she turned her back on the ocean and rose.

Each painful step took her further. At last she reached the rocks lining the shore, and sank into a huddle on the sun-warmed surface. 


Turning, she triggered the bloom of light, watching as her starship vaporized, and left her stranded on Earth forever.