The image of Herman Weingartner who inspired my story Swinging Back

Public domain photo by Albert Meyer.

Yesterday I again took part in Flash! Friday‘s Warmup Wednesday Challenge. This week they asked for stories of 100 words that were inspired by the photo on the right of athlete Herman Weingartnerhorizontal bar champion, at the 1896 Olympic Games, with the additional challenge of

including a lifelong dream that isn’t the Olympics

Swinging Back, the story I submitted, certainly met one of these two challenges while making a good go at the second. You will find the story along with my thoughts on how successful I was below.

Swinging Back

They carry me to the horizontal bar on their shoulders. My hands grip the metal pole like I’ve done hundreds of times before, like how I’ve wanted to again.
My carriers step back, my legs dangle uselessly, my hands hold strong. Slowly I swing back and forth, back and forth, faster and faster. Air swooshes over me, the sensation of childhood swings with a hint of menace. I grip tighter. Doesn’t stop the memories:
thud of the bike into car,
and lack of pain below my waist.
Yet Clapping, My carriers celebrating what I can do now.

Challenge Met?

I said in the intro that I think I certainly met one of the aspects of this week’s challenge. The link to the photo should be obvious in my words above. While my story isn’t set in 1896, it certainly focuses around the horizontal bar.

The second half of the challenge, “including a lifelong dream that isn’t the Olympics” I think is half met. While the narrator does have a dream, it isn’t obviously a lifelong one but that could come down to an argument of definitions. I never state when his accident happened and if happened in their youth then I guess it could be a lifelong one. What do you think?

What is that activity?

One thing I will admit is that while I knew the story I wanted to tell, I couldn’t for the life of me remember the name of the piece of equipment Herman Weingartner was using. After a few unsuccessful Google attempts I finally noticed the photo’s description on the Flash! Friday site when I hovered over the image.

The Title

As usual with these challenges the title came late in the day and I’m still not happy with it. While Swinging Back describes what happens in the story, as a title it feels a like flat. I’d be grateful to hear any title suggestions in the comments below. I can always change it!

Do you think I met Flash! Friday’s Challenge this week? Let me know in the comments below!

Swinging Back – a flash fiction tale by @The_Red_Fleece (Tweet this tale)