Tough vs Tender (6-Sentence Story)

Yellow autumn leaves

Here’s a 6-sentence story (click here to get to the prompt, open ’til late Saturday night) to take your mind off the pain of waiting for election results. And perhaps a reminder to myself that we don’t have to be one thing or the other. We just have to work with the gifts that drop by unexpectedly, like a unseasonably warm day after a cold, snowy week, and the kindness of strangers who have more than enough and have no hesitation in sharing a little kindness. And yes, the story is fiction, but it doesn’t have to be…   

She hissed as she probed the scrape for rocks and glass and anything that might have embedded itself in her shoulder when she flew over her bicycle’s handlebars. 

Damn this unseasonably warm weather, that had tempted her to take her bike out for one last spin, despite the dangers of mud from melting snow, and fallen leaves that still held the slickness of a hailstorm, and the chance that bike trails would be isolated, with nobody likely to come upon her busted up bike and partially-mutilated body.

Well, she could do without the embarrassment; she’d just tough it out, and carry herself and her bike home.

“We saw you skid out–are you OK?” A woman’s voice floated from the 400K house located on the hill above the trail.

She swallowed her tears, and decided that just this once, it would be fine to be tender rather than tough.

© Liz Husebye Hartmann (2020)


21 thoughts on “Tough vs Tender (6-Sentence Story)

  1. While I usually wouldn’t want anyone seeing me do something stupid like flying over the bike’s handlebars, this would be the exception. I’ll bet people who live on trails like that see a LOT!

    Liked by 1 person


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