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The Face Smasher

by Jordan789 

Posted: 09 July 2008
Word Count: 461
Summary: for tusker's challenge!!

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From the edge of the plank, Kyle flexed his knees, sprang upwards, and repeated the process three times, each leap awarding more height than the previous, until when he could climb no higher, he jumped outward. Propelled face forward, hands stuck to his sides, his body arced like a human arrow. He closed his eyes as his forehead smacked against the surface of the water. His little sister, who watched intently from the side of the pool, heaved laughter from her diminutive frame.

“Kyle,” said the mother, who had been reading in the shade of an umbrella, “You’re going to make Lucy choke. Stop that.” She had been reading an article on living room furnishings, and as enamored as she was, hadn’t bothered to lift her eyes away from the page. Besides the slight sting in his forehead, Kyle felt wonderful, and his little sister’s laugh was the reason. Four times he had committed his famous dive, titled “Face Smasher,” and after each he had climbed out of the pool to Lucy’s hysteric laughter. After calming down, she only urged him for one more. He could stop now, listening to the commands of his mother, but his sister wouldn’t allow it. Her power of suggestion didn’t derive from physical coercion or even a shrill, nagging voice, but something far more rudimentary and basic in the brother–sister relations: Lucy simply had to pout, flare her chubby red cheeks and pucker her small mouth, and Kyle would oblige. The three year old went even a step farther by knotting her eyebrows and stretching open her eyes, the whites bared clear around the cartoonish green irises, as if a miniature and adorable psychotic killer inhabited her body.

To Kyle, not a joke or cartoon could pull giggles from him like his sister’s non-verbal expressions, and he pinched in his diaphragm to stifle the laughter. Lucy knew how her mock-serious demeanor encouraged her brother, and continued the look, eyebrows pursed, and cheeks aflame with a ruby hue. Kyle climbed the three metallic steps of the diving board, whence all of his actions required the grace of speed, for his Mother’s awareness of his plot could ruin things. (Her power and influence, at that age, was quick and strong enough to stop a boy in his tracks, even from across a swimming pool. Kyle even believed that an impassioned Mother could delay the Earth’s spinning, or stop, mid-air, his plummet into the pool.) So when his foot reached the top step, he sprinted forward and sprang from the edge of the diving board, sailing over more water than on any previous dive, and turning his head to see the awed look on Lucy’s face before the slap of the chlorinated surface hit him in the face.

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Comments by other Members

V`yonne at 08:45 on 10 July 2008  Report this post
I was half expecting disaster and barely wanted to read the end but no, you kept us on the edge.

I really liked that first description of the dive, so visually accurate, and the expressions on his sister' s face, likewise.

I thought the part you put in parenthesises might be incorporated more into the text, but it' s difficult sometimes to do this within the time constraints we have to write a flash and I' m sure you' ll be able to hone that in seamlessly in a revision but this is very good.

The edge of the diving board, the edge his sister had on him and the edge of discovery by the mother all work well together.

tusker at 14:43 on 10 July 2008  Report this post
A lovely flash. A young boy' s bravado, needing to entertain his little sister. The egging on by laughter and pouts and, Mum there lost in her world who could' ve raised her gaze and shouted stop. Reminds me of one of those funny cartoon post cards where you can read so much into a scene depicted.


Forbes at 18:30 on 10 July 2008  Report this post
Wonderful stuff here Jordan. I thought disaster - but no! Thank heavens!

You really pull out the sibling link.

Nice piece.



Jumbo at 22:04 on 10 July 2008  Report this post


Nicely done. Like the others I expected disaster and a smashed face. Instead you gave us a brilliant portrait of a sibling relationship and a mother character not quite on top of her game.

A lovely read. Thanks for sharing it.



meglet at 06:15 on 11 July 2008  Report this post
Beautiful writing, Jordan. I love this family - the boy is an immensely sympathetic character because of his acute observations of his little pal. Such a tender story!

crowspark at 00:15 on 13 July 2008  Report this post
Nice writing Jordan and a great ending. You really had us on the edge of our seats wondering what would happen!

Three nice characters put together well.

Thanks for the read.

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