Why write a 100-word story? 

Consider the impact of three small words–“I hate you.”  Or “I love you.”  Then imagine 33 1/3 times more words and you can create a plethora of experiences and emotions.  Select those words carefully and you have more than enough to draw the unsuspecting reader into your story web.

Wield the scalpel with precision.  Cut to the chase.  Dazzle us.

copyrigt Douglas M. MacIlroy

Going For the Gold

Life had always been horses and jumping.  Those arduous, endless hours not doing “what the cool kids do” were her soul food.  The recognition earned as a major contender for an Olympic medal parlayed into an investment in her future.  Being the human half of a jumping team?  That was pure love.

The gold vanished, snatched by a massive oxer not quite cleared.  In the months following the Games, she dealt with the aftermath, gradually re-dreaming her dreams.

Class time.  Smiling at the sign, Olympic School of Therapeutic Riding, she propelled her wheelchair toward the ring, greeting students and instructors.

  1. Goosebumps and love. Great post.

  2. dmmacilroy says:

    Dear Janet,

    What a masterful tale. I was taken by surprise by the ending and then again when I considered her positive outlook on life and the way she elected to give and grow instead of wither and die. Cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this story. People would do well to read this many times when the going in their arena gets rough. Well done.



    • Doug, what a lovely surprise to hear from you so early in the FF process! I’m pleased you enjoyed this and glad I could surprise even a wily writer such as you. 🙂 Horses are an integral part of my life but provided only the jumping-off point (so to speak) for this story. I always pray that withering and dying are not options, no matter what happens, whether in my life or that of others.

      Blessings on your day,


  3. Wow that was a touching story – I was a little bit puzzled as I read the last sentence :o) That’s a great post- THANKS!!!

    • Puzzled by the therapeutic riding or by something else? Our daughters have a friend who worked in that area for awhile and I think it must highly rewarding and a wonderful way to work with the disabled. Here’s a link if you or anyone else would like to read a bit more about it: http://www.pathintl.org/resources-education/resources/eaat/198-learn-about-therapeutic-riding. So glad you enjoyed it!


      • About the punch line… Thanks for the link – this people do a great job! I read it takes years to train the horses and suitable horses are hard to find. I think therapeutic riding can be so important for disabled people, specially for kids. I saw a riding lesson with an autistic boy and I will never forget his eyes and his face. I think for this hour he was really happy.

  4. deanabo says:

    What a beautiful Heart warming story. I truly enjoyed it.

  5. rich says:

    that was a bitter, sweet, bitter, sweet ending. first, we’re sad that she didn’t win, then there’s the return to class, so we’re hopeful. then, the wheelchair – ugh. but then she’s re-purposed herself to help others, and we can be sweet again. well done.

    • Good morning, Rich,and thanks for reading, liking, and commenting. Yes, there were lots of twists but hopefully they didn’t feel contrived as they weren’t meant to be–they just unfolded that way. You know me. I’m almost always hopeful.

      Blessings on your day,


  6. julespaige says:

    I think we have some stables in our area devoted to therapeutic riding. I know that many differently abled folks, one of our friends’s sons, severely autistic benefited from such classes.

    Thanks for your visit.

  7. Penny L Howe says:

    Beautifully written Janet. 🙂

  8. Ouuuuu, love the ending there!

  9. jwdwrites says:

    That was very good Janet, and a great ending. I don’t know how you managed to make it flow so well and it seemed like so many more words than just 100. Very descriptive. 🙂

    • Thanks. I sometimes read my stories out loud to see how well they flow and don’t publish them until I think they’re just right, but it’s always good to know it works for the reader.


  10. nightlake says:

    beautiful..a lesson for life..a moving tale

    • Appreciate that. Someone just told me this morning that I forgot to link my story, so I’m glad you made it over. Needless to say, I’ve remedied that!! Must have had some sort of mini-mental breakdown yesterday Wednesday morning! 🙂


  11. Dear Janet,
    I’m in awe of this one. Love the line “gradually re-dreaming her dreams.” So much story-past, present and future-packaged into a 100 words and tied up with a blue ribbon. I applaud your MC’s courage and outlook. Layers of back-story. Beautifully written. Love it!

  12. kz says:

    what more can i possibly say.. i feel like Doug just said it all! lol very beautiful story

  13. A nice reminiscing story. I like how it ends on a sad yet positive outlook on life.

    • I think often we have to re-dream dreams, hopefully not because something like this happened, but because life changes and we have to be able to change, too. Thanks for visiting.


  14. vbholmes says:

    She may have lost the use of her legs but not her spirit–fine story, Janet.

  15. Sandra says:

    Snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, or something like that. Lovely story Janet.

  16. claireful says:

    A very bitter sweet story Janet. Lovely.

  17. Hi Janet,
    Great payoff at the end of this story. And you’re right, this and other kinds of riding can be quite dangerous. You mounted a good story! Ron

  18. I love when I find stories that run a gamut of emotions in a tiny space. You’ve done that here, and I feel like I should print this and put it on my fridge. This is all about motivation and overcoming. Just great.

    • Atiya, I’m thrilled the story touched you so much and thanks for letting me know. Feel free to print it off and put it on the fridge with all the magnets and pictures. 🙂 I’d be honored.


  19. elmowrites says:

    Great story, Janet, and one to inspire hope in us all. Just one question – in the intro do you mean 33 1/3 *times* more, rather than just 33 1/3 more?

    • I did and it’s corrected. Thanks for the catch. Another example of seeing what you think you wrote rather than what’s really there. 🙂 Glad you liked the story, too, of course.


  20. rgayer55 says:

    A wonderfully uplifting story, Janet. There were so many well crafted lines in it, I’m amazed you got them all in such a short space.

  21. Jan Brown says:

    Nice story — a surprise ending, and real hope. Well done!

  22. made me put my hand over my heart at the end. beautiful work Janet.

  23. indytony says:

    Very good descriptive detail.

  24. Ah! Coming from where I do in this old world, that story had me nearly in tears.
    Beautifully done.
    Mine: http://kindredspirit23.wordpress.com/2013/03/21/friday-fictioneers-march-22-2013-genre-humorous/

  25. petrujviljoen says:

    Tear jerker. Well done.

  26. Hoo, boy. What a story. I didn’t expect it Shades of. Christopher Reeves and the dedication of a soul to using an ill-fate to their best advantage. But still what a cost, and amount of suffering, to have to go through. Sad. You handled it masterly.

    • Oddly enough, the Reeves story didn’t even occur to me until you mentioned it now. Now everyone will think I re-wrote his store. Gee, thanks! (Just kidding. I’m happy you loved the story so much.)


  27. Joe Owens says:

    Ooh I can feel the disappointment in her heart. Yet she is overcoming her impediments as she continues her love for the horses ans shares her passion with others who share her condition. Such a wonderful addition Janet!

  28. elappleby says:

    Nicely done – a sad but inspirational tale I think. An interesting take on the prompt 🙂

  29. Anne Orchard says:

    I love the idea of re-dreaming your dreams. Sounds so much more positive than having your hopes dashed. There are definitely lots of other reasons why dreams might change, but you did a great job of giving your MC a new dream that worked for her.

    • Thanks, Anne. Sometimes the spin you put on something makes all the difference–in attitude and elsewhere. We all likely have dreams that could be re-dreamed. Glad you liked the story, too.


  30. erinleary says:

    In 100 words, her dream was realized then snatched away, only to rebuild in a whole new shape. Your scalpel was deft today. Well done.

  31. Very interesting story with a testament to the human spirit wholly unexpected. Don’t think I’d take it anywhere near as well as she did, but it’s an inspiration to see that spirit in action. Thanks!

  32. Trudy says:

    Lovely story, with a message that unfolds with each little twist and turn. Beautifully crafted. 🙂

  33. Great story. 🙂 It takes a strong person to re-imagine their dreams like that.

  34. Neatly told tale.
    Well done.

  35. Tom Poet says:

    I enjoy your story of triumph over tragedy. Like Rich said,sweet,bitter,sweet…A great Job making the words flow, easy to read and well written as always. Sorry it is taking me so long to get around to your blog. It is a busy weekend for me but finding the time to read you work is worth it. I would hate to miss out on your writings….always a pleasure.

    • Tom, I hope you’re having a great time with the girls and that’s always a perfectly acceptable reason (I won’t say “excuse”) for not reading. I’m always glad to see what you think about my writing and glad you liked this story.

      Have a great weekend,


  36. Lovely story of doing what you love.

  37. Sunshine says:

    a beautiful short story to not let any obstacles keep us from our life passions. dazzled. ♥

  38. Very sweet story–it touched my heart.

  39. Wow this is one of the best stories this week. Very good and packed with emotions… I love it.

  40. kdillmanjones says:

    Beautiful story! The writing itself really drew me in, especially the first half.

  41. Love her positive attitude. Reminded me of Christopher Reeves who had the same healthy attitude and strength…right to the end.

    • Thanks, Lora. As I mentioned in one other comment, I didn’t even think of Christopher Reeves before, during, or after the story…until the first comment. But he was an excellent example of this same attitude.


  42. Lyn says:

    Great story; I’m glad it’s not written from first hand experience.

  43. First sad story I’ve read. Nice take on this prompt.

  44. annisik51 says:

    Your story, for me, was about the best use of all we can make of the creatures under our ‘dominion’. Well done and thanks for the unexpected ending.

  45. 40again says:

    Hi Janet
    A lovely story of dreams almost fulfilled, then dashed, of courage, hope and the determination to rebuild.
    I always like your stories, this one is a bit special

    • Dee, I thank you very much for that. I’m glad this one is special to you and certainly glad that you always like my stories. A writer dare not ask for more.


  46. Wow – so much packed into such a small tale! I liked it very much 🙂