Stilted

Stilted

Status: Finished

Genre: Flash Fiction

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Details

Status: Finished

Genre: Flash Fiction

Houses:

Summary

A short story based on the Imaginarium one word promt -- stilted.
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Summary

A short story based on the Imaginarium one word promt -- stilted.

Content

Submitted: May 10, 2017

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Content

Submitted: May 10, 2017

A A A

A A A


Stilted.

 

Evan was fed up with being short. It seemed to him that everyone, even the girls in his class, looked down on him. He had always been smaller than the rest of his peers but in the couple of years that he had been a teen the gap had widened and widened.Barely an inch over 5 foot, Evan’s fellow classmates were 4 to 12 inches taller than him.

 

Nicknames abounded. ‘Stumpy’, ‘Shorty’, ‘Shrimp’ and ‘Groundhog’ were some of the more printable ones. But it was ‘Tadpole’ that really drove Evan crazy. Not at all fond of frogs, he found tadpoles a hundred times more repugnant and to be called one himself was totally humiliating.

 

To make things worse, Evan was a boy that liked heights. If there was anything to climb on to get away from the ground he would be on his way upwards. Steps, stairs, walls, fences, he loved them all. Why did his parents have to chose to live in a bungalow? He had begged for them to convert the loft into an attic room for him but they had said no. The house was plenty big enough for the three of them so why make it any larger! Evan could not get them to understand his need to be up off the ground.

 

The long summer holiday was looming and Evan had no close friends to spend it with. His Dad would be working, his Mom would be doing what mom’s do, and he’d have to find some way of occupying himself.

 

Most of the kids were excited about the break, chatting about what they’d be doing, where they’d be going. Evan just felt despondent. If anyone had asked he would, he thought, make something up, but no one bothered to show any interest.

 

It was on the last day of school that he saw it, the advertisement that would change the course of his life. The ‘Circus School’ was coming to town, his town. Finally there was something for Evan to do. His Mom said to ask his Dad and his Dad said fine, and at last Evan had something to be excited about.

 

The ‘Circus School’ was going to be held in his own school building, near enough to their home for him to walk. The course ran for a week, and his Dad happily forked out the money to pay for it. Evan added his savings and paid for the other two weeks that it was running for. Every day that the circus was in town he, Evan, would be taking part.

 

There were a few of his classmates also attending, wanting to learn about clowning around, tumbling, things like that. Not Evan! There was one thing and only one thing that he wanted to learn. And three weeks, he figured, just might be long enough.

 

He, Evan Lewis, ‘Tadpole’, ‘Groundhog’, ‘Shrimp’ etc. was going to learn to walk on stilts!

 

Not the little short ones, that raised you up by about 4 inches. They would be no good as he’d still end up being shorter than most. No, Evan was after the higher ones; one foot, two foot.....as high as they went!

 

At first it was almost impossible. Whenever he tried to make a step, he’d wibble, wobble, fall to the ground. Evan didn’t think he’d ever had so many bruises in his life as he had during that first week – not even during the rugby tournament at school he had been made to play in.

 

He did think he’d made a mistake, that he was never going to find his balance and master the art of stilt-walking. Just as he had almost given up, he did it! Evan managed to walk five steps, then ten......and not long after, as many as he chose. The next stage was to increase the height.

 

At first it was just another inch, then two, but Evan soon stabilized his body weight and found his balance. By the end of the third week, Evan was tottering around on foot high stilts, for once experiencing the view of the top of some of his classmates heads.

 

Evan couldn’t afford to bask in glory, not around the others. One slight push or shove and then he’d be brought instantly back down to earth. But at home, in his garden he could be tall and for now he would be content with that.

 

But maybe when he’s older he’ll join a circus as a tall man. Or he might aim to go even higher and become a pilot!


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