Now That I’ve Broken Two Ribs, Shall We Have a Contest?

Last week I awoke to find six inches of wet snow plastered to the trees. While the air was fresh and clean, and the city sounds had taken on that lovely hushed quality that comes with a good snow-blanketing, I was worried for my foliaged friends. It was the kind of snow that’s been known to crack limbs and topple trees, and we expected another four inches.

As soon as it was light, I went out with a broom to brush off branches, getting soaked as the snow fell in my hair and down the neckline of my polar fleece. Eventually I gave in to the process and laughed. And when horizontal branches barred my access to the yard via the staircase , I jumped off the porch into a drift, deciding I’d make snow angels after a few more minutes of work.

That’s when I landed on uneven ground and toppled left. Rib cage met stair edge, aaaand the moaning and clutching began.

Yup, two broken ribs, me Zesties. I believe the emergency doctor’s exact words were, “You did something bad to yourself.”

Now, maybe it’s the painkillers talking. Maybe it’s the cabin fever. It could be that I’ve grown slightly mad between my inability to exercise or hold a thought in my brain for more than a few seconds. (Writing quota? What’s that?)

Whatever the cause, I’ve decided to turn my  injury into a form of entertainment, and what better way to do that than hold a contest?

Here’s the plan:

1. Between now and midnight April 16th, come up with an alternative explanation for how I broke my ribs.  (Preferable one that doesn’t make me sound clumsy, osteoporotic, or clueless.) Write it in any format you wish — an essay, poem, flash fiction — I don’t care, as long as it’s less than 150 words.

2. Enter it in the comment space below. Extra consideration will be granted to entries which involve citrus or humor, but I’m open to all non-X-rated possibilities.

3. You are allowed up to 4 entries per person.

4. Winner will be decided by me and if I get into a draw situation, I’ll pull in Frank and Molly as tie-breakers.

Any questions or comments? Put ’em in the space below. You do NOT have to advertise this contest to be entered, but it will be more fun with brisk competition, so I’d appreciate it.

The prize: Bragging rights and a special badge I’ll create for your site.

19 thoughts on “Now That I’ve Broken Two Ribs, Shall We Have a Contest?

  1. Oh, I can think of so very many, but not one is suitable for an all-ages audience. I’ll just kick back and enjoy the others, and hope you’re feeling no pain, instead of posting shocking little theories.

  2. She knew something was going down. The day was a little too quiet, the air a little too still. Coming straight down the stairs was too predictable. She jumped over the railing of the porch and landed with a soft thud

    Screaming orange, it appeared against the sea of white. Winging it’s way..

    “Oooff!” It slams into her ribs and it all registers. The fruit ninjas bleed out of the shadows, banana nunchaku swinging in angry circles around their heads.

    They had come for her. She would not go down without a fight.

  3. The trees; the thought that woke her. Snow had fallen to paint the world in its icy wet weight. She threw on warm clothing and rushed outside with a broom to save the Sacred Citrus. Throwing open the front door and rushing outside she stopped.

    A snow spirit romped around the Sacred Citrus. With each fling of its arm snow fell onto branches. Pausing it flashed an icicle smile.

    Releasing a scream she charged and whirled her broom about her head. An avalanche of snow was whirled at her. She swept it away. Eating up all the snow around it to bolster its size it spun around with a mighty swing of its fist just as she swung her broom at its head. The broom swept off its head just as the snow fist smashed into her ribs. Screaming she fell to the ground clutching at her ribs.

  4. She flew in her dream and it was wonderful. That euphoric, floating feeling carried over into her morning and she skipped lightly through her chores. She was almost done with her last one, sweeping the snow from the porch after the heavy snowfall of the night before. The snow was a blanket of untouched beauty. She glided out on the snow to add a snow angel. True to her dream, she was light as a feather as she took three steps into the yard. She should have stopped at three. The magic broke on her fourth step and she plunged deep into the snow, falling heavily against the stairs. Her broken ribs would remind her that for three steps, she really had been lighter than air. She had floated those three steps across the snow. Hadn’t she?

  5. “Cinch it tighter, Beulah! Tighter!”
    “There! I have attained my hourglass figure at last. On to the ball! But pack me up a few aspirin to go.”

  6. She knew, with the hair-prickling sense of dread that airline passengers must feel when the captain accidentally drops the f-bomb over a live intercom during takeoff, what was happening when she heard a cry from the top of the stairwell. The ensuing din of crushed drywall had her leaping up stairs like an Olympic high jumper. Above her Melissa squeaked a frantic objection as she lost her grip for good, just like Jan had warned her would happen if she didn’t wear gloves.

    There wasn’t much comfort in an “I told you so”, not with $1500 of brand-new refrigerator –with an icemaker!– barreling down the stairs at her like the Knell of Doom itself might, if the Doomsday Bell came in polished gunmetal and had a 30-day warrantee that had already passed.

    Eyes squeezed shut, Jan opened her arms and hoped the laws of physics were feeling generous today.

  7. Thanks for the well wishes, guys. It’s been an interesting day. I’ve been cyberhugged quite gently, like so:

    ((( Jan )))

    Funny, yes? Also, I’m loving these entries though I’ve tried to keep my funny bone in check and smile or chuckle rather than laugh. (Ow.) Thanks for participating. You’ve turned this into a community exercise rather than a frustration.

  8. I believe you are actually part of a Roller Derby on the side with the registered derby name of Tartitude, a bright orange helmet cresting your head along with citrus coloured striped socks, roller skates and pads. You were trying to score for your team, trying to sneak through the pack when some behemoth of a woman tripped and fell sideways, completely squeezing the juice out of you. You didn’t realize you were hurt at first (adrenaline after all, you supertart) so you kept on skating, your team eventually beating the other team to a pulp. It wasn’t until you were in the change room after the match that you noticed something funny about your side, then you proudly showed the other girls your protruding alien ribs before deciding to go to the Drs to get fixed. 🙂

  9. There once was a blogger call Tart,
    Who considered writing her art.
    When she broke a few ribs,
    Her friends she requested to fib,
    So they all chipped in to make her look smart.

  10. The Angel and the Gods of Winter

    She stood silently in a mound of fresh white snow, listening to the sounds of her beloved foliage bend and break under the weight of the wet snow. Guardian to her shrubs and bushes, she began to work vigorously to free her green friends from the blanket of death that lay upon them. Just when she believed all were saved, she felt a chill run deep into her very being. It was then that she knew, for every branch she had saved, one of her very own bones must be broken. For the Gods of Winter will not allow their wrath to so easily be dismissed.

  11. While conducting field research in a biker bar for her upcoming romance novel “Hog Heaven”, Jan O’Hara got more data than she bargained for! Jan had chosen one of the toughest dives in her area hoping to get a “realistic sense of street savvy motorcyclists”. Jan elected to role play a little flirtation with one of the rough and tumble characters she was considering as a type model for her secondary love interest. As she giggled and smiled up at the swarthy, sweaty character and twiddled the three extra lemons in her Mike’s Hard Lemonade, she was brought to her knees by a pool cue to the ribs! Jan hadn’t observed the situation long enough before plunging into the scene to realize Mr. Motorcycle had a Ms. on the premises… Rumors do now tend towards there being a strong jealousy angle in “Hog Heaven”. All our best wishes to Ms. O’Hara for a swift recovery!

  12. Hey Jan. Funny story telling aside, I hope your ribs are recovering!! Does reinforce that we truly can take nothing for granted…even the strength of our bones. Take it easy!

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