All Mine

There are two minutes left on the clock and the score is tied. We serve, white leather sailing over the net, meeting flesh, and returning over the net. I brace for it, turn, knees locked in position, hands at the ready. It is not my time. My teammates bump pass and spike the ball back over to the other side. Leather slams on skin, bounces to the air, a hand flicks high in the air, and smack! Over the ball sails again, and once more I brace, bend, arms at the ready.

β€œMine!” sounds a cry.

Thump, the ball is bumped up. It’s flying, flying. I can smell the sweat on the leather as it gets closer. My toes bend, my heels raise as my knees pulse, and I’m airborne. The ball is close, so close.

My arm pumps, swinging back, my shoulder stretching. My muscles bunch, tighten and flex as my palm opens. My hand at ear level, it flies forward and SMACK! The ball sails over the net with a quickness and sharp unexpected turn that cannot be stopped. Leather hits rubber flooring with a resounding splunk. The buzzer fills the gymnasium, and the bleachers echo in cheers.

“Welcome to the State Championship, ladies.”


This week the Red Writing Hood challenge was athleticism. I don’t have any characters that are athletic, so I chose to share a moment from my senior year in HS when I played on the school volley ball team.

I welcome concrit, as always, and tell me. Were you playing volleyball just now too?

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Stephanie Ayers

Executive Creative Director at Our Write Side/OWS Ink, LLC
A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.
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32 thoughts on “All Mine”

  1. NC Narrator says:

    I loved the pacing on this – quick and excited! I tried volleyball in junior high (before I’d finally come to terms with my utter lack of coordination). I had bruises down my arms and on my hips for weeks – it’s a tough game!

    1. DM says:

      it is a tough game, but the bruises go away once you get used to it. Thank you for stopping by and reading!

  2. TheKirCorner says:

    WOW!!!!! I almost stood up and cheered!!!! Every phrase was just right, you play volleyball don’t you? You can tell. I love your words…every single one

    1. DM says:

      I don’t play now, but I did. Well…I’ve played, but you would never know I was ever any good now, LOL.

      Thank you for the almost standing ovation! πŸ˜‰

  3. Vikki GM says:

    Love the pace, the words. Everything.

    Not a word too much nor too little.

    Just right. πŸ˜‰


    1. DM says:

      Thank you. Sometimes I struggle with word counts (doesn’t everyone?). Sometimes the scene just pops in my head, and its done. This was one of the latter, thank goodness.

  4. idiosyncraticeye says:

    Very catchy, it’s got the pace perfectly. πŸ™‚

    1. DM says:

      Thank you. I’m glad the rhythm works.

  5. MJ * iNeedaPlaydate (@mryjhnsn) says:

    I agree with everybody! Fast pace to meet the excitement building… you have such talent, on and off the court!

    1. DM says:

      *blushing* You flatter me. Thank you so much for the kind words about my writing.

  6. mish says:

    I’ve never played volleyball… but you definitely have!
    I was right there in the moment… could even smell the sweat on the leather… very vivid!
    You did a great job with this piece.

    1. DM says:

      Thank you! Sweat on leather isn’t such a nice smell is it? LOL.

  7. Alison at Mommy is a Power Ranger says:

    Awesome and exciting post. I really felt like I was there.

    1. DM says:

      I’d challenge you to a game, but 20 years later, I just don’t have the skills anymore. LOL.

  8. Carrie says:

    I could picture the scene. You did a great job of portraying the intensity and the effort involved in getting that ball over the net.

    1. DM says:

      Thank you, Carrie. if only I could play like that now…

  9. Lance says:

    good “set” of the scene. I “dig” how you put me in the space of a unique game. I think you “spiked” the prompt.

    My teenager skipped cheerleading last year and played volleyball. I grew to respect the game and the girls. Good work.

    1. TheMHalf says:

      Well done – both Lance’s comment and your post!

      1. DM says:

        I agree on Lance’s comment, and thank you so much for the compliment.

    2. DM says:

      Hahaha. I love your comment!!

  10. Venus Brighton (@VenusLeeloo) says:

    Oh wow…. no, I wasn’t playing, I was *cringing* (that’s actually a good thing). Volleyball was one of the banes of my existence during high school PE. That SMACK just wasn’t something I was girl enough to take. I’m more of a dancing-for-exercise kind of person. But the fact that you got me back to that place in my memory means the writing is well done. πŸ™‚

    1. DM says:

      Thank you!

  11. (FL) Girl with a New Life says:

    This may be my favorite piece from you. I could feel every movement.

    1. DM says:

      Aww shucks, Tina! Thanks!

  12. Karen @ Time Crafted says:

    This is a great sensory piece & you put your reader right there in it! :>

    1. DM says:

      Good. That is what I was hoping for!

  13. Tina says:

    Great job of putting the reader smack dab in the middle of the action. I was in that gym with you!

    1. DM says:

      I have to admit that real life experience, and putting myself back into the moment was a lot easier than trying to imagine a make believe world and its smells. Lol

  14. Nancy C says:

    I really liked all the attention you paid to the sounds of volleyball. That’s what struck me the most as I read….nicely done!

    1. DM says:

      I’ve noticed that I tend to look for sounds to describe things over other senses. Perhaps this is because I have so much loss of it now that my brain overcompensates?

      Thank you!

  15. jesterqueen1 says:

    I really felt your anxiety while you waited to hit the ball. That made me enjoy the release of “SMACK” even more. Reading about the game from your perspective, I enjoyed it. In real life, I’m like the person above who described volleyball as one of her banes. That anxiety. That waiting. Is it “mine”? How would I know if it was? And what in GOD’S NAME should I do if it is? Those things terrify me. It was fun to read about someone who seems to feel the same tension but knows exactly how to channel it into success.

  16. Justin Sheftall says:

    Have you ever considered writing an e-book or guest authoring on other blogs? I have a blog based on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my visitors would enjoy your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e mail.

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