Bridging #SixSentenceStory

Donna appeared calm but from the opposite side of the river she watched, alert and ready, for anything could happen; the risks were real.

Duane had pointedly not fallen for any of this wilderness bullshit as he called it; he hadn’t sniveled in the dark with it’s unfamiliar calls and whistles, hadn’t whined at the muggy mosquito miles, the knee scraping granite mountain trails, the nasty iodine flavored drinking water; hadn’t blubbered and confessed around the sterno cook fire. So he knew the others expected him to go first now, to just cross that swirling current as sure footedly as Donna had, to leap stone to stone until he was on the other side, high and dry, safe and sound, as angry and unassailable as ever.

Donna’s posture was neutral, patient, even as she silently assessed the situation on the other shore, as she read Duane’s body language, read the composure of the rest of the group, already drifting away from their nucleus, already beginning to reorganize. Duane must have read the group too, for suddenly he was three rocks into the torrent before he paused and Donna saw that he was wild-eyed, afraid, and she held his gaze and willed him on, put her eyes on the right rock, nodded imperceptibly when he committed and reached and stepped and leapt, teetered, but caught his balance and continued, until he grasped her hand and let her help him with the last step up the bank to solid ground.

Grateful Donna hadn’t said a word as he crossed, Duane knew that she had seen his fear, but that didn’t make him mad this time, and anyway he didn’t have time to think about that because Rashon was up next and he knew Rashon needed words of encouragement so Duane focused on Rashon and told him how to go —easy does it, one boulder at a  time—  while Donna stood behind him, beaming.


six sentence story copyThe prompt word for Denise’s Six Sentence Stories is “bridge“. After writing my six sentences I realized there’s no tangible bridge in the story. Thank goodness for titles and intangibles. The link up is open through GirlieOntheEdge for you to read other Six Sentence Stories or to leave one of your own. 

28 thoughts on “Bridging #SixSentenceStory

    • First, thanks!
      Second, yikes!
      I started out just toying with two points of view within six sentences. I hadn’t thought of it as personal experience, but I suppose it is a conglomeration of people and experiences. I’ve known some students like Duane and I’ve known some teachers like Donna. I’ve known some slippery rocks.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Donna is a true teacher and leader and able to bring out the best in others and in her co-leader. Together they will make a fantastic team helping the group achieve more than they ever thought they could do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right about Donna and your comment made me see that I had an extra character in the story, now removed, because I want it to be more clear that Duane is one of the group. He did indeed discover his leadership potential under Donna’s patient example.


  2. Interesting to read all of the other comments before landing on my own. I’m really glad your story found you – this is a good one. I like the different perspectives/experiences, like the element of trust and danger. Nice one.

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  3. Well done. I felt the trepidation and was nervous for them all wondering how things would turn out. Great tension. I appreciate too seeing how Donna understands Duane. Understanding someone else isn’t always easy, let alone knowing what to do for them. 🙂 Good work!

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    • Thank you! Schools use terms like ‘bridging’ and so this prompt led me to that idea but then to a more profound and concrete teaching/learning experience, the tough kid outdoors and all the good that can come of that. I have noticed that as a teacher (or maybe I would have done it anyway) I observe and evaluate the teaching skills of others whether in a motorcycle licensing class, an Outward Bound course, a bicycling safety certification class, or even watching a private pilot handing the control over to a nervous passenger sitting right seat in a small plane…
      Donna would not call herself a teacher. But she is a Teacher, as is anyone who helps someone overcome fear and inspire them to turn around and help the next person to do the same. Who knows? Maybe Duane will also be a great Teacher.

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      • Your take on “bridging” feels very appropriate. That river is a bridge for so many things, it’s more ambiguous than say crossing the Mackinaw to get from the lower to the upper peninsula. Experiences are bridges, and sometimes they break them. The pandemic of Covid-19 in 2020 is a bridge that we are all crossing together, though maybe not all in the same direction, same manner, or same six feet. 😉

        That’s interesting, seeing through your teacher’s lens. I could totally see that, especially since I do that while reading. I took ONE technical writing course in college and I’ve never looked at instructions the same ever since then. When I find those ones (you know the ones) in something I bought and am now attempting to assemble I can only grit my teeth and wonder if even I could have done a better job. I think about that class… 😉

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