Story Contest 2018 #1 Results » Highly Commended - Get Back Up Again

Imani Murray

“Get Back Up Again” by Imani Murray, USA, is the Highly Commended story in the junior category of the first biannual Short Story Contest 2018.

Get Back Up Again

Hoping to get a glimpse of their future prima ballerina, Moms sat staring at the flat screen TV monitors mounted on the wall. As Isis entered the hectic dance studio, she was oblivious to the moms she rushed by. She saw her two best friends Morgan and Brandi standing across the room from her. While putting her dance bag in the corner of the crowded room, a big long curly ponytail met Isis’s month, hitting her in the face. Distracted from trying to get the hair out of her mouth, Isis didn't see Claire take the cubby spot she planned to use.

“MOVE!” Claire yelled charging at her like an angry bull.

“Great,” Isis sighed putting her bag in another cubby quickly moving and running to her friends. They were standing huddle-up next to their dance class door.

“Hey guys, I just got a mouth full of Claire’s long bouncy ponytail,” chuckled Isis sarcastically.

Morgan roaring with anger questioned, “What? Are you serious? Where is she so I can bust her up?”

“Morgan stop! It's ok, I can handle it,” she exclaimed trying to calm her friend.

“You better handle it before I grab her fake ponytail and throw her across the room.” Morgan replied with more confidence than a show dog.

“Yeah! Let me at her!” Brandi demanded walking off in Claire’s direction but Isis grabbed her. With attitude Isis placed her hands on her hips she protested.

“Brandi, thanks but you can't do anything. She’ll squash you like a bug.” Before Brandi could reply, the door to the dance class suddenly opened. Piling out were little girls all dressed in pink leotards and fluffy tutus. Their tiny feet had on pink ballet shoes, which all looked brand new. As Isis began to make her way towards the new fancy water dispenser she could hear the little ballerina’s Brazilian teacher Ms. Natasha talking.

“Class, water break,” she bellowed.

Suddenly, like a stray cat up to no good Claire appeared.

“Look Isis, there’s a hot water button on this new water jug thing.” Claire said as she demonstrated. “See the red button makes hot water, the blue cold.” Smiling shyly as she unlocked the hot water child lock and poured a full cup of steaming hot water. Isis sensed this was not good, Claire was not telling her about this new discovery out of the goodness of her heart. Isis looked around for a distraction for Claire but all the little girls had gotten their water and gone back to class.

“Claire I don't think you should be playing with that.” Isis continued as her heart began to pound uncontrollably.

“Aw, is BRAVE ALMIGHTY ISIS SCARED FOR ONCE IN HER LIFE?.” she yelled wiggling the cup of hot water in her face.

“Yes, I am- just--Please get away from me!” By now Isis trembled with fear as she slowly backed away from Claire.

Claire unexpectedly tossed the boiling hot water on Isis.


“AHHHHH!’’ Isis screamed in pain.

“Ahaahahahah!’’ Claire laughed as loud as a hyena.

“WHY ARE YOU LAUGHING?” She managed through clenched teeth, in pain, pulling on her leotard to show Claire what she had done.

“OH MY GOSH.” Claire yelled placing her hand over her mouth looking at the melted skin on Isis neck and the upper part of her chest.

“LOOK WHAT YOU’VE DONE.” Isis cried bursting into tears.

“Hey what's going on out here?” Ms. Natasha questioned from the dance class doorway.

Isis fanning the burn, “Claire threw hot water on me. Please I need help!”

“I’m sorry Isis I didn't mean to.” Now holding back her own tears.

“Oh my lord!” The teacher exclaimed in panic as she scooped Isis up to carry her to the car. By now everyone was trying to figure out what was going on. Brandi and Morgan were now running behind Ms. Natasha frantically.

“What happened! Oh my goodness! WHAT HAPPENED!” Brandi screamed reaching for Isis’s hand.

Isis now totally hysterically crying through her pain and grief moaned “Claire threw hot water on me,”

“She did what!” both Brandi and Morgan exclaimed in shock.

“Girlz, out of my way! I have to get her to de hospital.” Ms. Natasha replied in her Brazilian accent. She continued to bellow orders to the secretary to call Isis and Claire’s parents and tell them to meet her at the emergency room. All as she managed to grab her purse with her free arm and get out the door with Isis in her other.

A little while later, Morgan and Brandi stood dumbfounded. Although the dance studio had begun to settle down, they hadn’t. They were ready for war. Lucky for Claire, her parents were already pulling up into the parking lot to pick her up. Had they been a few minutes later they might’ve had to go get Claire from the hospital. All Morgan and Brandi could think about now was punching Claire and how their friend was doing.

Meanwhile as Isis sat with her parents in the hospital, the pain medicine given to her finally kicked in. She could finally think clearly. Isis began to think about how Claire wasn’t going to get away with this. This time the “mean girl” was not going to win. There was no way for her to work her way out of taking responsibility for her actions like she had done dozens of times before. That would be the only good thing Isis could find comfort in. This made Isis smile inside. She realized her painful, scary experience would not keep her down. It wouldn’t keep her from rising up and getting back up again. She would end up helping others and finally put an end to the “ponytails” reign!

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