Leg Day, Part I

Welcome to another Round Robin story from the folks at the Parking Lot Confessional. If this is your first time reading, here’s how it goes. Today I’ll post the beginning of a story. My cohorts have no prior knowledge of what’s going to happen beyond these italics. That gives the next person only two days to figure out the next part of the story. Then another two days goes by before the final installment created and posted for your pleasure. I’m kicking this Round Robin Story off with an idea a friend planted just this weekend. Enjoy!

Leg Day

For the third time that day Char got the wheel of her chair stuck in a divot. The third time, and telling from the wrenching crunch, a bent rim. She could look past it though. Look past the ill luck, excessive stares and nervous jitters. She could look past all of it because tomorrow she got her legs.

The closer she got to the day, the more she couldn’t focus on anything else. It was the same every year.

Char looked around the courtyard. Not for help, but to check for witnesses. Not much is more embarrassing. Sure, the kids of the town get stuck and break wheels all the time. The adults, not so much. This will be her eighteenth Leg Day. She shouldn’t be breaking any more wheels.

Rocking side to side, she was able to roll herself out of the divot and continued home. Every few feet her chair lurched to the right. The wheel was definitely bent, but she’d be able to make it home and swap the wheel before her dad would even notice.

Really she knew better than to cross the courtyard, but she was in a hurry to get home. The sooner to sleep, the quicker tomorrow would be here. Char quickly forgot her lurching chair and went on creating her mental list of things she’d do once she got her legs.

When she was younger, and Leg Day came, she ran. She ran until her breath struggled to catch up. She ran until she saw stars. She ran until she puked. She ran up and down the wheel ramps, but mostly she ran through the grass, up the hills, and every place her wheels couldn’t take her.

Char still planned to devote part of her day to running. Running and more. Her dad used to love to climb. Trees, mountains, walls, really anything vertical, so he claimed.

She thought about Cleo and Eddie. They had the same Leg Day and every year they danced. Char didn’t know if it was good, but they smiled, laughed and loved as they spun, hopped and held each other close. So it must have been good. If Char shared her Leg Day. She would chase and be chased, though she never wanted to be caught.

Eventually the running would stop. It was far too easy to tell the homes of Day Afters. They were always too quiet. Quiet unless they had children. It took years for them to get use to the Day After. One year Char thought that if she kept running, run right through the night, she could have her legs for another day. It took her father three hours to get to her amongst the trees where her legs became lifeless and dead to the touch. Char didn’t like to think about that day. There would be plenty of time during her own Day After.

She rolled through the front door, and hurried to the mom’s old room where they kept spare chair parts.

“Charlotte? Is that you?”

She didn’t expect her dad to be home. Her hopes for covering up her bent wheel sank, almost bringing down her mood. Almost.

“What’re you doing home?” She turned to find her dad wheeling in from the kitchen. A waft of bacon followed him.

“Is that–“

“Breakfast for dinner? I know it’s your favorite.”

“Yes!” Char did a little victory wiggle in her chair. “I wasn’t expecting anything until tomorrow.”

The smile on his face faltered. He tried to master it back, but it only looked forced and perhaps painful.

“Char. We need to talk about your Leg Day.”

Come back Wednesday for Part II of Leg Day…