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Hannah's Challenge

Back in the Party

By Hannah MoorePublished about a month ago Updated about a month ago 4 min read
Top Story - June 2024

I joined Vocal two years ago, a prick of enthusiasm beseeching me to throw caution to the wind, pay the readies and have a stab at a long stagnated pleasure. It worked remarkably well. I dipped in my toe, finding the water a little cooler than I had hoped, but as I stood there up to my ankles, I realised it was rather invigorating, and by the time I was up to my knees, it was pleasingly tepid. I dove in and swam out to where others were tossing balls about and wrestling over lilos and proceeded to have a whale of a time splashing about, sometimes missing my footing or getting water in my eye, but sometimes turning elegant somersaults and graceful dives.

And then I had to come out of the water to re-apply suncream and eat a sandwich. Truth be told, I needed the rest, but sometimes you don't know how tired you've become until you stop, do you. Off I sploshed again, striding back in, excited to re-join the fun, but it was not long before my legs felt heavy, and my leaps were encumbered by the fatigue I had not felt before I rested. I waded back to shore once more, and ate an ice cream, but the sugar high was briefer still, and the shrieking joy of my fellow revellers was becoming overwhelming and disorientating. Lilos kept flicking water in my ears and flying balls were bouncing off my body. This time I didn't set out to come out of the sea, but the tide pushed my flimsily intentioned legs along, until I realised I was again only ankle deep, and though the water now felt warm, I needed to hydrate in the shade. And then longer I sat in the shade, the more uncertain I felt about diving back in.

Last week, I left the beach. Sidling off, I ummed and ahhed and hmmed and very consciously allowed my vocal membership to lapse. There are reasons. Pros and cons and vaguer ponderings. Largely to do with resource. Which is largely to do with time and headspace. I could write a whole piece about it, but I dare say I would be breaking no new ground for anyone there, and evidently, I missed the beach. I still have friends in the water. I came back. But whilst I was sat in the shade, I granted myself the luxury of engaging in the pursuit of stories outside of Vocal. I read a book (most enjoyable), I saw a play (good, but a little let down by a superfluous twenty minutes of unrelenting protracted climax), I watched a movie (do we applaud now for simply being gauche regardless of plot?). I also encountered the stories of the humans I work with, the humans I live with, and the humans with whom I share this world.

You see, I love stories. But I also believe that stories are powerful. Not just a bit powerful but massively colossally powerful. God level powerful, sometimes. On a wide scale, the fabric of our whole culture is little more than stories, and how we interact with those stories goes a long way to shaping our own experience of the world, and our own experience of the world is mediated, of course, by stories too. Stories we tell, yes, but stories we are told too. My time in the shade gave me a moment to recognise which ones I am craving right now.

And so here is my challenge.

I want to read a stories of hope. I want to get to the end of the tale, and I want to feel like life is a blessing, like the day has potential, like there is good stuff in the world, like sometimes, when its easy to see the woe, it is possible also to see that there is more to it all than woe. Write me a story, lets say up to 1500 words, which leaves me feeling better than I did at the beginning of it.

Easy? Here's the twist. I want the story to be true, and I want it to be about you. Tell me the story you dont often tell, perhaps the time you transcended the dominant story about yourself, or the quiet story that doesn't get heard over the loud one, or the story that your teacher might have told even though your dad told a less happy one. Fictionalise it, if you want, dont if you dont, change identifying details, by all means, write it in the third person, first person, from the perspective of your sister or your sister's cat, whatever you fancy. But at its heart, I want this story to be a true story, about you. I wont be able to check this, obviously, but I trust you to hold that truth at the heart of your story, whether it proves a factual reminiscence or a heavily disguised fiction.

You know the drill, pop the link in the comments, I will dish out a first, second and third placement, shall we say $20, $10 and $5? Give me your tales by 1st July and I will judge them using a highly scientific barometer of hopeful positivity at some stage in the weeks following.

In the meantime, I feel compelled to apologise for all the stories I have missed lately. I have zero intention of adding pressure to myself by trying to "catch up", so if I have missed something you are extra keen for me to read, you had better chuck me that ball.

Challenge

About the Creator

Hannah Moore

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Reader insights

Outstanding

Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  2. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

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Comments (55)

  • Kayleigh Fraser ✨6 days ago

    I remember being here before and I’m sorry for not taking part in this one… I truly had forgotten about it 🫣 When I first read this I couldn’t think of a single uplifting personal story …. Which is crazy as right now I can think of so many! (Energy dipped too low!) . Looking forward to reading the entries over the next week though xx

  • Alexander McEvoy13 days ago

    Sadly I missed the challenge, but we'll see if my twisted creative brain has anything in the tank for you, Hannah!

  • Dylan 18 days ago

    I loved this story! I'm a little late for the challenge but I might write a story anyways for the joy of it.

  • Real Poetic19 days ago

    Am I too late?? It’s still July 1st. I love this prompt!

  • Mackenzie Davis19 days ago

    Timestamp of upload (my time: 4:53 PM MST): I DO hope this counts, Hannah! Literally 7 minutes left I believe?? https://vocal.media/poets/the-scales-of-mountains

  • ROCK 20 days ago

    What a wonderful challenge to experience; I caught wind while at a family reunion so I won't meet deadline but I will write one for you even so when I can steal away from the Swedish inquisition.

  • D.K. Shepard20 days ago

    Fun challenge! Thanks, Hannah! https://vocal.media/fiction/perennial-y92d082i

  • Andrea Corwin 20 days ago

    Happy JULY in one day!! Congrats on Top Story and all the commentary this has created. I just published one for this: https://vocal.media/writers/clouds-and-dirty-feet

  • Aaaand ... here's my offering. I wasn't sure I wanted to put this in writing, but I carpe diemmed. https://vocal.media/humans/look-s5da0qfi

  • Novel Allen20 days ago
  • Mackenzie Davis20 days ago

    Is the deadline over? I just realized I'm in a different time zone 🤦🏻‍♀️.

  • Finally, my story... just before the deadline! https://vocal.media/families/happy-as-larry-angie-s-antics

  • Congratulations on having your story featured as a top story on Vocal! This is a remarkable achievement, and it's clear why your work has received such recognition. Your storytelling is truly exceptional. The narrative was not only compelling but also beautifully crafted, holding my attention from start to finish. The way you developed the characters and plot was masterful, making the story both engaging and thought-provoking. Your unique voice and perspective shine through, setting your work apart. It’s evident that you poured a lot of passion and effort into this piece, and it has certainly paid off. I look forward to reading more of your incredible stories in the future. Keep up the fantastic work! Best regards, Dr. Jay

  • Sarah Wilcox29 days ago

    I am only just reading this now that I love the idea so much. It’s a little scary to write some thing hopeful, vulnerable and true but I completely agree with you and think stories are incredibly powerful! Thank you for this challenge idea!!

  • JBaz30 days ago

    This is a tough one , personally. Write about yourself now that is asking a writer to open up and be true. I will absolutely look into doing this Congratulations

  • Poppy about a month ago

    Love this challenge idea! Am I allowed to submit the story I wrote for the 3am challenge?😶Because it was very much based off reality😂

  • Paul Stewartabout a month ago

    Sooooo. Here...I did a thing for this awesome challenge. Hope you enjoy it and feel it fits the brief. https://vocal.media/poets/in-her-eyes-i-see-hope

  • Mesh Toraskarabout a month ago

    Oh Hannah, how we echo the feelings around the importance of stories. Wonderfully written and such a brilliant challenge. Somehow the stars aligned and the story I posted yesterday seems very fitting as an entry to this, thanks to Sonia for recommending that I enter it here. If nothing, I hope it brings you the hope that you desire. https://vocal.media/feast/making-space

  • Novel Allenabout a month ago

    I apologize in advance for this. Except for the great poem by Evan Jones. https://vocal.media/humans/song-of-the-jamaican-banana-man

  • Dawnxisoul393artabout a month ago

    The challenge issued to the reader to share their own empowering story, with the freedom to fictionalize or disguise the details, is a compelling invitation to engage in a meaningful act of cathartic storytelling. A beautifully crafted reflection on the human need for meaningful, uplifting stories. Thank you very much!

  • Stephen A. Roddewigabout a month ago

    You should feel proud to have inspired the first poem I've written in at least six months: https://vocal.media/poets/facing-a-new-day

  • Please allow me to share another story with you that I hope can bring you insight on the person I am I greatly appreciate your writing abilities 😘💯 itxs very relatable and heartfelt!! https://vocal.media/poets/love-endures-through-us

Hannah MooreWritten by Hannah Moore

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