Are you a creative writer? Then send me your contortion story. It could be:
- Made up
- Real experiences
- Unreal or abnormal
IMPORTANT! The story must have a flexibility and contortion theme. Your story can be written in German, English or French. It should contain more than 1000 words. Each new story will be rewarded with a free (month’s) membership to Zlata.de
Your story will be entered into this year's story competition.
The prize will be: annual membership to Zlata.de and the new Zlata calendar.
Gabriela opened her eyes from her brief dozing off. She looked around suddenly to see if anyone had seen her snoozing. With a sigh of relief the noisy practice ground was still unaware and normal as usual. She felt a slight catch in her right hip and bit her lip as she unwound her foot from behind her shoulder blades. She pressed her thumbs into her soles and thoroughly rubbed her bare feet. She straightened her spine and twisted side to side hearing the pops in her spine to some confirmation of a successful stretch. She stood up and brushed off her dusty red long johns which sufficed as a training leotard. The 19 year old put on a faded trench coat from a hook on the wall and a pair of thin leather boots and walked out into the brisk early spring air. She walked to a small and dingy boxcar marked with crude chalk on the outside “Vega Family.” Pulling a copper key from her left boot she slid it into the door and walked inside. The wood stove was on and the orange light flickered around the small rectangular space, bouncing off the walls and the two bunk beds which the family slept in. The light illuminated Marina Vega, Gabriela’s mother, who was sitting on a stool mending a tear in Gabriela’s good performing costume. Alonzo, her father, was out as usual, likely looking for work in the city with the other immigrant men. Her little sister, Vera, was sitting cross legged on her bunk, playing with two wood dolls. This probably was not the life that Marina and Alonzo were thinking of when they made the decision to leave Barcelona and travel to New York. A nurse and a carpenter should have had no trouble finding work in the growing United States of America. But they had found none, none except the Long Island Wonder Show, a circus company and carnival. And neither parent was paid, just given room and board while Gabriela worked.
“Find a job here Gabi.” She was told by her mother. “We will soon be able to buy a house when your father finds a job.” But five years had passed, and 14 year old Gabriela who aspired to be a nurse like her mother ended up training many hours each day, folding her body into positions which at first were uncomfortable and painful, and working as the circus’ “Human Pretzel” or so she was billed. Gabriela had never eaten a pretzel, but she assumed they were stretchy or at the very least chewy snacks, since most of the people who watched her seemed to agree that the name was appropriate. Her father had seemed to have lost all motivation to find stable work outside the circus, and Gabi at present was the only source of financial income to the family which seemed to suit Alonzo and, though she would probably not confess to it, Marina, quite well. Vera fed the lions and camels and would probably be offered a chance to train as a performer at some point when she grew up. Gabriela envied Vera, namely her carefree attitude and the fact that her English was already very good. Five years in the country had done little for Gabi’s mastery of the language. Owing to this, Gabi had few friends or people to talk to in the circus, and spent most of her training alone, which suited her. Now and again the portly ringmaster would come by, and, taking Gabriela by the wrists and ankles, twist her up like a balloon animal or indeed like a pretzel, and sometimes stuff her into an empty peach crate. Tests like these ensured she did not slack off in her training and she had grown used to it. She no longer cried or hurt in the complex knots. Most of her day was spent inside a small closet of space behind a glass pane as a promenade attraction. She would sit inside the small space and contort her body into unusual shapes while ruddy and well fed American boys and girls wearing clean clothes pressed their hands, usually sticky from popcorn and peanuts, and faces against the glass in wonder, and pointed and giggled at her constant bending and gymnastic motion. Sometimes older groups of boys her age would walk by and their girlfriends would pull them away or, if they didn’t have girlfriends they would wink and make lewd gestures. Once, after a day of performing a boy even tried approaching and talking to her, but he seemed disinterested after he quickly figured out Gabi could not speak a word of English. Her mother did not look up but spoke.
“Good morning Gabi, did your exercises go well?”
“Mhm” Gabriela replied, shedding the coat and boots but keeping her hair tied up tightly. She walked over to the cupboard and pulled out several things, laying them next to the stovetop. Tomato sauce, a can of beans, and some pickled onions. Dumping them all in a frying pan, she briefly heated and mixed the food together and poured it into a tin bowl. Stabbing a fork into it all she walked over to a thin carpet in the centre of the boxcar and placed it down, sitting and taking a mouthful. Her mother looked up and spoke in a voice which could be both worried and scolding.
“Shouldn’t you be stretching too?”