Sample 6

Author: Nola Published: over 5 years ago
Tags: humour, fiction Category: Writing exercise

Jilly and the Jackaroo

(An exercise in building a fictitious character sketch from real life)

Jilly wiped the sleep from her eyes as she led her horse from the stable in the early morning light. She’d arrived back from the Ag College last week to discover that her father had hired a gorgeous jackaroo called Chad. Since he might just be ‘the one’, she’d volunteered to help the men muster some cattle down in the far paddock. This was her big chance to get his attention.

Her dream of walking down the aisle with Chad was rudely interrupted by unwelcome memories. There was that embarrassing episode in primary school when she’d stood on her pony to impress a boy and fell off.

Then there was the time she tried to dazzle everyone at the high school formal with her amazing dance steps. She didn’t see the puddle from someone’s spilt drink until it was too late. As she careened across the floor in her slippery-soled sandals, her arms windmilling to the beat, she pretended it was the latest dance move. She might have gotten away with it if she hadn’t crashed into the buffet table and ended up with the potato salad on her head.

She didn’t even want to think about her last rock climbing expedition when she’d accidentally broken wind in the face of the cute ranger who was helping to push her up a difficult section of the rock face. No, all that was behind her. (Literally, in the case of the ranger!) She was beautiful and sophisticated, even if she did have trouble squeezing into her R. M. Williams jeans this morning.

Jilly tried to look nonchalant as Chad led his horse towards her. She shook her long blonde hair, hoping the smell from her coconut shampoo would send him wild.

‘Want me to help you up?’

‘I’m right’, she said, batting her eyes so much they were in danger of creating gale force winds.

Just as she was about to mount, something spooked her horse and he started going round in circles. She grabbed onto the reins and started twirling with the horse, somehow ending up on his right side instead of his left. After several failed attempts, she managed to get one fashionable riding boot into the twisting, turning stirrup, while madly hopping along on the other foot. With a Herculean effort, she leapt onto the horse, discovering too late that she was facing the wrong way. Chad looked like he was suppressing a laugh, so she tried to save the moment by stretching her arms out wide and shouting ‘Ta dah!’ Oh well. She could always join the circus.