Flyer’s Broken Wheel

Wendy had the following prompts to choose from:

And the band played on.

Snuck in the back.

I just took a shower from a cockroach from hell.

Tricycle with a broken wheel

Having just returned home from the SCBWI children’s writers conference, the tricycle prompt seemed fitting. I typically write young adult, but since I told many of the picture book writers that I didn’t know how they told an entire story under 350 words, I thought I’d try for a whimsical children’s story.


Flyer was a tricycle.


His fire engine red paint sparkled under the blinking lights of the Christmas tree. Red and white tassels hung from his shiny silver bars.

Flyer belonged to a boy named Tucker.


Flyer went everywhere Tucker went. To the park. To preschool. To day care. And sometimes if Mom was in a good mood, to bed. As Tucker grew his legs got longer. He had to hunch to reach Flyer’s handlebars.

One day, while Flyer was riding Tucker around in front of his house, his front wheel split. Tucker cried and cried. Flyer felt sad, too. Mom assured them both that Flyer could be fixed and everything would be alright.

But everything was not alright.

Covered in spider webs, dirt and rust Flyer waited many years in the cold, dusty rafters of the garage. Then one day, a man below looked up from the garage floor and spied Flyer. He took out a ladder and began to climb. As the man’s eyes came into Flyer’s view, he recognized their blue sparkle. It was Tucker all grown up!

At first Flyer was excited, wondering if the grown up boy had come to ride him to the park and to day care and to preschool.

Tucker brushed the webs from Flyer’s tassels. He polished Flyer’s fire engine red paint. Tucker eyed Flyer’s front wheel and scratched his chin thoughtfully. He dug through his tool box and pulled out a big roll of black tape. Tucker taped the split in Flyer’s tire like a bandaid. Flyer was almost like new.

Flyer shook with delight and was ready to take Tucker to the park and to preschool and to daycare again. He straightened out his seat and held his handle bars up high. But Tucker did not sit on Flyer.

Instead, Tucker lifted a small boy and placed him on Flyer’s seat. The boy was much smaller than Tucker ever was. His feet barely touched the Flyer’s pedals. So Tucker pushed Flyer around with the boy giggling with joy. Flyer had never been so happy.

The End

Okay, maybe I’ll stick to young adult, but now I can say I wrote a children’s story in under 350 words. Thanks for reading!

Wendy is a former Disney Character, wife to a hunky Matterhorn Climber, mom to three amazing little boys, and an author. She is currently seeking representation for her dystopic YA novel INDIGO. You can find out more about INDIGO at her blog

About Wendy Spinale

Wendy Spinale is the author of Everland. She's a published professional journalist with the AOL/Patch Media’s Pleasanton Patch and an active member of both the California Writers’ Club and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. A former Disneyland Character, she is familiar with the world of "make believe". She has been married to her Disney sweetheart and former Matterhorn Climber for seventeen years. As a mother of three boys, she enjoys squeezing in her precious moments of writing between baseball games, while the kids are at school, and during the precious quiet hours at night. When she is not writing, you'll find her camping with her family, cooking or reading the latest YA debut novel.

Posted on August 5, 2013, in What Wendy Said. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Very sweet- I love the picture of “Tucker.”

  2. I liked your story, Wendy…especially poignant as I just finished watching Toy Story 3 and am taking my youngest to college. Those childhood toys are special!

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