Jason Andreas (jasonandreas) wrote in jasonstories,
Jason Andreas

The runner...

His long coat billowed behind him as he ran through the moonlit streets. He knew he hadn’t much time left – the clock was ever ticking, each new second bringing him closer to failure. The kind of failure that would leave him standing there, awash with despair and frustration, as the source of his haste left him behind. Rubbish was kicked up in his wake, swirling and cascading as his boots pounded on the rough concrete paving. His breathing was ragged, coming in pants that left beautiful condensation hanging in the night air, oh so briefly, like smoke from a dragon’s mouth. His legs felt like they were on fire, lava surging through the veins instead of blood, muscles screaming in protest at this uncalled-for punishment.

He decided to take a chance and cut sharply 90 degrees to the left, leaping a fence on his way. This was a shortcut, if he could remember the way, that would buy him valuable seconds. Those seconds were a precious commodity, he knew, and he willed himself to strive ever onwards. The terrain was more treacherous here – his feet navigated rocks and stones and clumps of random plant life, even the occasional car part, left to rust in the backstreets of the community.

Disaster struck! He felt his foot touch down on a soaking wet branch, the combination of the lack of friction and his speed made his foot skid along its surface, twisting his center of balance and sending him crashing to the ground. Quickly, like an Olympic sprinter on the starting block, he was up and running again, eyes narrowed and teeth gritted.

He glanced at his watch – less than 10 seconds remaining. He had to hurry. With an iron will he pushed himself to go just that little bit faster, to give a little more to his ailing legs, and as he rounded the corner he saw it, pulling away, leaving, leaving him a failure. If he had only avoided that branch. If only he’d left a few seconds earlier. He slumped to his knees and watched through tear-stained eyes as the No. 32 bus drove off into the distance...
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