The Final Race

A hush encompassed the entire stadium as they sat there frozen in utter amazement.

Just moments ago there had been shrieks and shouts and the blaring of horns as the three runners had been neck-and-neck … tightly hugging the last turn in the culminating race of the day. It had appeared as if  this was going to be the closest race of the entire meet.

These three runners were why most of the crowd had even chosen to brave the rains for this last event. Most of the people in attendance still had their umbrellas in hand and were wearing their clever trash-bag coverings as attire in case the rains began again.

These three racers had been intermittently breaking state record upon state record every time they meet. Fans were sure, their last race of their senior season would be a race to be remembered.

Little did they know why…?

Rounding the final turn, there was the expected explosion: the penned-up adrenaline erupting from the three athletes: the giving of all they had left in their reserves.

And then the unthinkable.

A clip.

A stray foot from runner number two nipped the ankle of the lead runner.

He flipped and sprawled across the double running-lane.

There was instantaneous silence in the racing world- at least in the world that was enclosed inside these event fences- as they watched in sheer astonishment.

The field behind them stopped in awe. Not a look from a single face was annoyed or showed any hint of regret at the drama that was being played out before them.

Pain was evident in the face of the fallen as the two neighboring runners kneel beside of their foe.

Gently, they lifted him. Placing one of his arms around each of their shoulders, the three of them began a slow, very calculated walk toward the finish line.

Somberly, almost with reverence, the remaining field of runners slowly joined the three … staying a respectful distance from them.

This was their moment.

This was how they wanted their senior race to end.

It was to be as it should have been.

The three of them were planning to finish neck-and-neck… one last time.

Written for Three Word Wednesdays: Requirements: A piece of fiction using the words annoyed, hushed, and pain.


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