So, How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?


So, How Long Can You Hold Your Breath?

The three of them collapsed on the grassy incline.

Jenny smiled. “I told you, girls can do anything boys can do.” Her face was aglow as she was only beginning to gloat about her second place finish.

Aaron had known Jenny was fast. She was the headstriker on the girls’ soccer squad. He had been confident he could beat her in the mile, but he had warned Jeremy that maybe he should keep the time on this trash-talking event.

Jeremy had held tight to his pride. He refused to not compete.

Aaron had thought that he was the most competitive person ever, until he had been assigned as a roommate to Jeremy last year. The two of then were a dangerous match. They competed for grades in classes. They competed in sports. They competed in food-eating competitions. They held nothing sacred.

That was how they had met Jenny… on a dare.

Aaron had accepted a dare to get Jenny’s digits. Jeremy had given him three minutes to accomplish the digit-acquisition deed. At stake had been fifteen wind-sprints after the next basketball practice. The dare had been a public dare- in front of the entire basketball team; to not accept the challenge was unthinkable.

It had turned out to have been far easier than he could have hopes. He did not think that there was any real chance at succeeding in this digit-acquisition, so instead of trying to charm his way through the task, he was completely up front. He told Jenny of the challenge. And how competitive he was. And simply begged.

She found it hilarious. Surprisingly, she had four younger brothers who were always doing stupid things like this. She traded her digits for the right to watch Jeremy run the wind sprints.

Since then, the three of them had been inseparable.

Jeremy was still panting from his third place finish. “Alright,” he said. “A double-or-nothing challenge. I accept that you beat me in the race, but I bet I can hold my breath longer than you.”

“Jeremy…” I tried to intervene.

“No!” he said firmly. “This is no big deal. We had the same contest with three of the freshman in the hall last night. We’ll just have a new one tonight.” He paused smiling. There was an evil glimmer in his eyes. “That is… If you’re up to it.”

Thank God for Jenny’s four brothers. “Before I say ‘yes’,” she said, “Tell me all the rules.”

Written for Writer’s Digest Flash Fiction February Challenges: Challenge #15 Today’s prompt is to write someone who needs to take a deep breath.

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