Race Day

This is the first of hopefully many posts in my new creative writing series.  Enjoy!

An alarm sounds at 5:15 AM.  I hit snooze.  Not yet, just five more minutes, please.  Seconds later it sounds again.  I must get up.  After all, it’s Race Day.  My body is tired and achy.  I stumble out of bed, making my way to the kitchen, eyes still burning with exhaustion.

The morning is quiet and still.  Children are sleeping peacefully.  They have been dutifully training for The Race over the last nine months.  For good behavior and following the rules, they’ve been granted a temporary reprieve.

Mindlessly, I continue preparations and don my racing gear.  I’m sure to pick a nice set.  After all, it’s Race Day.

I must leave early.  Surely lots of others will be racing today.  As expected, the course is busy and the pace is slow.

I finally reach the starting line.  Or is it a checkpoint, who knows?  I recognize this place and see many familiar faces.  There are obstacles throughout The Race.  Nobody understands their purpose, but we trudge through them anyway.

Although not everyone arrives at the same time, we’re all running together.  We race all day, yet don’t make it very far.  That’s okay.  We’ll race again tomorrow, and the day after that.

Occasionally, somebody finishes The Race.  Their body weak, hair silver, and face wrinkled after years of racing.  They look relieved, or possibly confused.  What will they do now?  Regardless, everyone congratulates them on a race well run.

I once read of people who have won The Race.  They are a rare breed, very rare indeed.  I’ve never met one in person, though I’m convinced they exist.  I hear they are young, vibrant, and full of energy.  They say when you win, you don’t have to race anymore.  Instead, you can choose to do anything.  That sounds like fun.

Although I am still racing, I often dream of winning.  Past winners have told their stories, wild tales of bravery, discipline, and courage.  Legend has it that by forgoing immediate gratification, you can have everlasting freedom.  Some say you have to be lucky to win, but I don’t think that’s true.  You just have to believe it’s possible and stick to your training plan.  I’d better get back on the track.  After all, it’s Race Day.

8 thoughts on “Race Day

  1. Brian Stephens says:

    That’s a great take on “the race.” I enjoyed it…except it felt like the Hunger Games and I was ready to go grab a weapon to defend myself from other overly aggressive racers. Maybe I’ll save the weapons for trying to break free from the other racers when I get to that point. Some are sure to try and drag me back down.

    Liked by 1 person

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