The Shine Journal

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He Ran with Fear




Shells Walter




He ran with fear. He ran with strength. It was only five miles left of this marathon and he wanted to win. There were other runners closing in on him and he could almost feel the sweat that flew off them as they ran. A few more miles and all would be good. His legs started to feel like jello. He trained months for this, yet his body felt the pain of the twenty-mile run.


People stood on the side waiting to hand out cups of water. He didn’t stop. There was no time for any distractions at the last few miles. His heart beating almost out of his chest, he kept running. The cheers from the crowd echoed in his ears as he made a turn around the corner. One person swung a flag up in the air. Another held a stuffed animal, sold at the beginning of the race.


He watched as runner after runner started to fall because of exhaustion. They gave him the lead he needed. His legs ached more than at times, he could handle, but he moved on. The fourth mile approached and he pushed himself to run harder. Runner’s feet meshed with the pavement and thundered down the streets. All he heard was the pounding of his own sneakers against the asphalt.


His mouth was dry and he wanted to grab one of the cups of water as he ran by, but once again, he refused. The cracks on his lips from dehydration gave him a bit of pain. He pushed his tongue against his lower lip to give it moisture, but it didn’t do any good. The dryness was too much.


The glare of the sun beat down on his face and he became warmer. He had wished he had remembered his sunglasses when doing this. Other runners had brought a whole bunch of small things to have the run more comfortable, not him he wanted to wing it. He thought it would make him a stronger person, what a fool he had been.


Time was not important to him, but he could only assume it was mid-afternoon. Stores where people were shopping started to close and the patrons came out to watch the remainder of the race. He kept running, only every so often turning to see a woman or man coming out of a store with several packages.


A woman stood staring at the runners as they went by. Her hair was dark black and her sunglasses eased on her nose as if made for her face. He smiled at her as he ran by. She smiled back and he almost lost his footing and fell. He reminded himself to keep going, no distractions.


Another mile finished and he was starting to see the end. Two more miles to go and he would be at the gold. Yet something that was bothering him as he went, the pain in his chest increased and it did not seem normal anymore to him. He put his hand on his chest as he ran, feeling his heart racing. Fear entered his mind more than winning. He started to stumble as he approached the finish line.


People gasped in horror as he fell down on the line marking the end of the race. Judges, doctors, bystanders raced up to him to see what they could do. The doctor could not feel him breathing and started CPR. A woman started to cry and other runners approaching the finish line just stopped. Concern filled throughout the streets. He laid on the ground not breathing and his heart no longer raced. He had won the gold for his team and return he gave them his life.





MOTIVATION: My motivation for this piece was sports compared to the human soul. What one will do when they really put forth an effort and what becomes important when it is too late


BIO: Shells Walter is a freelance writer. Her love for writing started when she was very young. Her works have appeared in such publications, as Micro Horror, Static Movement, and upcoming work in Demon Minds. She also has a published novella called "Bite This" and a collection of poetry.

Sneakers by: Lynn Belisle   Sillouette Runners by: Iancu Oaida




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Editor: Pamela Tyree Griffin

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