Friday, July 6, 2012

The Run

Write On Edge gave us a great prompt in honor of the Fourth of July.   We were challenged to write about the idea of freedom in 400 words.  While not patriotic, here's my take.  I had to go back and visit Emma, James and Kris one more time.  Let me know what you think.


With no warning, Kris held his hand up.  Everyone stopped.  Growling under his breath, he stormed back to me like some wild predator. 

“What,”

James stopped me with a glare and a slight head shake.

Kris circled me as if I were prey.

“Too slow.  This’ll help.”

I wasn’t sure if Kris was talking to me or himself.  With James still watching me I didn’t dare ask either.

To my shock and embarrassment, he cupped my face, leaned in and kissed me.  Not just a quick peck but a serious, movie scene worthy kiss.  He released me before I had a chance to object – not to the kiss itself but for how he did it.  He turned and loped back to the front of the short line without another word.

I stood there, in the middle of the trail, stunned.  James touched my elbow.

“It was a gift,” James told me in a soft voice.

“What was?” my face wrinkling, shaking my head.

“Kris gave you the ability to keep up with us.  He wants to move faster.  Trust it.  Trust me.  You’ll keep up.”

“”Hunh?”

“Kris wants to run so he gave you a bit of his power.  He doesn’t want you to slow us down.  Stephan is too much of a risk.  Now, love, no more speaking.  Run.”

James flashed a quick grin at me before Kris signaled everyone to move again.  This time they ran.  James passed me.  I watched them for a moment as they faded into the forest faster than anyone should be able to run.

“Trust them,” I muttered.

Taking a deep breath I ran after them.  To my utter amazement, not only did I keep up with them, I caught up to Kris, passing everyone else in the process.  He glanced at me, smiled and pressed harder.  Sensing the challenge I lengthened my stride, finding myself able to match his pace.

The forest flashed by in streaked glimpses of browns and greens.  In the running, I started to feel a peace I hadn’t felt in years.  There was something about running with this man, this stranger, that lifted me.  It freed me from something I didn’t even realize I carried.  It didn’t take long before I ran with Kris for the sheer joy of being able to fly through the forest as free as the wildlife startling from the brush with our passage.


In case you've missed it, the rest of Emma's story can be found here.

14 comments:

  1. Nice job on the prompt. I was as confused as Emma about how a kiss would make her run faster.

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    1. Thanks - she'll get that part explained to her later since she's still just as confused but going with the flow at this point.

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  2. I liked the last paragraph best, the way she lost herself in her surroundings and let them blur around her.

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    1. Thanks. I am glad to hear my attempt at illustrating how free she felt there worked.

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  3. Loved this: "for the sheer joy of being able to fly through the forest as free as the wildlife startling from the brush with our passage"

    I haven't read Emma's story, but I just might have to now!

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    1. Thank you. This might be a tease, but stay tuned and remember that line...it'll mean soooo much more in the next little while as Emma gets in over her head.

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  4. I liked her joy in the run, once she moved past herself. Great job!

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    1. Thanks. At this point that tends to be Emma's biggest problem - getting past herself!

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  5. Great story, nice use of the prompt! Trying to remember if I read the rest of it or not. If not I will have to catch up!

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    1. Thanks! And thanks for stopping by!

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  6. Very nice piece here! I am going to have to read more of Emma's story and find out more.

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    1. Thank you! It's been fun writing it.

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  7. I love the concept that a power can be transferred through a kiss, like mouth-to-mouth resuscitation can bring someone back from the edge of death. The image of the forest blurring by is a vivid touch.

    Some concrit when you revisit the piece in the future: the structure could use some minor tightening, like: "To my utter amazement, not only did I keep up with them, I caught up to Kris, passing everyone else in the process. " Try instead: "Amazed, I launched forward, passing everyone to catch up to Kris."

    Also, the protag tells us what she feels. "To my utter amazement, To my shock and embarrassement." As a reader, I'd like to see the transfer of power affect her, like her heart stopping momentarily or a surge of electricity washing through her. "The dull ache, present since the departure, disappeared from my legs entirely as I ran, one with the pack."

    But these are very minor changes, and overall I'd say you hit this out of the ball park. Well done!

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    1. Thanks! I love it when you think I've done a good job on a piece...I am always so impressed with your writing. I will keep your concrit in mind when I add this one to the overall story. I knew there were parts to tweak a little and knowing where to start is great.

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