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Race with the Wind, or The Window This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Finn was racing, running faster than he ever had in his short life. His breath came out in short bursts, his stomach clenched and unclenched, and his legs were almost going out from underneath him from exhaustion. The dull downtown Chicago streets dashed past him with frightening speed, blurring into an indiscernible gray haze at the edge of his vision. His nimble feet flew across the empty alley, the steps echoing into the fading light of the dawn. His damp hair plastered itself to his forehead and his cheeks burned in the oppressive July heat, but he wasn’t aware of any of it.

He was going to make it.

The teenage boy continued mentally repeating the innocent sentence over and over again. He could not be too late. It was simply unfathomable. The thoughts and images swirled through his head as if a storm brewed in the depths of his mind. Lips gaping wide in forced smiles, tears pearling on the edge of eyes like beads of rain on a windowsill, and her, ever-vanishing shadows of her...

He was going to make it.

He swerved left on Madison Street, his sneakers slipping on the pavement. He was the wind, an unstoppable, invincible force, throwing itself at anything or anyone who attempted to inhibit it. No one could stop the wind in the Windy City, just as no one could ever stop the running boy.

Finally, the narrow road came into view. It was just as mundane as the rest of the city, but the sight brought up in Finn feelings of anger and frustration from his confused past. A small car sat, poised, prepared to depart at any given moment. As an elastic being released, the vehicle suddenly jumped into life, springing onto the pavement and leaving a cloud of dust in its wake.

Finn groaned in despair. He tripped over his tired legs and fell to his knees, stealing from him another moan, this time from the pain. He perceived the silhouette of a young woman sitting calmly in the car, growing smaller and smaller by the second. It was her. It had to be. He glared at the window separating the two them as if he could shatter it with his piercing gaze. He yelled at it, pleaded with it, and shouted at it all over again. It was nothing but a window. Nevertheless it was the only obstacle, the sole barrier between him and her. If only it broke into a thousand pieces, and she could hear his cries of desperation. If only...

The window stayed firmly whole, and Finn glanced down at his bloodied knees, wishing the cuts came from broken glass, for then, the window would be absent from its frame. He would be free from his world of silence, for she would hear him. He was as good as mute, if his words never reached her ears. She was gone, just as he desired the cursed window to be.

He had not made it.



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