Day of the Race | Teen Ink

Day of the Race

June 6, 2019
By Anonymous

The vast grey blanket that covered my village for half of the year had finally broken apart, letting golden joy spill through the cracks. The light dazzled the azure sky and melted all over the meadows and bright green brush. Every color was twice as vibrant; the wild-flower petals glowed, turning into gems, and the sun sparkled and flashed into my eyes as it shone through the dew on the newborn blades of grass.

          I could just barely make out the lively sound of the early morning street vendors and horse-drawn merchant trundles bumping their way along our brand new cobblestone road. Snippets of chattering voices and moving wagons carried past my ears through the brisk morning wind.

         Almost up the hill’s long face, the dense forest suddenly broke, revealing a sun-speckled clearing in the middle of the woods. A small cottage lay in the shade of overhanging willows and such, spending its days in the company of the flowers and birds.

Luminous drops of sapphire and tourmaline hung on the plants that lined the path to the huge wooden door. Arms extended, I pushed it forward, and the hinges caught slightly as it swung inward. From the rickety floor, earthy scents of fruits and spices rose up and hesitantly and explored this new intruder, gingerly advancing and retreating.

Don’t they remember me in my own home?

From far below, the early audiences’ roaring echoes suddenly hushed into murmurs as the great oak door shut. I looked around for a moment, but before searching any further decided to check his new favorite spot.

The dew seeped in through the sides of my new shoes as I made my way around the side of the house. The fabric was spotless and crisp, the shoes bought just for the festival. My old instructor always told me that the champion has to be in top shape for a race, in terms of equipment, physical state, and most importantly, mental state. I remembered this advice well, but the tumbling in my stomach from excitement showed that I still had a long way to go.

As I drew near, he acknowledged my proximity with a reluctant growl, slinking out from his discovered secret lair. His scaly mouth opened and closed before his forked tongue hissed and traveled across the length of his lips, back and forth. We were both a little nervous to see our heroes in action, but all year had been planned just for this shining day.

Bounding down the bright path, the downhill slope boosted me into flight. Far below, a gunshot rang through the air as I finally broke through the clearing. I peered down over the edge  to see what terrible tragedy had happened, but only gasped in amazement. The starting contestants had began, creating huge dust plumes that unfurled behind them into gallant tails. The smell of our favorite savory lunch snack wafted passed me suggestively making my mouth water, and causing some kind of envious noise to be emitted from my partner. When the best sweet snack’s also smell came to our attention, we resist. The taste of the different meats and desserts made a rotation through our consciousnesses as we made our way down to the festival ground. The golden sun gave everything life, the audience chanted a crashing cheer, and the bees held a steady, humming, note.

The author's comments:

I'm 15, and a sophomore in highschool at Seattle. Playing sports, mainly tennis and skiing, are my main hobbies, but music also has a big influence on me. I really feel that any moment is better when at least one of my favorite songs going. What's exciting me most is going to China over the summer, to the home village of one of my friends, a place he says is known for its amazing food. I don't know why, but in writing class when we were to write a creative short story, that was what I immediately thought of. As Summer is approaching soon, my mind was filled with memories of the warm sun on my skin, an icy caprisun or something in my hand, being outside, and all the other new opportunities finally being comfortable outdoors gives someone.  

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