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Path Obscured: Chapter 1

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Anastasia Clarke, the anchor for the girl’s 4×400 relay team.  17 years old, short cut blonde hair, icy blue eyes, petite in stature, and a spitfire if there ever was a defining human being for the word.  She stands at her mark eyes remaining fixed on her approaching teammate.  Her school has fallen to third in the previous laps and continues to lose ground.  She is not bothered by the pressure.  One more win, and the team goes to the state championships.  Just one more win.

Laura Davenport, the team’s third, tall and lanky, runs as fast as she can, baton whipping back and forth furiously as she begins to approach the spitfire.  She looks a little upset at the fact that she was unable to gain much ground, but she knows once she exchanges the baton, things will change very quickly.

The runner in the lane to her left gets passed the baton, first place, the runner in the lane over from that follows shortly after, second place, and now Laura begins to approach the spitfire.  There is still time to win, they are not in terrible shape, and anyone that has seen the spitfire run knows that if anyone can make it happen, it is Anastasia Clarke.

Laura makes her last burst as she nears the spitfire stretching her hand out with the baton, the spitfire receives the baton in stride and takes off smoothly.  Her acceleration is quite amazing to see, she seems to only really have two speeds, idle and full speed.  The time in between idle and full speed only seems to last fractions of a second.  The spitfire turns her attention forward tearing the track, eyes focused ahead of her, legs moving at a punishing speed.  She pushes herself.  She’s fast, but the team is behind, she needs to make up ground.  Her eyes twitch a bit as the air pushes back against her body.

The spitfire passes the second place runner in short order, but her window of opportunity is closing quickly.  She pushes herself harder, her heart is beating hard at this point, but she works to keep her breathing level as she tries to move faster.

Coach Anderson watches from the side of the track.  He’s twitchy, he drinks too much coffee, and his voice is sore from cheering a bit too exorbitantly.  He watches the team’s captain close the distance jumping up and down with excitement.  “You got this Annie!  Just a bit more!” he shouts, he seems to have more team spirit than most of the other spectators.  He has known the spitfire since her freshman year when she first joined the track team.  He’s hoping she can bring them to the state championship before she graduates, she has worked harder than everyone else on the team, and is a real leader.

The spitfire begins closing on the first place runner, but the finish line is coming up quickly.  She pushes herself even harder, her muscles straining, and then suddenly an odd look comes over her face.  She stops abruptly, squinting her eyes strangely.  Her arms fall to her sides, as her grip loosens suddenly, the baton falls to the ground with a clatter.  The spitfire teeters forward and collapses towards the ground.

The crowd suddenly silences, Coach Anderson had already begun running towards the track as soon as Anastasia stopped, but nobody is there to catch her fall.  She hits the ground, not moving, still breathing but unconscious.  The first place runner finishes, not having seen the collapse, the third place runner passes by her and finishes in second, the fourth place runner passes her and finishes third.  No state championship.

Coach Anderson arrives first, teammates close behind, “Annie!” he kneels down by her side.  Her arms are bleeding from her fall, she is still breathing but is unresponsive.  “Get an ambulance here now!” Coach Anderson orders the nearest person, who takes off immediately.  The spitfire is down.


Written by andrewsnafu

February 4, 2010 at 12:34 am