Writing Prompt: The race was on.

Happy Friday everyone. I hope all of you had a fantastic week. Mine sort of went by in a blur. But it seems that somewhere in that blur I managed to get everything I needed to get done actually completed. So I get a gold star this Friday. Metaphorically speaking. Although how nice would it be to get a nice big gold star at the end of a week? Especially when the week was a little off kilter but you still managed to pull through? I think that would be nice. But alas no star on my calendar. Perhaps I’ll pick some up when I replenish my copy paper supply. For now, it’s the Friday writing prompt. Are you ready? Excellent. Let’s begin.

I think this could be really a fun one one. I’d have to figure out what is really at stake though and who these people are, but a part of me really likes the concept. I have to say, it’s been a pretty good week for prompts creating things that I might want to use later. I managed several this week. Most weeks I get one or two tops. maybe that’s my gold star this week.

Friday, April 16th: The race was on.

The race was on.  Whoever reached the finish line first would be the winner.  Dangling from his hand was a cheap foil crown.  It still showed the marks of where it was folded.  He smirked as he let it sway in the breeze.  He knew it was a trash prize.  He also knew that the crown wasn’t the point of the race and that all of us would do just about anything to win.

I had a moment of unease wondering what nasty surprises he had planned along the way.  There was no way it would be a simple race.  It was set up as a long obstacle course.  Instead of barriers to jump and suspended nets to climb there were a series of trials each had to pass. We had to jump the barriers and climb the nest to get to each trial so it was physical.

As my feet stamped along the path laid out I wondered what the trials would be.  Asking would have given nothing away.  His fun was in the surprise and the effort we put into the race.  I was, as usual the last to reach the first barrier had to climb a ladder to reach a series of ropes suspended over a mud pit.  Using the ropes I had to swing across the mud pit, moving from dangling rope to dangling rope like a chimpanzee.

‘With considerably less grace.’ I thought.  I paused for breath to take in the site.  The ropes were still swinging proving the others had gotten there first and blazed through the challenge.  They were larger, stronger and more physically inclined than I was.  My hope was to complete the physical trial without injuring myself and catch up with them in the mental portions of the challenge.  They were stronger and faster than me, but I was smarter.

To make certain we didn’t cheat, there was a monitor stationed.  He stood with a clip board off to the side looking like a lost camp counselor.  I was willing to bet the shirt and shorts combo along with the clipboard and whistle came directly from a camp.  If I squinted I could just about see the marks from the stitching where a logo was removed.  All the others attended the same summer camp while I was sent somewhere else.  I suspected it was a reference that I just wouldn’t get.  I didn’t know enough to know if it it would help or hinder but at the moment it was of little concern to me. 

The councilor knock off stepped forward and gave me the instructions.  The task was as I expected.  The attendee stepped back and I noticed the video cameras placed in the trees.  This would be recorded.  I ignored the observers, both electronic and other wise and looked at the obstacle.  I was certain I could reach the first rope from the platform at the top of the ladder.  The others were evenly spaced and it didn’t look too difficult for my smaller frame to reach.  I suspected my height was taken into account when the course was established.  I wasn’t sure if I was grateful or not.  It would make the course easier for the others as well.

‘I just hope the mental tasks weren’t adjusted as well,’ I thought as I climbed the ladder and reached for the first rope.  ‘Still it is the first task.  He wouldn’t want us to falter here, he would want us to grow in confidence until we overstepped ourselves. ‘  That had always been his way.  Knowing that calmed me.  ‘After all it is the first trial.’

I grabbed the rope and swung.  It was an effort but I made it across with relative ease.  There were only two ropes I missed and had to swing for twice, but I avoided the mud.  I was safe on the other side.  I climbed down the ladder.

“Well done,” the councilor said.  He held out a card.  You will need to take this to the first challenge in order to be allowed to participate.  Still out of breath I nodded as I took the card.

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