Finish Line

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Continued from Inception and Rooftops

    I burst through the open window and into the billowing drapes in a flurry of flailing, aching limbs. “I’m here,” I announce, writhing uselessly to escape the wrap-up. Hands grab the curtains from about me, shapes grasping in it’s white folds, and it’s pulled away to reveal the base and its inhabitants. Paquin and Adelaide are there, grinning and laughing as they reveal me, along with Sketch and Snyder who seem equally amused. I’m too beat to care, too deafened by the pulse in my ears to hear them cheering.

  “Did I make it?” I croak, my heart pounding so hard its sending shockwaves through my rib cage, my blood so desperate in its race around my body I can barely think against its erratic flow.

  “Kid,” Adelaide says, “you couldn’t have cut it any finer.” She holds up the stopwatch and I attempt to focus on it, blinking away the blur as the digits come into pixelated view.


  “Three-hundred seconds exactly,” Paquin says.
  “Looks like you’re in, bud,” Sketch says, coming up to clap me on the back.
  “Don’t worry man,” Snyder says from the corner, “it gets easier.”
  “I made it?” I ask. Adelaide nods from the sidelines.
  “It was tough, right?” she laughs. I nod.

  The last three hundred seconds are nothing but a blur, bound to clear in retrospect but for now it’s all melded together in my head, each leap, each hard landing, each test of faith. Hardest God-damn interview I ever took. Tough doesn’t cut it. Trial by fire goes some way in doing the process justice. The inexhaustible burning inside agrees. Adelaide, in-touch-mind-reading mentor that she is, tosses me a bottle of water from the fridge.

  “Drink up, comrade,” she says across the apartment, “you earned it.”

Wow. 300 stories in 300 days. Kind of scary. Kind of insane. Kind of close to my own finish line. I just hope I can be as victorious. I haven’t tripped yet.


~ by Joseph Blame on April 22, 2011.

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