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The Finish Line

Be the First to Cross

By David E. PerryPublished 2 months ago 3 min read

It was going to be a photo finish.

60 seconds to go.

Dan Johnson and Dave O'Brien turned on the last leg of the race at the exact same time. They have been side by side the entire race. While still running, they both took their eyes off of the track only for a second, to look each other in the eyes. Dan smiled as he pulled slightly ahead of Dave. Dave, running on the outermost lane of the track, had to put forth a little more effort but he caught up with Dan. They were running neck and neck. Dave tried, but he could not pull ahead of Dan. He was not willing to settle for a tie.

50 seconds to go.

The track weaved in and out of trees, so they couldn’t see the finish line although they both knew that it was not that far away. Dave bent down low so that there would be less wind resistance on his body. This gave him a significant lead. As he passed Dan, he looked at him and smiled. He was absolutely sure that the victory was his. Dan tucked his arms closer to his body and began to move faster. He quickly caught up with Dave and again they looked into each other’s eyes and smiled. Neither one spoke. They knew that speaking takes up a lot of oxygen. They needed that oxygen to keep running.

40 seconds to go.

They started to play the back-and-forth game. One second Dan would be ahead of Dave. 2 seconds later Dave would be ahead. This seemed to go on and on as the finish line got closer and closer. At one point, they both stumbled, almost at the same time, but both quickly regained their balance. They then decided to keep their eyes on the track and what was ahead of them. No longer did they stare each other down. No longer did they try to intimidate the other runner. Their minds, hearts, and full determination were set on winning the race. There were no smiles. Their teeth were clenched. Their lips were curled. They put forth all they had into winning.

30 seconds to go.

The crowd started to cheer them on. The race was all but over. Dan was now standing up straight, ready to break the tape at the end. The victory was so clear in his eyes that he could smell it. He could taste it. In his eyes, it had already happened. He didn’t realize that this misplaced confidence caused him to slow down. As soon as Dave noticed it, he took full advantage of the situation. He picked up his pace. Just a little at first. Then a little more. Then he kicked it into high gear. While Dan was ready to show off, Dave passed him up with only seconds remaining. Dan caught on quickly.

20 seconds to go.

Dan repositioned his body to reduce wind resistance. Dave was ahead of him now. He had only seconds to catch up and pass. Only seconds to cross the finish line. Only seconds to gain the victory and rub it in Dave’s face. There was no time to think. Just run.

10 seconds to go.

Dan was ahead of Dave by only an inch.

8 seconds to go.

Dave was ahead of Dan.

6 seconds to go.

Dan was ahead.

4 seconds to go.

They were running neck and neck.

2 seconds to go.

Dave tripped over a small pebble on the track. In an attempt to regain balance, he stumbled into the other lane causing Dan to stumble also.

1 second to go.

Both runners laid unconscious on the track. Dan on top of Dave. The ribbon remained unbroken.

Short Story

About the Creator

David E. Perry

Writing gives me the power to create my own worlds. I'm in control of the universe of my design. My word is law. Would you like to know the first I ever wrote? Read Sandy:

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Comments (2)

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  • Novel Allen2 months ago

    Breathtaking. Ego and macho-ism is never the answer. Humility goes a long way towards success. A great read in 60 David.

  • Ameer Bibi2 months ago

    Amazing 🤩🤩 superb excellent story

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