The thought struck the mind instinctively; he knew the run wasn’t timed perfectly; turning his head behind, the mind tried confirming if it was indeed true as he tried finding if he was being followed by anyone.
The eyes widened with surprise as there was none, something he also didn’t expect.
‘Am I the last,’ he sighed, a position he had never found himself in all his life and in all these umpteen races he took part in till now.
‘Is this the end of the road,’ a thought suddenly struck like lightning, as he strained to gather his energy to continue.
The steps, however, lacked vigour, the mind unwilling to move was forcing him into a status-quo, reluctantly he resumed his run forcing his mind into some action and surprising the spectators around who were visibly shocked with the lethargy in his steps.
‘Come on,’ a section of the crowd roared, stirring him to carry on. He, however, remained quiet, unwilling to even acknowledge or glance at the crowd, continuing to stroll painfully and aimlessly, as if there was nothing left in him to even move gracefully.
The last of the race was now turning out to be the most dreadful, destroying the plentiful other accomplishments of his; grounding them right in front of his eyes, as he regretted agreeing to this LAST race.
‘Come on you, old hag,’ suddenly someone shouted from the crowd as the spectators now began laughing at this unusual address for someone used to celebrity status.
He still didn’t pay any attention; however, the others soon joined the loud chorus, started by a fringe group, but the noise now overpowered even the ones who were trying to spur him on.
Finally, he paused and looked around.
The sticky feet, till now struggling to even maintain their posture, suddenly sprang to life.
The eyes now glanced at the crowd and the mind surprisingly resolved to not end this without a fight.
‘My career can’t end this way,’ he muttered inside his head, not letting even a word fall through his mouth; it was as if he was trying to self-motivate now.
The race, however, was practically over; the 10 runners in front were at least a 100 metre ahead and with just 300 metres left, he had turned himself into a raging tornado to even get closer to that small clique of leaders crowding the front end of the race.
Getting closer would also imply breaking all previous human records of running, not to win, but only to catch up with the last one amongst that gang, who was also a good 90 metres ahead of him.
The feet till now feeling heavy and sticky suddenly metamorphosed into a feather, refusing to touch the ground as he felt like floating on thin air; the lethargic body, astonishingly, turned flexible, swaying himself as he lunged ahead, he began running with grace; his subtly arched torso stayed in perfect shape above the ground; the head remained still, while the eyes continued to stare ahead even though he felt some momentary darkness, which, however, quickly flickered away.
‘I won’t stop,’ he goaded himself, speaking in his mind again, oblivious to everything and everyone around.
The mind now got one with his body as they both ran together, the strong wind now slapped his face, as he appeared like flying on that long pitch.
The booing stopped, as everyone got up from their seats, watching in disbelief with a gaped mouth, unable and unwilling to believe what they were witnessing.
‘A flying man,’ someone muttered.
He was like a jet of an oceanic current, flowing unbridled on the track, with a quick dash of 100 metres, he stood second last now, leaving behind the last of that leading group, in a jiffy.
The dream run continued as the booing now turned to gasps; the eyes in the audience, finding it hard to keep pace with the lightning they were seeing in front of them.
The Einsteinian equation of mass turning into energy suddenly manifested itself alive; in front of everyone as they tried hard to continue gazing at the sprinter and the sprint; emotions of incredulity and surprise reflected on every face.
And within a few more seconds, he now manoeuvred in the middle of that small huddle making up the head of the thick queue, where everyone was struggling to get ahead, everyone suddenly seemed surprised with this new entry.
His stay in the group though lasted less than a second, as he zipped past them, his sharp eyes, staring at the finish line and with his feet about to cross them, they refused to look away as the feet continued gliding on the track.
The wind now turned vigorous as the lead runner, assured of the first position, suddenly felt a spirit pass him. The feet dangled in the air to cross that final line; the hands half stretched in the air abruptly fell as he stared at the winner now lying on the floor.
The noisy breathing continued, it felt as if his heart will pop out of the thin chest any moment, the eyes stared at the blue sky, the gentle rays of the sun now warmed his tired body.
The sudden silence followed the loud sigh. A lone bird suddenly burst into the sky, fluttering its large wings as if hiding the sun, began its journey to fly to a destination far far ahead.