Fund Raising

Reads: 34  | Likes: 2  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 6

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: The Imaginarium


A short story written for a first/last sentence challenge at the Imaginarium House.

Submitted: September 03, 2018

A A A | A A A

Submitted: September 03, 2018

A A A

A A A


Fund Raising.

I must have been having a crazy moment when I put my name on that list. Others were doing it, so I just slipped in with the rest, I think. I certainly find it hard to believe that I knew what I was doing.

Then, to be honest, it went right out of my mind – right up until my eight year old son asked how many sponsors I’d got. I remember frowning at him. What was he on about?

You put your name down for the race, Mom? The teacher wants the sponsorship forms back by the end of the week.”

A race! I volunteered to run in a race! Then I remembered, the other Mom’s and Dad’s. For some reason I’d thought I was signing a petition. I don’t run, don’t even jog; if I’m late for something the most you’ll get from me is a slightly faster paced walk.

Remind me, Chris,” I said, trying to make the question sound casual, “how long is this one.”

Ah, come on, Mom, you know that! Two miles. So how many sponsors have you got?”

I couldn’t answer, not least because he’d have been disgusted if I’d said none, but my mind had simply stopped in shock at the ‘two miles’ point. I sat down, and I guess he got fed up with waiting for me, because by the time I’d recovered enough to focus, he had left the room.

I would have to get sponsors, get people’s names on the form, then I’d find a reason not to run. Perhaps I’d sprain an ankle or break a leg; maybe even get called away urgently to somewhere on the other side of the country. The sponsors wouldn’t mind. It wouldn’t cost them anything after all.

The problem was finding anyone, I mean no one was going to believe me. I’d start with the family that evening.

So,” I announced, trying not to let my embarrassment show, “who’s going to sponsor me then?”

Richard, my husband, looked at me; Francesca, my thirteen year old daughter did the same.

For what?” she finally asked.

Before I could come up with something semi-reasonable Chris said, “Mom’s taking part in the two-mile fund raising race!”

Richard looked at Francesca, Francesca looked at Richard, and they both broke out in hysterical laughter. “You’re kidding, right?” Richard finally managed to choke out, and I wished the floor would open up and swallow me.

They did both sponsor me though, so I finally had something for Chris to take. I gave him the form.

I can’t take that in, Mom! Two sponsors! I think the least anyone has got so far is twenty.”

Twenty! How on earth was I ever going to match that?

Oh, the humiliation I went through. The neighbors laughed, my brother and sister and their families thought the entire thing was hilarious; but it was my parents that really said what everyone was thinking. “You can’t do that! You’ll give yourself a heart attack or something.” But finally I had nineteen names written on the form. Quickly, I scribbled in a totally fictitious name just to make the twenty.

Chris gave such a big smile it was almost worth it.

The race was to take place on Sunday. Saturday afternoon I still had not come up with an excuse to drop out, and Saturday night I lay awake muttering, praying for some kind of freak weather.

They were all going to come, Richard announced. They’d help me back to the car when I’d had enough. Well, so much for their confidence in me!

I could definitely see their point when I joined the other runners. They were all decked out in their branded gear, looking toned and fit, while I alone stood, already sagging from the heat in chain-store track-pants and trainers, with an old faded t-shirt.

I’d made an appearance, perhaps now I could turn around and go home. Just as I was about to slip away, there was Mrs Webb, Chris’ teacher standing beside me, making a big deal of how good it was of me to participate. There was nothing else for it – I was simply going to have to RUN!

Right from the start I was lagging. And I’d always heard about running through the burn; I’d just never realised that it happened so quickly. Resolutely I kept putting one foot down in front of the other, trying desperately to ignore the stitch in my side, the cramp in my legs, and the burning of my lungs. And that was before we reached the half-mile point.

Richard, Francesca and Chris were all there, ready to help me back to the car, but I gave them a smile, a wave and kept on going.

At the one mile point my smile was more of a grimace. It was so nice of Chris to tell me that some of the runners had already finished. Did he really think that was going to be encouraging. One foot in front of the other, I could no longer feel my legs and my head was starting to swim.

With half a mile to go I was the only one still running. But a strange thing happened; everyone started to cheer me on. The sweat dripped and I felt sick with dizziness but there it was, the finish line.

If I could just keep going!

One foot forward, the other foot forward. It was like dangling a carrot in front of a donkey. I’d gone too far, had too many people watching, to back out now. Nearly there, I told myself, nearly there....

And then there it was, one step away. I’d done it. I raised my arms in triumph, put one foot forward, then nothing.

I collapsed as soon as I crossed the finish line.

 

(970 words).


© Copyright 2018 hullabaloo22. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

avatar

Author
Reply

More Flash Fiction Short Stories