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Tough Mud

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Action and Adventure  |  House: Booksie Classic
REAL LIFE
Shake hands with someone you don’t know! Give them a hug! Be prepared! Help the others!
Remember, you cannot be a Muddist on your own! Don’t want to see your egos today, okay?

Image of a Muddist by skeeze on pixabay

Submitted: March 06, 2019

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Submitted: March 06, 2019

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Tough Mud

We are proud of Bertie, he’s our pride and joy. Bertie had all sorts of challenges to contend with when he was young: he was born yellow with hepatitis, sported an ugly hair lip, suffered a clunky neck, but always battled through.

Bertie gets our undivided attention. Only the best is good enough for him. Some of the family think he’s spoilt. Well, they can eat their hearts out for all we care. Just because they can’t have a child who is uniquely special, superior to other children.

The overcast sky spills foul rain over us as we arrive at Mud in our dented, titanium silver wreck. Bertie and Tim leap off of the back seat, and bound across the wet grass to Check-In, like greyhounds chasing an artificial hare.

We catch up with them at Face Mark, writing five-digit numbers on each other’s foreheads. When they sink in the Mud only their heads will be visible.

We trained Bertie for months for this event. He looks the part: fit, trim and manly in his black cool-therm t-shirt and wet suit.

His pal from uni: gangly, grizzly Tim, hasn’t trained at all and looks exhausted. Tim is comically attired in orange woolly fleece, navy gym shorts and grey knee-length socks with elasticated garters.

Oh dear!

Warm Up:

We watch and cheer, ‘Yay! Do it, Bertie!’ as he performs his overhead stretches, and rock-dances with 150 eager athletes, feeling the hype, getting the all-important adrenalin buzz, before they assemble for the start.

Mud Chute:

‘Shake hands with someone you don’t know! Give them a hug! Be prepared! Help the others! Remember, you cannot be a Muddist on your own! Don’t want to see your egos today, okay? Cross your hands above your head if you need medical attention! Go on, don’t be shy! Does anyone out there have a pacemaker or metal hip replacement? No? Then get down on your knees and make The Pledge:

“I am the Muddist today and until the day I die!” Say it, guys!’

Lots of groups in gaily coloured tee shirts, raising lots of money for charity, Bertie and Tim, kneel worshipping the Mud Maniac.

He bellows, ‘Let’s do it!’ and they all flow out of the chute like soiled grain pouring from a hopper.

Straw Hogs:

Bertie easily negotiates the three hogs then scurries off into the woods, and a mile of Mud.

Slithery Mountain:

After a seemingly endless wait, Bertie appears, covered from head to toe in beige grime. He clambers up the gloopy slope, made treacherous by the torrential rain, then hauls a struggling female over the parapet: tugging her outstretched arm, gripping her inner thigh, dragging her, kicking and screaming, into his arms. Many more are lost to the slippery slide, tumbling into the groaning gunge, to fight the Mud another day. 

Sheep Dip:

We watch Bertie slide down a corrugated tube, braving a tank filled with iced water. Our son emerges frigid blue, shivering cold.

The mob bay at him, ‘Keep moving! Keep warm!’

Some contestants climb out of the slush wearing only a clingy t-shirt, dirty grey vest and marbled leggings. Our smashing boy pants hard, shaking himself dry like a smooth, wet dachshund, then jogs slowly off into the distant woods, and even more Mud.

Monkey Climb:

Bertie’s next challenge is to swing, using only his arms and legs, across the grid of slippery rungs and hoops over a stew-pond of bilge. Only a handful of muscle men, including Bertie, make it, swinging hand-over-leg, to the far bank.

The other monkeys, mainly women, hang suspended like wriggling chrysalis’s then drop as if they’re lead plummets into the mire.

Tim falls at the first hurdle, and doggy-paddles to the other side but Bertie insists that he persists until he has swung the full distance.

‘You must go on! You have to go on!’ he cries, ‘Tim?’

His best friend is close to tears, he gasps, ‘Sorry Charlie, I can’t carry on.’

‘You must! Come on, Tim! Cross the ‘t’ off!’

Tim gets swallowed up by the bilge.

Rat Walk:

The rain teems down in stair rods. We are soaked to the skin, our glasses glisten with droplets of rain. Anna zips up her anorak.

After an eternity, Bertie joins the queue for Rat Walk, a 30-foot high-dive plunge into a morass of Mud. Grown-up males and females quake in their squelchy trainers on the diving platform, refusing to jump when the marshal barks the order: ‘3-2-1 Jump!’

Undaunted, our courageous son plunges in and swims to the safety net, then he races off to undergo electro therapy, dodging a cobweb of high voltage tentacles, and scales a gigantic grease prism.

The End:

He made it! He beat the Mud! We cheer on Bertie as he stumbles over the Finish Line.

Anna snaps him guzzling a plastic bottle of water, a plastic pint of beer, wolfing down a free packet of sodden organic mackerel with teriyaki crisps.

Bertie waits until he is awarded a hallowed, clay-beige ‘Mud 2019’ head band and classic replica t-shirt, before staggering off to a richly-deserved, ice-cold, hosepipe shower.

Soaking wet, sneezing with colds, we queue in driving rain for a scalding beaker of watery hot chocolate and soggy, gluten-free, blueberry muffins.

Proud as punch of our heroic son!


© Copyright 2020 HJFURL. All rights reserved.

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