by S.T. Rose
Anthony runs every morning.
| The sunrise signaled a fresh start for another race and as the blinding rays shot over the mountain top, Anthony ran. The dirt and leaves were hard and cold under his bare feet. The trail was old and worn from the footfalls of several journeys.
Anthony couldn’t remember why he started running but every morning he did. It was as if he was trapped anywhere else he went. The unending feeling of timeless freedom was his addiction.
Anthony’s foot hit a large rock and he pushed away from it, giving him a small boost into the air. A few weeks ago, he would have been wincing in pain but now the bottoms of his feet were tough as leather. Running barefoot gave him entry into a whole new world of feeling and exploration. The soil wasn’t just hard now, it was rough and chilly. The leaves were no longer only crunchy, they were crispy and crumbly.
Anthony vaulted over a log and landed firmly. He swiftly resumed his sprint down the mountain.
His friends and family never understood why he ran. Once Anthony stopped going to his friend’s parties and his family’s get-togethers, both parties became suspicious of him. They thought he was acting strange and was out of his mind.
The quick breaths coming out of Anthony’s lungs was hot and steamy and puffed up in a cloud in front of his face.
The only person who really understood his running was his little sister, Aria. She was only seven but had an uncanny grasp on reality. She never had an imaginary friend or a mess in her room. Aria once came up to Anthony and asked why her parents insisted that the tooth fairy was real. Anthony loved his sister with all of his heart and treasured, even respected, her maturity.
Warm, wet sweat trickled down Anthony’s forehead and brow. He was almost to the finish line. The road loomed ahead and his house just after that. He turned to look at the opponent he was racing and saw that it was just a few yards behind. Anthony pumped his legs even faster and came to an abrupt stop at the beginning of his driveway. He turned and looked to the sky. The sun dashed across the path he had just run and covered his face. Anthony placed his hands on his hips. The race was over and he had won. He smiled and knew it was the beginning to a great day. Anthony had beaten the sun.