The Course

Read about Ty, who is waiting for his turn to run: The Course, the definitive athletic event of the school year, and the results of which determine everything after. This one was for the Friday Weekly Picture Prompt on The Writer’s Mess, and is inspired by the picture prompt below, and my own personal loathing of Track and Field day in elementary, where I acquired purple participation ribbons like they were going out of style…


Ty hated gym on a good day, but on a course day, he loathed it.

He was near the front of the line, only five people ahead of him. Hopefully the class would be so focused on watching them, that when he started struggling they wouldn’t even notice.

After all, the course was all about being the best, and no one waste energy on watching someone who was slow. His parents certainly wouldn’t, not after his older brother Jo set a course record last year.

He could hear the heavy breathing of his classmates, revving up in excitement, this was it, do or die, for those who wanted to join the fleet.

The course was THE evaluation, and while only the top tier were eligible for the coveted pilot portions, you needed a minimum score to get into space at all.

It was a score beyond Ty’s abilities, and honestly, he was good with that. He always wanted to be an artist, but he knew he parents had loftier ambitions for him and his siblings.

Six out of seven would have to be enough for them though, because he would be lucky to finish the course, he hadn’t the last two years he ran it.

He only had three shots left, one each year on course day, and then the graduation run. Ty saw a lot of family practices in his future.

He took a breath to rally himself, time to go out and fail…spectacularly

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