The Ink Well Prompt #80: Race for My Father's Love
A loud cheer echoed throughout the arena as the 800m long run participants prepared to take the field. A huge wave of hands circled back and forth, waving colorful school flags left and right. The three massive drums were played one by one, amplifying the sound throughout the arena. When the whistle blew, one of the participants, Shen, bolted. "Go!" He started running fast, not thinking about anything but finishing the race. The world appeared to be silent. The only thing he saw was a lovely image of a red straight line.
The race competition became firing on all cylinders. Four racers were now only 50 meters from the finish line. Everyone was holding their breath, their gaze fixed on the race, and praying to all the gods to claim victory. Shen was in second place and on the verge of collapsing. His legs were becoming heavy, and the oxygen he was breathing was running out. "I-I can do it; just a few meters to go, come on!" he thought. Nobody expected him to win after starting in fourth place. He stretched his legs, utilizing all of the remaining energy in his body to increase his speed even further.
"Woah!" The crowd's faces were filled with awe and delight. Shen, who had no idea he had won the race, was crying and collapsing on the field. The sun's rays warmed his skin, calmed his breathing, and embraced the very depths of his soul. "I am so proud of you, boy! You did it!" his coach exclaimed. Shen smiled and continued to bow down to everyone who congratulated him. The event has concluded; they have announced and awarded all of the competition winners.
Shen grew up in the countryside with a farming family that struggled to make ends meet. He worked hard from a young age to feed himself and support his studies so that he would not be like the rest of his family. However, neither his father nor his mother believed in his son's dream. He lost count of how many times he cried about receiving help from various people in the hopes of receiving a scholarship. That's why, when the school announced scholarships for athletes, he didn't hesitate to apply. However, winning was never his intention. All he wanted to do was continue his studies for as long as the opportunity arose.
He hardly slept at all because he needed to earn money for his daily expenses. All of the athletes, including him, will be left at school after his class to practice. The bone-tired youngster had no choice but to follow his coach's regimen. "Shen, are you all right?" "Do you look glum today?" "Yes, I'm just, um, having a day I guess," Shen replied as he continued to run in the field, his body wet from sweat, he gasped for air, and his thoughts were cloudy. The practice ended a quarter after 8, the usual time for going home.
The messy, never-ending quarrel and the wooden house were typical situations that Shen encountered when he arrived at their home. His drunk father threw him a double-edged sword of words, reminding him that he had no future. “You'll be like me, boy. My father did it for me, and I will do it for you. You're worthless! You all are!” his father yelled as he slammed his fist into the table where he was eating. Shen grinned, his jaw trembling from disappointment, and he could barely hold back his tears. "My life will not be like yours, father," he muttered as his father shut the door with deafening silence.
His sleep was disturbed by his alarm clock. It was time to get up, stretch his muscles, and work for three hours before the class began. Every day, he went through this seemingly never-ending routine. He could barely have slept in 24 hours since he was busy. He worked in a local bakery, where he assisted in the selling of bread in the barangays. The bakery owner would give him a commission of one hundred pesos, which would be his daily allowance. It wasn't enough, but he was grateful more than anything.
The athletes trained hard because the division competition was this Friday. Shen asked his brother to help him convince their father to come two days before the competition. He almost begged, hoping to persuade his father. He washed his father's clothes, worked in the farm field with him, and treated him as if nothing had happened. However, nothing works. On the day of the event, he smiled at his teammates and nodded to their well-wishes for success, but on the inside, he was crying, emotionally and physically exhausted.
All of the participants were summoned by the appointed referees to prepare for the position. Shen was looking around the space, particularly at his family. Instead, he focused on the field. It was impossible to find them in such a crowd. The whistle blew, and he dashed off as fast as he could, remembering why he had entered the race in the first place. His determination was visible on the monitor. When the racers were finally a few meters away, the crowd cheered. When Shen pushed himself to the limit, he surprised his coach with cheetah-like speed. He beat his previous best time.
He finished first in the competition with a winning time of 2:57. He knelt on one knee, sobbing like a child, and bowed down on the ground. The coach kissed him on the back and hugged him tightly. "Congratulations, Shen! I have a surprise for you." Shen was perplexed, but when his coach gave way, he saw his family, including his father. He couldn't control his emotions and let them run wild. His father extended his arms and embraced his son's presence. A beautiful father-son moment in which Shen's exhausted body was filled with the father's love he had sought his entire life.
I suddenly remembered someone. He was my college bro and he is also an athlete in running, he loves to run because he said could forget his family issue including his dad. He was the one who inspired me to run daily in college, woken me up early to jog in the oval. But happened not happened your story. They never watched him but I did. From Inter department runs to regional. I was there. Shezzz kind of emotional here bro, I don't have good relationship to my father BTW ever since. I don't know if have chances to change.
Overall story for film or movie again dendenn.
Actually my story was inspired from my friends' experiences before. I just add some parts to heightened the story's drama and emotion.
Actually, my relationship to my father is not really good back then too. But I realized and learned loving him as the one who gave life to me in this world. Perhaps your relationship with him will change anytime soon.
The spirit of competitiveness and that special feeling that every athlete experiences before reaching the goal can be perceived through this story.
Sadly Shen did not always have the support of his parents, but it was well worth the effort and not giving up in the face of adversity.
Beyond the victory, I think Shen felt like a winner with the surprise of his coach and that very emotional ending with his father ☺️
Thank you for sharing this interesting post my friend @dennnmarc Greetings to you 👋👋👋👋
what did I do to you?
why are you doing like that?
forgive me if i made a mistake
I'm so sorry you blocked me on Readcash.
why did you do this?
can you tell me what i did?
and please unblock me. Because I can't win like that, tip.
do not do this.
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The story very enthusiastic.I don't know who is shen may be you or friend or others. It can not be just an story. It's a fact of course. Most of athletes or runners come form poor family and their struggle in life is unimaginable. I salute them.
Thanks for sharing it dude.
No, Shen is just a fictional character I made, but his experiences are inspired from the experiences of multiple people I knew in the past. I truly appreciated your wonderful feedback.
Kind of emotional, Den. Yeah, my father is not really verbal kind of support but I know he is always there naman. Di ko ramdam na pinabayaan kami. He is one of my besties in the world. Maybe because as Asian, we do not say our love verbally but more on action.
Aww, yeah, I think my story is quite emotional and painful to read which I am glad that you felt it. It is because I delivered the emotions and messages well to my readers.
Thanks for the pizza!
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This one hits rights to the spot. Not an athlete btw but someone who is looking for appreciation from my dad until I become numb about the feeling. Not really sure on when I stopped caring but when I was little I do look forward for the support coming from him.
Until I realized something that there's a lot on their shoulders to carry on and old folks ( previous generation) doesn't take it in consideration and wasn't able to process everything emotionally.
I love how you describe how Shen won, yes it is nice to win such events but it is way better to see your parents celebrating with you.
Some children are looking forward for their parents support because you know as a child, your parents presence is the fuel to live your life better.
That's why, since you already know the problem, the cause-effect relationships, and now I know you'll do better raising your child(ren). I know you can do it though. You're so good at guiding and caring people.
Nicely written 😊 !PIZZA
Thanks. Oh, the pizza. Love the pizza, thank you!
You certainly bring it home with this story, @dennnmarc. We have a strong character arc and a strong story arc. You show us how this athlete feels, so that we feel it. You have used the prompt well. Good job!
Thank you for sharing this story of striving with us. We appreciate that you make meaningful comments on the stories of other authors in the community. Thank you!
Thanks so much. This time I really take time to self-reflect from my past mistakes in writing a story. I love this community so much because writing short stories are my forte in writing.
I appreciated the support.
At long last, his father was able to show him affection.
It was well deserved. :)
That's true. An affection he never had before. Thanks for coming by Stella.
It was my pleasure.
A touching story that reflects how hard life is and the things some people have to face to achieve their goals.... Excellent writing and very well structured, it is a very smooth and enjoyable read, thank you very much for sharing these excellent lines. Greetings and happy weekend!
We all have hardships facing in daily in life, but what matters most is we find a solution to it. I hope this story inspired you in some way, and if you ever get tired or exhausted, then take a break before to continue the fight in life.
Thanks so much!
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Thanks so much. I appreciated this a lot.
AAahhh~ So emotional!
Most people can relate to Shen. Sometimes our parents are like this to us, but that doesn't mean they don't love us.
Great story and great ending @dennnmarc!
Yeah, Shen's situation is not uncommon but it's the story that really happens until today. I've seen school athletes in our university that struggles a lot just to get scholarship and sponsorship.
In terms of his family, it also happened in a way wherein some children don't get love and support from their parents. But, that doesn't mean they are unloved.
Emotional exhaustion is way harder to cope than physical ones. Thanks miss!
I couldn't agree more!
oh yes! This is so true.
Nkakaiyak nmn denn ui. Ganyan ang ibang parents parang kulang pa tlga ang nagawa ng mga anak. Galing mo tlga kahit fictional 👏👏👏...
Well done! I liked the rhythm and message of your short story.
The ending was quite touching. For a moment I thought Shen's father would not be present to see his son's triumph.