by tim ljunggren

I watch her from the sidewalk as she passes by. She has rediscovered the miracle of breath.

She glances my way and gives me a quick smile and a wave. I smile back and yell, joining the chorus of our children as they cheer her on: "Go, mommy!"
"Go! Go!"

Feet lightly touching the ground, her body moves with a leonine grace. Muscles expand and contract in perfect rhythm.

Running away from me now, her stride becomes more powerful, more insistent. She's almost at the finish line, and I can see the electronic clock ticking off the time: 00:22:46…00:22:47…00:22:48…00:22:49-each second transposed into the reality of flesh and bone on pavement, of sheer movement forward, of determination, of sweat poured forth and given as a holy sacrifice.

It takes me a few minutes before I can reach her. I have to make my way through the throng of people milling around, keeping a watchful eye on my son and daughters as they follow me. "Do you see her?" I ask. "There she is!" my oldest daughter says, pointing the way.

Walking slowly, hands to her hips, her skin glistens in the mid-morning light. Her face is slightly seared with sun and effort, and I marvel at her raw and exquisite beauty.

There are times when I feel like running has become her Lover, that she is openly engaged in a passionate relationship encompassing her mind, body, and soul. I stand back and watch, feeling jealousy well deep within me. I cannot give her what this Lover gives her.

Then I see that powerful and insistent stride. That fluid motion. That melding of flesh and will. I see that something is born again-something as old as human time, something as young as the next race.

And that's when I realize that I will gladly share her with her Lover.


We're delighted to present this flash fiction work by Tim Ljunggren, publisher and editor of the exotic
literary Webzine, Insolent Rudder. Want to see more? Catch the fluorescent wave to insolent rudder!

::The Annual TenTen Call for Fiction::
::the deadline to enter this year's competition is July 1, 2003::
::this is the final event this year::the award is $1,010.00::


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