This is the 23rd in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
Never Stop Running, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 24th December 2012
Word count: 684
Theme: drama, challenge, focus, determination, super human feat
“Oppa Gangham Style! Oppa Gangham Style!” Gary hated that ring tone, Susan who sat opposite him in the office thought it was hilarious to mess with his phone when he was away from his desk.
“Hello, Gary speaking,” he said cutting off that awful ring tone.
A few moments went by, everyone in the office was watching.
“Shit! Now?” another pause, “I’m on my way.”
“Go time, boss?” Susan asked as Gary slammed his phone in his coat pocket, then put the cost in.
“Yeah, I gotta go. Tell Julia for me,” Gary said, not waiting for confirmation before he flew out the door.
He got to the side of the small office, only to find his car clamped.
“Not today, you arseholes,” he screamed. Of course out was his own fault, it may be rarely checked, but with that spot you were playing with fire.
Looking back he realised he should go back inside and ask for a lift, but in a panic he just set off running. It was for miles, across the town centre and out the other side. But he could get a bus from down the road. Clint the office temp travelled that way daily.
Out of condition, time slipping away, he got to the bus stop panting.
“No buses for at least an hour, I’m stuck too, there’s been some kind of accident,” an older woman said, between bites of a sandwich.
Gary groaned and pulled out his mobile, and dialed the office.
“Susan, it’s Gary, I need a favour,” he said.
Seven agonising minutes later, Gary was clock watching, Susan pulled up in her Audi.
“Oops!” she said and he guessed, quite easily she was referring to his car clamping situation.
“Yeah,” he said weakly.
“Don’t worry, we’ll get you there.
Fifteen minutes later they were in town, and stuck in a traffic jam. In the space of another five minutes they moved a cars length forward.
“Good, just what I needed,” Gary groaned.
“I think we’re stuck,” Susan pointed out.
Two miles to go, Gary thought. “It’s okay, I’ll walk from here, you’ve been a star.”
“You sure? We should be moving soon,” Susan said.
“Nah, you head back to the office, thanks though,” Gary said climbing out of the car.
He immediately set off running, realising his suit would be worthless after the days exertions. He crashed into a woman carry her shopping.
“Sorry, sorry,” he said hastily helping her bag her shopping again, and then dashing off. Only minutes later to bump into someone else.
“Sorry!” he called back as he ran on.
He was now just a mile away from the hospital, and completely knackered. He stopped to catch his breath, he saw the garage and decided to get a drink, and some flowers.
“Eight pound seventy three,” the man behind the counter said. Gary reached into the inside pocket of his suit jacket, only to find nothing but a torn pocket, no wallet.
“Fucking hell,” he said, “Fucking hell.”
After making his apologies, he left the garage, cursing his luck. He didn’t have much cash in the wallet, but his driver’s licence and credit cards were in there. He would phone the card companies as soon as he had time. He checked his phone as an afterthought, but it was still there.
When he set off again, he made good speed, but by the time he arrived, he was knackered and the last two hundred yards seemed to take forever. He was worried he would miss the most important deal of his life.
As he entered the hospital reception, the woman looked at the torn, sweaty, exhausted, pathetic being with both suspicion and sympathy.
“Maternity,” he said breathlessly.
“Follow the blue line,” she told him.
And suddenly his trial was on again, as he tried to find his way round the hospital. He made it just in time.
“Where the hell have you been?” his wife asked between contractions.
“Long story,” was all he said, and then it was all about her, and the new life she was bringing into the world.