Bass ran over the muddy ground, water splashed up in his face, and for a second he looked at the darkened earth before him. Minutes to go, maybe, and the sun would rise. And still, he had this moment by himself before the light of day would reveal his competitors at his back, all around, and ready to chase him down.
He sped up and chose a shortcut. Cold water splashed up from a chilly river that ran low this time of summer. The mountains loomed above, cut a cold shadow on his approach, and his breath hovered before his face for just a second before his pace cut through it, and he was gone, up the trail, over the boulders, where the runners behind him might try to pursue him, if they would risk to break an ankle to pursue an old man on his jaunt across the boulders.
He reasoned one or two might decide to follow him on this shortcut. He didn’t have time to turn around and check. He humped over the last of the rocks, his backpack tight against his upper back, military style. That was the purpose of the game. The Soldier Sprint. Most kids paid big money for the chance to race against each other, to see who had enough cum left in their sacks to defeat the obstacles, each other, and, most importantly, that little boy inside everyone that said to quit, quit, quit, the pain is too much, give up now and end it.
Why had Bass decided to take this on? He hadn’t needed to prove to anyone about his martial fitness. Tours of Iraq had done that. Why then, did he decide to enter the contest on his furlow? He barely had 24 hours until he’d return to base. To Miles. To the disapprovals of Miles.
He did it because somewhere, at the end of all this mud and water and young boys with their hard dicks and no where to put them, she waited for him. She who he’d met through his best friend. If he could just take the abuse of a 21 kilometer obstacle course that was ridiculously modeled on “special forces” tests, then he could put up with the stress that came along with the love for another’s man’s wife.
Layla, you got me on my knees!
She said she’d wait at the end of his foolish exercise in masochism. She said.
Meanwhile he huffed and puffed and blew himself with all his self-doubt towards the end of the race, knowing obstacles awaited, younger men closed in on him, and the person he really ran from was himself.