Aiden was quiet at first, but he moved toward the start of the race. Chad kept his head forward, not looking back. As Aiden lined up next to him, he turned and took a deep breath.
“Good luck. You ready?”
“As I’ll ever be,” Chad said. “Hey, Michael, we’re ready to go now.”
Michael stood in between them as all the others gathered round. Clearing his throat, he eyed both of them up before speaking.
“On your mark. Get set. Go!”
They both ran off like a speeding bullet, Aiden kept his eyes straight ahead as the wind whizzed past him. Chad kept his normal speed whilst running alongside next to him. They both came towards the first obstacle in their path, a row of cars stacked in front of one another.
“You first?” Chad teased.
“Unless you’re volunteering, yeah” Aiden said.
He instantly took a leap onto the pile, propelling himself like an air terrain missile, he landed pretty poorly however, but still made it to the top. He quickly got up and brushed himself off, and headed straight along the path. He zipped in between each car hood, not losing focus and keeping it simple.
Aiden kept going, allowing the rush to take over him like a shot of adrenaline.
“Nice jumps, buddy, but your landing’s are getting sloppy.” Chad said, zipping past Aiden.
“Funny you should say that, aren’t you the one who taught me everything? Aiden replied, running past Chad.
Chad quickly caught up.
“On your right!” Aiden said, allowing Chad to avoid a small gap between the cars.
Chad nodded at him. “Thanks.”
They came up to a tall gate blocking their path to the final track. They turned and looked at each other.
“Simple” they both said, before looking over and grinning at each other.
Chad was the first one to jump over the rail, climbing up like a professional wall-scaler, Aiden took a moment before he attempted.
“Come on buddy, race is not going to finish itself” Chad said, waiting. “I’ll be here all day”
“I thought you wanted to win” Aiden said.
“Now, is that really what parkour is all about?” Chad said. “I’m pretty sure you taught me that.”
“Touché” Aiden replied. He took a few steps back, and allowed some surges to fill his body before running towards the fence, leaping over; it felt good to defy gravity even for a moment.
“Nice landing” Chad said, winking at him. “I’m afraid though buddy, you’re on your own now, I got a race to win.”
“Have it your way then.” Aiden teased, running after him.
Next up came a row of tires, which had been piled high from early in the morning. To get around, they’d have to climb up and over. Aiden didn’t hesitate, leaping onto the first pile and closing his eyes as he got higher. The air got colder as he kept moving, with the wind getting stronger, as if it was attempting to push him back down.
Before he knew it, he was at the top. He stopped for a moment to admire the view below him. All of the other people at the race had become like little dots. He could spot Alison’s blonde hair flickering in the wind, and he smiled, giving them all a wave. The sound of applause flew through the air, bringing music to his ears.
Turning around, he looked up at a crane. Taking a slow step forward, he didn’t bother looking down. The pile was too high and if he screwed this up, even his powers might not be able to save him.
“I can’t do that.” Chad said, patting him on the shoulder. “I’m gonna head back down the way we came up. See you at the finish line.”
Aiden kept his eye on the crane as he heard Chad rushing down the pile. He had to make this jump. It was now or never. As he looked towards it, the cold wind blew into his face. He spread his arms out, taking a deep breath, before closing his eyes.
“Here goes nothing.”
In an instant, he leaped towards the end of the crane, his heart beating out of his chest as gravity began to take its course. Keeping his eyes closed, he reached his arms out as far as he could. As he opened his eyes and concentrated on the metallic bar, he threw his hands out as a surge ran through his body. Before he knew it, he’d grabbed on to the end, swinging as if he was in the jungle.
He felt like cheering, and he definitely was in his mind as he swung back and forth. Keeping his eye on the end, he zoomed across the bars as if it was a playground’s monkey bars, before landing on his feet in the operation part of the crane and heading towards the ladder. Holding his breath, he slid down with ease, allowing the rush to take him to his happy place once again.
Chad was waiting for him as he got down, smiling by the pile of tires. He gave him a small round of applause. “Good job. You should teach me that sometime.”
Aiden grinned. “Try beat me and maybe I will.”
“Oh, it’s on.” Chad laughed. “I’ll even give you a head start.”
“Not likely.” Aiden replied, rocketing past him. Chad soon caught up as they saw the finish line in front of them.
They both ran and ran till they couldn’t anymore, and they still kept running. They could hear some cheering from the edge, and Michael got up on top of a small rock, yelling through his microphone.
“Come on guys, come on! You can do it!” he yelled.
Aiden and Chad kept running, Aiden didn’t look back; he just kept his eyes on the prize. He could see Alison in the front cheering him on. At that moment he ran faster, dodging a shopping cart in his way near a tray of old cinder blocks.
“Time to give them a show” Chad said, jumping up onto the trolley, soaring through the ground, he managed to jump out just in time touching the cinder blocks, but the trolley came back behind him, tipping the tray, forcing him to fall onto the concrete.
He yelled out in pain, but Aiden kept running. A deafening scream ripped through the air. This wasn’t a fake out, and he was actually in pain. Aiden stopped moving.
What to do?
The end of the race was right in front of him, and he had the upper hand, Chad had gotten injured before, surely it couldn’t be that bad. It was so easy, he could just run and keep going, and win.
He looked at the people waiting for him, and then back at Chad. As a sinking feeling in his gut began to take place, he clenched his fists and ran back towards Chad. No race was worth leaving a friend behind.
As he ran back, he almost felt sick at the sight of the blocks covering Chad’s leg. Trickles of blood leaked from them onto the pavement as Chad clutched it, trying to hold back tears.
“Come on buddy, you don’t get out that easy” Aiden said, holding his hand out.
“Aiden, what are you doing? Go, go win this thing, I’ll be fine.”
Aiden didn’t move. “I’m not leaving you behind, come on.”
“I can’t move, it’s too heavy! Just go! Get someone to call an ambulance or something, don’t worry about me, you can’t help me.”
“Yes, I can. Hold still” Aiden said.
“What are you doing?” Chad asked, shaking.
Aiden closed his eyes, and allowed the serum’s power to overflow his body, he opened his eyes and Chad saw that they were glowing along with his hand, he managed to pick up the cinder block trapping Chad’s leg, and despite some difficulty in moving it, he eventually managed to pull it off, and then he went to pick Chad up and put him around his shoulder. Chad looked stunned.
“What the hell?” he asked, stuttering his speech.
“Long story, tell you later, but right now we gotta get you over there, can you walk?”
“I don’t think so, I think my leg’s broken.”
“Don’t worry mate, I’m not leaving you, let’s go” Aiden said. He started to move towards the finish line.
“Aiden, I’m sorry” Chad said.
“Forget about it, Chad, don’t worry.”
“I played you, man. You deserve this win.”
“Don’t worry now, let’s just get you back there.”
Aiden and Chad were about one hundred yards away from the finish line, and the whole crowd began cheering them on. Aiden felt warm inside, as if the sun was finally shining where it was supposed to.
Chad stopped, and limped in front of Aiden.
“Take my hand,” he said, offering it.
“What are you doing?” Aiden mouthed to him.
“Just do it” Chad said, extending his hand. “Trust me.”
Aiden looked at his hand and at the finish line, he then put his hand in Chad’s.
“Let’s go,” he said.
“That’s what I like to hear” Chad said.
Groaning in pain and clenching his teeth, Chad limped on his leg, pulling himself and Aiden towards the finish line, but he never screamed. Within a few seconds, they both made it over the finish line, prompting the biggest round of applause the both of them had ever heard in their lives. Alison rushed over to Aiden, giving him a massive hug, whereas the rest of Aiden’s friend group helped Chad to stand.
As Alison held onto he him, she kissed his cheek and whispered in his ear. “Who’s the hero now, superstar?”
“He needs to get to the hospital.” Damien said, putting his arm around Chad. “Danny, can you call an ambulance?”
Danny put his camera down and whipped out his phone. “I’m on it.”
Michael approached Chad. “Dude, I can’t let this race go on with you like that.”
Scarlett rushed in between them. “What? You’re gonna let a little injury stop you? You’re such a coward.”
As Aiden looked over at Chad, he saw a glimmer in his eye as he smiled towards him. “Michael, we don’t need to continue on.” Chad said. “Your winner is right over there.”