The Runner (100 words)

He wanted to die. Centuries old with silver fur, his jaws ached with their heavy load.

The hens cowered whenever the elves prowled past their cages. Panting and straining, they wept as their freshly-warm treasures were snatched away and drowned in paint.

But at least they could sleep.

Every year he was whipped, pleading and sobbing, into the Neverending Journey. In every garden in the world he hid one of their magical baskets. He envied Tantalus, Ixion and Prometheus. His torment was worse.

He set down his burden among the bushes.

Just another 714,968,205 households to go.

ยฉ Tom Burton, 2020

17 thoughts on “The Runner (100 words)

    1. Thank you ever so much, Holly! โค๏ธ Really enjoyed trying a new twist for a classic folktale ๐Ÿฐ Had a lot of fun trimming it down to 100 words – would love to know what stood out for you! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Basically the very different theme ( which I loved) and your awesome story telling that Iโ€™ve grown used to and was boy surprised at how you handled diving into this and doing such a great job Iโ€™m just 100 words. Congratulations Tom. Itโ€™s really super good! โค๏ธ

        Liked by 1 person

      2. ๐Ÿค— Glad the subject pulled you in & was aiming for something more tragic than overly dark/depressing. Hope I got the tone right!

        P.S. just heard back from a second online journal who’ve kindly decided to publish another story of mine at the end of July! Really excited to be sharing it with you in due course! โค๏ธ

        Liked by 1 person

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