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A Fete Worse than Death


Here for the Journey
The announcement came as no surprise. We were all expecting it and indeed some of my classmates were looking forward to it. Our Secondary School was about to have it’s annual Summer Fete again. There would be stalls where you might win a £1 note (does anyone remember those?), a craft and jumble tent for the mums and a beer tent for the dads (how sexist is that?).

In addition to all these wonders the school always staged a Mini Sport Challenge! As far as I was concerned it was a huge challenge and there was NOTHING mini about it but I entered the heats during the preceding weeks safe in the knowledge that by the day of the Summer Fete my performances would be nothing but a distant memory.

The weeks of the summer term went by and I was amazed to find I was still competing in the heats. Something had gone badly wrong. Some smart arse had changed the criteria and if something didn’t happen soon I would be competing on the day! It’s not that my ability had miraculously changed since last year. I was still lumbering around as usual but some of the outcomes no longer depended on speed and agility. Try as I may I could not work out the formula so was totally unable to sabotage my performance.

During the week before the fete Clare Burton and her friends had realised that their group had not taken all the places in this years sports and set about finding out who was daring to displace some of their elite group to compete in the challenge.

On the day of the school fete I didn’t want to get out of bed. I didn’t want to compete with Clare Burton and her friends and most of all I didn’t want to be seen by the crowd stumbling through the course in my shorts and sports top and rolling up last.

All too soon I was there on the starting grid. I heard the starting pistol and started around the course. I got to the first challenge behind everyone else and Clare’s friends were already attempting to throw balls into a hoop. They laughed as I caught up with them and began throwing balls towards my hoop. I completed the task and off I went, looking back to see Clare’s group still desperately trying to get the balls in the hoops. By the time the group arrived I was halfway through the next task but they soon overtook me on the next run.

I was out of breath by the time we got to the hurdles and the rest of the girls seemed a very long way up in front. That was when the miracle happened. Somewhere between the seventh and ninth hurdle Clare seemed to trip. As she plummeted to the ground she caused the girl behind to swerve in order to avoid a collision resulting in a chain reaction across the lanes. Being so far back I was able to take stock of the situation, moving across the lanes to avoid the carnage.

Across the last few hurdles I heaved my exhausted body, thundering along the home straight to tremendous applause while Clare Burton’s defeated group could only look on in horror.

© July 2008
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Here for the Journey
This one was sports day with attitude! Not just the parents involved, but most of the neighbourhood too as it was also the School Fete and Jumble Sale (very popular in those days). Thanks for your comments and Yes Taz, I suppose it is a modern day hare and tortoise - never thought of it that way x


Bouncing back
yaaaay for you! love your stories gem. they're so amusing!



Here for the Journey
Thanks a lot. Glad they make you smile x

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