For a one-second eternity, the blue metal tube spun in the air above Lane Two between the grasping hands of Emmett Carter and Vince Bellini, and then fell to the track with a clatter.
Over in Lane Four, the third-leg and fourth-leg sprinters of Cardinal High’s 4 X 100-meter relay team fumbled their pass, as well.
But while that anchor man punched the air and screamed in anger at his teammate, Emmett scooped up his team’s baton and sprinted all-out the remaining hundred meters of the race, his favored team finishing fifth and last.
At the finish line, the third-place team’s anchor leaned over to say into the ear of a gasping Emmett Carter, “Why the hell you even bother picking that thing up and runnin’, man — you couldn’t win.”
As the three members of Emmett’s relay team and other athletes from St. Vincent’s track team ran up and began pounding him on the back and hugging him, their anchor man looked over and said, “Who says I didn’t?”
A lunchtime bit of Five Sentence Fiction based on Lillie McFerrin’s prompt word Anchor.