Tonight I thought I would share with you a piece that I am thinking of developing into a novella or novel. It is on the back-burner at the moment as I want to finish a couple of other projects first, including my novel The Paisley Soul Of A Stricken Man, but I would be interested in what everyone thinks of this piece. I plan it to be an offbeat romantic comedy and the following excerpt does contain swearing.

Running Away From Life

My name is Spike Marsters, officially the 7th best 1,500 metre runner in Great Britain. My greatest achievement so far is placing 5th in the semi-finals of the 2010 Commonwealth games and I dream of making the Olympic squad for 2016.

I don’t want to talk about the London games and Grant “Fucking” Clarkson, I’m not ready yet. This is my story, it’s full of boring stuff and embarrassing failures. But if you are expecting a Richard Curtis style cute fest then you better stop reading now. I can tell you for sure that this story does not finish with me winning Olympic gold against the odds, whilst being all foppish and Hugh Grant-ish.

After all futility is underrated as is narcissism. I have been told I have a passion for both and that I am, I quote, “a massive loser, fucking wanker, tosspot, fucking actual fucking wanker”. And I have to admit that on a few of those counts the accuser is right and I am guilty as charged M’lud. I suppose I am just a glutton for punishment, pushing on and on against all the evidence. The evidence that points to the fact that I am shit at running.

Ok maybe I am being a little hard on myself. I am the 7th best 1,500 metre runner in Great Britain (did I mention that already). It’s just that I’m not “going to the Olympics” good enough. My story is the story the media didn’t want to sell to you about British Athletics and the glorious London games. It is the story of all those runners on the periphery, all those runners who make up the numbers at those endless track meets, those who occasionally get to represent England in the commonwealths or at the odd international meeting.

If we are lucky we might get to open a supermarket in Milton Keynes, depending on our level of minor local celebrity. My personal celebrity is so minor that I wouldn’t even register on the radar of “I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here” and that’s factoring into the equation that on the last series they had the Pussycat Dolls “dancer” Ashley Roberts (don’t look at me you’re the one who watches this stuff and I bet you’ve never heard of her either). Still I don’t begrudge her, she is just making her way in the world like the rest of us.

©John de Gruyther 2013

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