Runner's High

His eyes scarlet, his calves throbbing mercilessly, he ran for the bridge covering the old stream. Reaching it, Jay slowed to a walk, hands on hips, breathing in large gulps, eager to regain lost stamina. He casually peered over the edge of the weather stained wooden railing and focused on the comforting pattern of interlocking cracked leaves nestling in the haven of the stream.

"Why do you run?"

Startled, Jay turned to see a young man with tangled blond hair approaching from the opposite direction.

"Excuse me?" Jay said.

"I've seen you run. Every day you race by here. Why?"

Jay was so bewildered by the unexpected encounter and question that he couldn't help responding.

"It's when I feel the most peace, when my body is exhausted and yet relaxed."

"The runner's high."

It was then that Jay noticed the stranger's winged sandals.

"Who are you?"

Throwing back his head, the stranger laughed heartily. "I'll tell you if you can catch me."

With that, the stranger was off, and Jay immediately raced to catch up. On their way back to the road, the runners passed two medics, striding purposely to the bridge. They carried first aid bags and medical equipment.


"Yeah. Need a confirmation. Guy was out jogging and fell. Critical head trauma."