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The Gunshot: A True Story
Margaret, Age 12, Barrie, ON

I stood there, leaning forward in a ready-to-dash position, just before the white line marked on the dusty orange sand ahead of me. My legs and arms trembled, a small drop of sweat meandered down my forehead in a smooth flow to create a scathing tune matching my raspy, abrupt breaths. Anxiety swelled in the core of my stomach, like a swarm of menacing bees. Even the crowd of bustling onlookers stopped for a moment, lingering in the dense air of nervousness.

Then, I heard a one, two, three.....GO!

Like the call of a distant dream, it left me in a one second haze, like a gunshot piercing through my chest. But there was no time left to linger about; I had to run! I propelled my arms and my legs thumped ahead of me. I saw the vast blur of colours; the periwinkle blue sky, and timid patches of ivory white clouds zoomed by serenely, the breeze tousled my hair and sang its enticing song of hush...hush.... and footprints thumped and echoed threateningly behind me. The sprawling, choppy green grass and sandy orange dirt surrounded the track. My breaths were short and sharp, and my chest tightened, dry and longing for cool air.

Then, I saw the finish line looming close, near and whispering: get there...get there....quick, quick....!

And I burst like a bolt of vibrant yellow lightening to the finish line.

I saw other dots of runners cross the line after me, and a pleasant revelation warmed my heart. I pumped my fists in the air with triumph, triumph over that piercing gunshot, and the race against myself. I had won! For the rest of that day, the smile remained encrusted on my face, a reminder of the great triumph over my own fear of the gunshot.

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