::: the novel written in seven hours :::
Kenny Goes Running
It was about 11:30 at night, and Kenny was wrestling with the mass of pent up energy that had been building in him all through the day. As he sat in the living room of the house he shared with eleven other people, and more often than not a handful of visitors, he struggled to control the immense surges of energy and power that made his thoughts turn to fantasies of rage and violence. He imagined himself exploding out of the soft cushioned chair he was sitting in, running around the room overturning chairs, rocketing his foot through the potted rubber tree next to the piano in an explosion of green leaves, dark potting soil and broken clay, throwing people to the ground as they screamed in confusion, terror and surprise, their oh so intellectual, pretentious conversations quickly forgotten. He whirled in a blind rage slamming his fists through walls, lifting one chair over his head and then crushing it against the floor, grabbing another and sending it into the ceiling fan, shattering both, then finished his rampage by sailing through the huge picture window which faced the street.
Instead of this furious imagined onslaught of destruction and violence, Kenny jammed a finger into the small hole in the dike he had built inside him to control his ocean of rage and energy. He stretched his left leg out straight under the coffee table, lifting the edge closest to him slightly off the floor, it teetered there slightly before he relaxed his thigh muscles, bringing the table back to its place on the floor. Flexing and stretching his body and its parts was one of the things Kenny did to help keep the ocean from bursting the dikes and levies and washing away the quiet land that he lived in with his fellow students. Another activity, one that probably was the only thing that really kept his inner beast from escaping and devouring the peaceful world around him, was his late night runs.
Kenny left the room and changed into his running clothes: a pair of soccer shorts, a long sleeve T-shirt and a ragged set of mud and dirt stained, light weight running shoes he had gotten from a friend who worked at the shoe store on S University. He changed quickly, eager to get running and expend the stormy cloud of dark energy that had formed during the day.
He was a good athlete in good shape and he nearly sprinted the first five or six blocks before slowing slightly and turning left into the deserted arboretum just east of campus. He could feel the rough waters inside him start to calm slowly as he descended from the top of the hill at the edge of the arb, which over-looked the nestled lights of Ann Arbor, and dropped away across a rolling expanse of forest and open meadows to the river on the north side of town.
Kenny was now in a zone. He felt in control of himself now. He knew he'd be okay once he started running, it had always worked for him when he started feeling violent, which was usually everyday. He had often wondered when he was younger just what the hell was wrong with him; why he seemed to produce so much negative energy that he was forced to bottle it up as best he could. Kenny highly doubted that everyone had the same problem. Everyone else seemed to be so relaxed and in control, content to sit and talk, or lay around reading. And where in the fuck did the thoughts of ultra-violence that so casually filled his mind come from ?
If one thing was certain, Kenny thought, it was that he was seriously off kilter for whatever reason. Normal people, he was sure, didn't walk down the street and have to fight back the urge to run full speed at a complete stranger and tackle them to the ground.
Kenny was almost to the place in the arb where the hill flattened out to the marshy flood plain that continued on to the river when he saw a shape coming from the opposite direction. The shape was formed by the body of similar stature to his own, and was running at a hefty pace. It was unusual for Kenny to see anyone else in the arb at that time of night, which is why he ran there. Seeing another runner there upset Kenny. He felt that the dark mass approaching him had violated his private routine, although he knew this was an unreasonable thing to feel. Despite this knowledge, a seed of rage had been planted in the fertile soil of his inner rage and here he was, alone with an opportunity to act on his rage, and probably get away with it.
...on to Chapter Two...
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