Posted in FYI, nonfiction, Uncategorized, writers prompt

When Zodiac Signs Race

Sometimes my imagination runs away, and sometimes it has me laughing out loud. Like in this race which combines my knowledge of zodiac signs and the 1000m race—taking us back to high school.

So, here’s how it usually went—at least how I remember it. Was it the same at your school?

Earth Signs

Taurus is scowling. Why did they agree to this? Actually, they didn’t. They were ‘volunteered’. There’s much better things to do like find something nice to eat, or lounge about, or sleep. But there’s the finish line, and for some reason it’s making their feet itchy—paw at the ground even. There’s better things to do, and really they don’t have to run. They’ll just take a few steps and then go home. Serve everyone right for ‘volunteering’ them, right? But that finish line—that’s a challenge. Will it be worth it? Can they do it? Just to prove a point. Who to doesn’t matter, just to prove a point. Taurus is scowling at the finish line and pawing faintly at the ground…ruminating, building up steam…

The gun goes off, Capricorn launches like a steadily moving rocket. They have it figured out. All they have do is maintain a steady pace, slog it out. Keep the head. They deserve to win, ‘cos a steady pace and hard work sorts out the losers from the winners, and Capricorn is going to win. Taurus is still scowling at the finish line and pawing the ground oblivious to everything and everyone else, especially their house yelling at them to ‘Move!’. And Virgo…Virgo is frozen at the start, too. Capricorn smiles. It’s a walk-over. But mustn’t be smug. Must put in the slog, and show everyone how steady, hard slog wins the race. Capricorn pounds on…

Virgo is frozen. There was a plan—a very good, well-thought out, logical plan. It incorporated all known factors and figured in the weak points of the other signs. Yes, it was a good plan. But the gun was so loud and such a shock, even Taurus is frozen to the spot. And, where did this breeze come up from? It’s throwing out the equations, affecting speed and distance covered, but how? Time’s running out. Virgo takes a few strides along the track. But wait, something is off. But what? Virgo slows. A new plan has to be devised. It won’t be perfect, but it will be a plan and progress can be established. It won’t be perfect… Virgo stops and starts, cautiously moving forward, constantly recalibrating…

Taurus, with no thought, running on pure instinct and repressed energy, suddenly zooms forward straight at the finish line, oblivious to the startled Virgo, ignorant of the sudden snarl of Capricorn forced to keep up or lose out. Taurus is continuing to accelerate as they near the finish line. Taurus has passed the finish line, still accelerating and is focused on something far beyond it—possibly on the ice-cream van or hot-dog stand.

Never underestimate Taurus’ priorities or intent focus.

Water Signs

Cancer is nervous at the start line, looking a little pale or green, assuring the medical staff they aren’t going to throw up just yet. It’s just nerves. Cancer avoids looking at the finish line. What matters is being in the race, not letting the house down. There’s no expectation of winning. It would nice, but not expected. Scorpio is super fast and Pisces is full of surprises. What matters is being in the race, showing support and willing. And not throwing up at the start…

Pisces seems distracted. Surely, they’re in the wrong place. Everyone’s looking at them full of expectation—and they can’t do this! They’re fakes. Why did they volunteer? It was stupid, Stupid! Oh, look! A butterfly! And the sky looks so nice beyond the finish line. Wouldn’t it be nice to just run and run into the blue? The Blue Beyond! What would that be like? Pisces is looking dreamily at the finish line…

The gun goes off, and Scorpio strides confidently off. They’ve got this. Pisces is shrieking and Cancer is busy trying to calm Pisces down. A head start. The race is in the bag. Scorpio’s leaving them in the dust. That’s natural selection for you. The best ahead of the pack…This is all going too well. Something might go wrong. Keep those eyes and ears open. Maybe Cancer and Pisces are planning on something nasty, running together like a team like that. It’s unnatural. Wait, what’s that! Who left that there? It’s to trip them up, isn’t it? Hahaha, but they’ve spotted it, and they won’t fall for it. Not Scorpio. Definitely not me…Who yelled that? It sounded like Steve. Just wait till the race is over. They’ll get their’s for such disrespect, yes they will. If it’s the last thing Scorpio ever does…

Scorpio reaches the finish line far ahead of Cancer and Pisces, who look relieved and happy when the race is over. They made it, and no one came out last, yay! But Scorpio doesn’t look happy. There’s scores to settle, such disrespect…No, Scorpio’s win means nothing. There’s always someone out to get them.

Never underestimate Scorpio’s ability to make themselves unhappy…

Fire Signs

Leo’s in the middle at the start line, chin in the air, confident. What are Aries and Sagittarius doing in the race? They aren’t real fire signs, not like Leo. Leo is the ultimate. Remember that time when…And they’ll own this race, too. No doubt about this. Leo is the only one in the race. The others don’t count, and it’s not like they can keep up with the King! Of course not. Leo has this in the bag, ‘cos Leo rules…

Aries, ignored by Leo, is puffing out their chest. They’re going to win. They’re smarter, faster and stronger than all the others. Leo doesn’t stand a chance, not after all the training Aries did. Aries is going to show them how it’s done, and done right. Oh yes! It’s Aries all the way, no doubt about it…

Sagittarius is…Hang on! Where’s Sagittarius? Did they drop out? Quick go find…There they are joking with friends on the sidelines. Do they realise the race is about to start? Doesn’t look like it.
The gun goes off. A tap on the shoulder, a brief word or two, and Sagittarius is off like a shot, much faster than expected. But that’s Sagittarius for you.

Leo is in the lead, but deadly serious about making the best time and all that and not allowing the others to catch up. It may be a race with only themselves, but they’re not taking any chances. Besides, its satisfying to see the finish line approach so fast.

Sagittarius is galloping along with a grin. This is the life. How exhilarating having the wind in their face, feeling the strength in their legs and knowing they’re gaining on Leo and Aries! How exciting! Nothing else matters but feeling that wind in their face and that sense of exhilaration. Oh yeah!

Aries is keeping up with Leo who’s running out of puff! But wait, what’s happening to Aries! A stumble! Now? Really! What the…Another stumble and a hand-twirling tumble! Of all the times! Aries is swearing, not far from the finish line, just a little more effort needed. Aries rolls up and sprints, giving it their all. They trip again, much to their surprise, and have the inspired idea to roll to the finish line. First is first, no matter how you win!

Except it isn’t. It’s a photo finish. One hand and two feet all crossed the finish line simultaneously. There’s an uproar, a heated debate, some dramatic losing of tempers, and the crowd is thrilled. They’ll be talking about it for days!

Never underestimate Aries clumsiness or their spot solutions to the unexpected.

Air Signs

At the start line, Libra is dithering. Is it the right thing to do? It doesn’t seem like it. What are people thinking? Does their kit look okay? Better not to over-think things. Better not to think at all. Look just what happened to Virgo. Just take it as it comes. The important thing is to maintain balance, not upset anything, It would be nice to win, though, But not if it makes Aquarius and Gemini angry at them. They couldn’t deal with that anger or drama. There’s enough of that oozing off the fire-signs. Just do whatever feels right and go with the flow. After all, it’s been decided. There’s no going back now. But what if they win? How would that change things? Definitely won’t do to upset anyone…Not again, not after last year and that time when…

Aquarius is looking detached and immaculately kitted out. They’ve got this all figured out. It’s a process, a logical thesis to be experimented with. It will be interesting to see the outcome. It would be nice to win, especially as it would prove the efficacy of logical thought applied to muscular motion and all that. Aquarius is looking detach, though occasionally longingly at the finish line…After all, finishing something means something, doesn’t it? Doesn’t it? Or does it?

Gemini is smiling. They, too, have a plan. In fact, they’ve had several and settled on the best one for today after researching Libra and Aquarius. Their friends know this too, that’s why they’re waving back. Today is Gemini Day. Today is the day they win. There’ s a plan—a strategy actually. A rock solid strategy that’s going to blast everyone else out of the…Oh, look! That butterfly again. It’s a reminder of something about the plan. What was it again, and which plan was it for? Gemini is looking strong, but faintly puzzled at the butterfly…

The gun goes off, and Aquarius is getting some surprised looks and murmuring. They’re power-walking! Slowly accelerating. A brilliant plan for conserving strength and stamina while building up speed and momentum. Scattered cheering and clapping makes them smile. At least some people get it. And winning would prove the point even further. Aquarius accelerates.

Libra is slightly alarmed. They’re in the lead and it feels all wrong. It’s upsetting the balance! It’s not like they want to be known as an athlete. That’s totally the wrong impression to make. And people would be upset! What to do? What to do? Can’t slow down, too obvious. No point in running faster, that would just make things worst. Best to keep going at this steady pace. It’s easy, it’s flowing. It feels comfortable. Keep going…but avoid more effort. Libra gives a sigh of relief. Gemini’s outpacing everyone.

Gemini, sprinting past Aquarius then Libra, is ecstatic. What did I tell you? Foolproof plan! Absolutely foolproof. This race is already won. Yes, Aquarius is still accelerating, but at a slower rate. Too little to catch up now, and Libra has only one speed. Breathing is a little difficult though. Was that in the plan? Best to slow down a little, catch a little O2. No harm done…Oh there’s the butterfly again. What was it a reminder of? Oh, yes: Don’t sprint! Gemini can hardly swear with so little breath. No need to panic, though. The race isn’t over. Still time for a new plan. This stop, catch your breath then sprint thing is working. And Aquarius has reached their top speed. There’s still hope…

Gemini sprints. And collapses with a jubilant ‘yes’, hand out-stretched and definitely smack on the finish line.
But wait. Those running shoes look all too familiar, and is that Aquarius looking way too cool offering a hand up.
Libra’s smiling. Neither first nor last! Perfect! Harmony remains, and nobodies upset with them. Life is sweet…

Never underestimate Libra’s willingness to sacrifice for harmony and to maintain friendships.