Chase woke up that day before snoozing his alarm a second time. However, he had not risen from his slumber with the peacefully exasperated sigh common to many houses across the world; today was the day the streets were required by law to be clear due to some kind of local project to refurbish the street curbs, and his van was still parked outside. 7 AM to 9 PM. 7 AM to 9 PM. What time was it? 8:18 AM. The covers were thrown aside in a flurry of morning anxiety.
He began his run that morning with greater zeal than normal, but it was not so much a run for cardiovascular health as it was for fear of his car ending up in an impound storage facility. Grabbing his keys and foregoing his wallet, Chase sprinted outside in the half-awake daze of the earlier hours, backing his van onto his lawn before trudging back inside. He walked through the door he had left open, and closed it behind him before walking briskly to his room and turning off his already sounding alarm. He shrugged silently and turned about face to retrieve his earbuds from the top of the miniature refrigerator; he was already up – might as well actually go for a run.
The sky was awash in formless clouds, but enough light came through the clouded canopy to create a canvas of bright grey, barely discernible from white had it not been for the defining contrast of the elevated greenery. Birds whistled and squawked in vaguely nearby trees on indiscernible branches, and the soft wind gently berated his ears. Bushes quaked gently as he looked onwards into the stillness. Air came into his lungs smoothly and stirred his body to motion.
He began to stretch, leaning towards the wall, feeling the muscles limber up gradually, then he set off, putting his earbuds in along the start. As he ran, he sped up to acclimate himself to the subtle chill grazing his skin. His breath became slightly more labored, but he continued his dogged pursuit. Why run? He ran from his asthma, keeping the wheezing at bay once a week with a two-mile run. He ran from a lack of discipline by forcing himself to adhere to a routine that was not of particular enjoyment. He ran from the problems weighing on his heart at the time, clearing his mind in the morning to prepare himself to meet the world that day.
He finished the two-mile cadence, and found himself wheezing slightly as he ran out the end of the path. It was a sound not unlike the distant cry of seagulls by the ocean, and it concerned him.