In 1979 Stephen King published a novella called “The Long Walk” under his pseudonym Richard Bachman. King had actually written it about 10 years prior but couldn’t find anyone to publish it. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend. It is not a traditional horror story, but the America that is depicted is probably not one where you want to live. Although, that itself might classify it as more than a thriller. Originally the manuscript was part of “The Bachman Books”, but that collection is now out of print due to the sensitivity of the first story, “Rage”. While incredibly riveting and well-written, it spins the tale of a high school shooting and that was a bit too uncomfortable for many after Columbine. With that said, the collection is still available from used bookstores and “The Long Walk” has been published separately. So back to the story…
The Long Walk is an annual ubermarathon where 100 boys volunteer to walk as far and long as they can. The race ends when there is only one boy still walking. If they fall below 4 MPH, they receive a warning. You can work off a warning by staying above 4 MPH for another hour. After 3 warnings, you are shot. Shot dead. The winner receives anything and everything he might want for the rest of his life. Unfortunately the winner is most often insane by the time they are the last standing.
Last weekend Michael and I decided to go on our own Long Walk. We had been talking about what to do for our 15th wedding Anniversary in October and had been thinking about a weekend trip. After tossing around some ideas, we came upon something that sounded both better…and just right. The Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. The event is being held in Charlotte the weekend after our Anniversary, so it is just perfect. It is also the 15th anniversary of my grandmother’s death to breast cancer. No need to say more more. It just is right to do this.
So, we will be looking for help with the fundraising and will need all the support and inspiration that you all can provide. Our Long Walk is either 26.2 or 39 miles over two days. It seems rather daunting at the moment, but I am pretty certain that Avon doesn’t condone shooting the losers. Although…that might be the motivation many of us need. That King guy might have been on to something.