Rise - Prologue - Gabriel Arnold


“Hello and welcome back everyone! In case you just missed it, England’s Philly Dee has just put on one of the most spectacular displays of skill ever to grace this arena. He started out a little slow but his final tech has landed him in first place with a comfortable half point lead. Philly Dee has finally nailed the Super Dive - Angel Drop. Yes you heard that right, a wall hanging inward flip, a drop of EIGHT feet straight down, CATCHING the next wall lip, and then seamlessly popping off into a layout back flip. Keep in mind; no one has even attempted that combo since Romero Merez nearly ended his career trying it a year ago. But that pocket of insanity might just clinch 37-year-old Phil’s chances at a fourth international title. A good thing too for the oldest competing runner because he has confirmed this competition as his last shot at glory.”

“The screams have just doubled in volume and that can mean only one thing: Andre Levy has taken his position at the starting gate. 22-year-old Andre just entered the international scene early last year but he has already taken the PKFR world by storm. He’s won three back-to-back continental titles, landed the first ever Wall Double Side Simi in competition, and now, he’s taking aim at the world title. The music has started, the bass rocking the arena seats. Andre signals that he’s ready to begin and…there he goes! Diving front flip over the starting gate, a trademark of his, rolling out of it and seamlessly dropping in off the first wall. He takes aim at the monkey scaffolds and…”

“…10 seconds left on Andre’s 90 second run here. It’s been pretty impressive so far but I don’t know if it’ll be enough to top Philly Dee’s. He stops, hands on his knees and breathing hard. These high intensity runs mean quite a bit of lag as runners regain strength. He winds up, leaps and…WHOA! OH MY GOD! HOLY, HOLY SH-! No way, NO WAY! Pray you did not just blink folks, PRAY! Coming out of a dead sprint, a 360 Gainer over the Big Gap, dropping down six feet into a BLIND RAIL PRECISION! And he hit it clean, standing straight on the rail as the buzzer blared! The crowd is going ballistic; the judges are even cheering! The other runners are losing their minds, tackling Andre to the ground in excitement! No question, no question! Andre Levy has upset Phil Doyle to take this year’s 18th Annual World Parkour/Freerun Championsh-!“

Rusty pointed the tiny silver remote at the drop screen and shut off the playback. He had watched the run dozens of times in the past week. Every time it ended the same way: Andre twisting and soaring, the entire world holding its breath. Then the noise, the explosion of noise. Every time. Rusty would pause the video just as Andre hit the peak of his jump, trying to imagine himself there at the arena. There, in the crowd, as one of the runners, as Andre himself. Trying to imagine that feeling of, of...he didn’t know. There just wasn’t a word for it. Accomplishment? Awe? Freedom? None of them fit. So he’d watch the run again. And again. And again. And turn it off again and again, frustrated and annoyed that he couldn’t put his finger on that feeling. He glanced at the clock, did a double take. 7:54, damn, now he had to run to catch the Mag-Lev train at 8:05. He snatched up his bag, clapped the lights off, hustled out the door, and locked it behind him. And then he ran.

It’s the year 2028. PKFR, the abbreviation for Parkour/Freerun, has become a household name, replacing soccer and football as the most widely practiced sport in the world. Every child, parent, and even grandparent knows about it. There are PKFR clubs in every town, techs (the slang term for moves and tricks) are taught in school P.E. classes, and competitions are held regularly for amateurs and professionals alike, the champions becoming bigger celebrities than David Beckham in his prime. PKFR has become mainstream, and the mainstream has become PKFR.

Russell “Rusty” Klein is a 17-year-old high school student living in “The City”. Ever since he could remember he has idolized Runners, the name for PKFR athletes. Their power, skill, and confidence captured his imagination. But he has never trained in PKFR. His mother has forbidden the training, ever since his father, one of the original Runners, died while filming a television special downtown. So Rusty has been forced to merely watch his dreams, to follow the champs online, and to sneak the occasional vault into his jogs. But today, he will miss his train. He will meet a man. And stumble into something so life changing, so incredible, that his world will never be the same...

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Written by Paul Mederos   
Wednesday, 11 March 2009 03:23
Last Updated on Monday, 13 December 2010 21:42