This post is in response to Trifecta's Weekday Challenge.
We want between 33 and 333 words from (and including) the third definition of the word:
1: generally used, applied, or accepted
2: vernacular <the vulgar name of a plant>
She retched into the toilet. He stomach heaved and ached. Her throat burned and begged for mercy. She didn’t care. It quelled the agony inside. The screams in her head were softer now, not as maddening.
She grappled blindly in the direction of the toilet paper roll. The pieces disintegrated around her mouth leaving a trail of white flakes on her lips and chin. She wanted nothing more than this silence to last, but she knew it was fleeting. It would rise back up slowly and intentionally with every negative thought or encounter she had. The scream would only be quelled for so long.
At this moment, though, she was freed her from the bonds of her own torture. She took a deep breath, stepped out of the stall, and washed her face in the sink. She was not that vulgar little athlete that she used to be. She was what they called "elite". She walked out of the bathroom into a sea of colored running jerseys and shorts. The women in them were distracted while they warmed up and stayed in their own heads. They could not see through her facade. They could not hear her screams.
She began her own routine. She stretched her anxious muscles and tied her racing sneakers. She didn’t dare go into her own head. She knew the monster that awaited her in there. She needed this moment. As hard as she tried, she could not help but watch the other competitors. Their running form was stronger than hers. Their muscles were larger and their legs seemed faster.
The screaming gained momentum. She took her mark with the other runners. Side by side, they supported each other in the last moments before they were opponents. Months of preparation replayed through her head as she heard,
“On your marks! Get set! GO!”
They took off like a shot, the screaming in her head louder than ever.