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Friday, October 25, 2019

Microstory 1220: Celestine Evered

Celestine Evered’s main goal in life was to push her own boundaries, and see how strong she really was. She wasn’t concerned about being superior to others, or getting the glory. She just saw every day as an opportunity to get this close to crashing and burning, but still survive. Needless to say, this landed her in trouble now and then. She never had any interest in committing crimes, per se—because she didn’t like to hurt other people—but she did often break the rules. The rules she broke were only ever the ones that were there for her protection, rather than to protect others from her. For instance, she was suspended from school for two days for hopping the length of the roof on one leg. She didn’t tell anyone she was going to do it, so she wasn’t looking for bragging rights, and in fact, no one was meant to see her at all. The custodian just so happened to be taking out the trash at the time. Otherwise, she probably would have gotten away with it. She had a hard time getting others to understand her motivations. They weren’t, strictly speaking, normal, and she was fully aware of this. But she was also knew that she was not the only one; nor was she alone, not even in her own community. Other kids were impressed by her boldness, and of other stories they had heard about her exploits. They started the Young Thrill-Seekers Club. It was formed by students at her elementary school, but it was not at all sanctioned by the institution. They tried to get official approval, but the administration refused to endorse what they called intentionally dangerous behavior. Still, no one but perhaps their parents could stop them from meeting in public spaces after school, and on weekends. They would do parkour, tightrope walking, races, and more. Celestine tried to get them to host dances, but she was really the only one who liked that sort of thing. The group grew fairly large over the course of that year, quickly including kids from all over the district, and some from even farther away. Their adventures were getting noticed.

One day, one of these newer members challenged Celestine’s older brother to a special race. He had noticed that they lived equidistant from an area of Kansas City called Crown Center, though in completely different directions. He said they should start at the same time, and see who arrived at the designated spot first. The challenge was accepted, and news spread among the group of what they were going to do. Members placed themselves all over the city, and kept their phones at the ready. They didn’t end up filming the whole thing, but they caught fragments of it, and a group member who was into that sort of thing edited all together, and posted it on her web channel. The video went viral, and caught the attention of some of the city’s more prominent citizens. Surprisingly quickly, an idea was born for what would later be called the City Frenzy event. Contestants would be assigned different starting and ending points, criss-crossing each other’s routes in a carefully planned, but still entertainingly chaotic manner. They didn’t know how popular this competition would become, but they hoped to make it an annual thing. They got their wish, of course, and while Celestine was too young to compete in its first couple years, she became a relatively famous competitor for the Frenzy’s many, many fans. She would later begin a tradition with a fellow dancer, where they ignored the finish line, and tried to increase their respective audiences against each other. She actually didn’t care much for the competition, but it was important to her best friend, so she went along with it. She didn’t ever let Gabriella win, though. She still gave it her all every time, and their friendship was far stronger for it. After she aged out of the Frenzy, Celestine kept living her life the only way she knew how. She founded another thrill-seeker’s club, but this time for adults. It was well-funded, highly organized, and grew to be so big that there were eventually chapters in all major cities around the country. They would go kayaking and mountain climbing, and do all sorts of crazy stunts; not for any audience, but for themselves. Celestine kept dancing, but not competitively anymore, and she didn’t do performances. She just went out a lot, and had fun, which she determined was the whole purpose of life.

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