Ringy

"I hate him" "Not as much as i do" Tup said, pulling down his flag. He walked off the arena with Panda and they entered a ample hole on the wall. "Who does he think he is representing. Our hole?" "He is worst. He shouldn't have made it to the finals." "He is ugly haven't you noticed." "Yeah. I have" Panda replied. 

Ringy cut down the tag on his chest. He looked like a loser. His speed, wasn't it. But no one else was going to run for his hole. Now that he was. No one was out to watch him run.

He scaled the tall wall leading to his hole as he walked away.

It was 12pm the big wall clock beetling over Mrs Cocker's big cupboard had rang it wild alarm. The Final was going to be in 3hours time. Ringy ran fleetly on a curtain rail and he took the lonely path, leading to Mrs Cocker's kitchen. "Hey loser" He heard someone call on him from behind. It was Enoch. A big mouse with a very long tail. "I heard you made it to the finals". Enoch said running after Ringy who was walking his way slowly towards Mrs Cocker's kitchen. 

"Am hungry man." "Did you really qualify for the finals" "Yeah." Ringy replied crassly. He went down the curtain and he crashed into the ground while Enoch followed him closely, laughing. " So tell me. How did it happen" "Nothing." Ringy answered. He smelled fish from afar, and he sniffed, then he zoomed towards the cupboard in which the gas cylinder had been fixed." "Poison" Enoch yelled. Blocking Ringy's part. 

"But i am hungry." "Wait for the next alarm. You will have a lot to eat by then." "Ooooh" Ringy turned around. He sniffed as he looked at the roof from a distance. "Nothing in here is save" Enoch whispered then he laughed. "Can you win this race for our hole?" Ringy pushed him aside and he walked freely towards the kitchen's exit. He climbed hurriedly up the brown curtain with it's base hitting the ground. Then he was balanced on top of the door. 

**************************

Ringy sat close to the main switch in the living room. The very spot he loved to stay. Mrs Cocker's kids were at home. The TV was on and the sounds coming off it was extremely loud. Ringy had a piece of wool in his ear as he watched the kids play a soccer game. He had never wanted to be a loser. He was the only one who fancied racing in his hole. But he wasn't so good at it. 

A light sparked behind him and he jumped involuntarily out of fear. He fell on one of the chairs, and he rushed quickly under the chair before the kids noticed him. He eyed the wall and he looked out for the wire that climbed up the switch.

He sighted the wire and he ran towards it. The kids were deep into the game. No one noticed him. He ran up back into the Woods that ran around the living room. The same wood were clocks and pictures were hung. His sharp eyes looked towards the switch, he could see smoke, and a wire going red. "Help" he held a faint voice. He knew it was a rat, trapped in there. He ran towards the voice and he looked. Behind the switch was two familiar rats. They were too short to make it into the hole on the roof, neither could they run through the red wires. Soon the kids would notice the spark and they would get someone elderly to rectify the error. The rats will be killed once they are seen. Panda and Tup were the rats trapped up there. Ringy stared angrily after he had confirmed they were the one's trapped in there. He wasn't going to help them. They had been his biggest threat in the hole, but they were the only rats who had come to watch him race among all the other rats in his hole. 

The wires sparked again and it began to glow, producing tick smokes. Ringy looked around for a route down the roof. He went down and he was up in a minute with a wood in his mouth. "Jump on it" Ringy screamed as he ran towards the wires. He rushed in it, stocked and trapped as the the current off the wire, ran through him. 

The light in the whole room went out and the kids yelled. Tup noticed the wood in Ringy's mouth. 

Panda ran towards Ringy, who had the stick tightly held between his teeth. His eyes had gone white and he was now stiff. Panda jumped on the wood and Tup climbed on quickly. Panda pushed Tup up till he could reach the hole. "Pull me up" Panda yelled. Tup let down his tail, Panda rested on the wood noticing it was getting humped and it would break in any minute. The wood broke as Panda tail rolled around Tup's tail creating a straight bound. Panda climbed up with the help of Tup's tail, avoiding himself from touching Ringy.

"Rats" Someone yelled with a light pointing at the switch. Panda pulled up Tup with the whole of his strength till they were in the roof. They both ran towards a hole far off not looking back. 

"He is stocked. He is in the wires" The boy on a stool with the lamp pointed at the switch said "His he dead?" Someone else asked. The guy with the light looked closely at Ringy. "I don't know" He replied on top of his voice. "No he is not" He yelled again. "it's tail just moved." "Don't touch it. Let mum get back" Someone else advised. 


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"His he really dead" Panda asked as he walked into the arena. He could see rats from other holes. Pulling up their flags. 

"We should have waited." Tup said regretfully.

 "We would have been dead." 

"But he died to save us"

 "I don't believe he is dead." Panda said, his head down. He looked up as he heard the race organiser announce racer 14 missing. That was Ringy from their hole.

Tup rubbed his fur and he said calmly to panda "Lets get back." Panda took another look back. He saw other rats from other holes cheering up their racers. 

"Noooo. I am going to watch this" Panda said. He broke free off Tup's grip and he hopped towards the Arena. "They both struggled to break through the crowds of rat till they could see the track. 

"Where are you going" Tup asked panda. "To help Ringy complete this race. "Follow me" panda said. They walked towards the starting point and they went to met the judge. 

Millo, an old rat with a brown spot on his plane white colour. "Is he also running" Tup whispered. "shhhh" panda signed. "He is too old for a race. He might break down." "Hey mister" "Yes" millo turned around." "You should be up there not here. What do you want." "To replace Ringy." "Ringy!" Millo exclaimed with a frown. "He is sick." "Nooooo" Millo replied he turned around and he faced the racers who were busy taking position.  "Stay here you" Millo ordered one of the racers who had gone few centimeters off the mark. 

"What can i do for you." Millo asked blindly. "Wait!. Is he deaf" Tup whispered in panda's ear. He got no reply. "Get in line you two. If he is sick then you will have to help him. Isn't that you want." He pointed to Tup. "You cant run 3laps. I don't want your lungs out."

Millo vanished and he returned in a bink with a wood having a red tiny thread running around it. "You will run the first lap. Return here and hand over the baton. Then you will take the 2nd lap" Milo hit Tup gently as he spoke. "And you will get back here, handling the baton to him. Whats your name." "Panda" panda replied. He picked up a piece of paper off the ground. He unrolled it and he wrote on it. A thin piece of wood holding two irregular shaped lens was on his face. "And you" He faced Tup. "Tup." "Hole 14. Get in line pls" Millo said, rolling up the piece of paper and he stepped aside. 

"No you. first" Tup pushed panda forward. "No you" Panda fought his way back forward. The two went on and on. Till they heard the whistle. They both jumped into the line and they zoomed off. Tup stopped seeing Panda had gone way ahead. He returned to the starting line awaiting the first lap to be completed. 

The rat cheered and screamed the names of racers from their holes. 

The sound got closer. Tup set one leg on the mark, his left hand behind him as he prepared to receive the baton. 

He squint as he felt desperate racers run pass him. "hmmmm" He sighed, looking behind. He could see Panda running towards him from afar. The rats in the arena wooed Tup. Panda could hear Millo's distinct laugh. Millo was almost choking. 

Tup snatched the baton off panda's teeth and he raced after the other 18 rats that had gone far head. 

He zoomed towards the finish line signifying the end of the 2nd lap. He could hear his number been wooed. He rushed towards panda and he handed over the baton. The knew it was all up. Cooker's Hole was going to heap it all again. They are good for nothing.- That as what everyone will say. It was two against one still. They still couldn't win. Tup beat up the pace a bit but it was nothing. The 18 other rats were far ahead of him. He could see the line again. Panda was waiting to pick up the baton. Tup threw the baton at panda. Well caught!!! Panda zoomed off. His heart hammered faster and his lungs was starting to hurt him. 

Out of no were came an intruder into the track. There was a scream from the rats loitering around the track. they all took their face off the rats who were miles away and they looked back. Panda fell into the ground. He looked and he felt a bolt of surprise run through him. It was Ringy. His eyes was like a spark field. Panda could see the spark in his eyes. 

"Ringy" "Shhh" Ringy sighed. He snatched the baton from him and he went like lightening. He dashed at the 18 rats far ahead of him it would take few of them less than 20 seconds to cross over the finishing line. The whole spectator let go of a wide scream. None of them had seen such a speed. Ringy's movement was untraceable. All they saw was lightning, nothing else. They all were taken by surprise.

 The Rat with the tag number 7 crossed the finishing line putting a lot of rats behind him. He looked up and he saw another rat standing few centimeters away from the finishing line. "Noooo." 

"That is impossible" 

"What the hell" 

"Did you?" 

"Wao" 

"Oh my God" 

"Was that lightening?" The rats watching had said randomly. 

Milo's glasses fell off. He looked at Ringy, panting and his jaw dropped. The other 18 rats walked towards him, pulling off their number tags. "How did you do that" The rat holding the tag number 7 asked and before he could come up with a reply better than a smile.  

Panda was jumping at him, then Tup followed. Tears in their eyes. "We thought. You were..." "Shhhhhh" he broke in and he looked up at them "Lets go raise the flag of our hole." He was not done when he heard rushing steps. He looked around in amusement and he noticed the whole rats in the arena had broken into the tracks "Ringy!!! Ringy!!!" He heard his name been screamed. 

He was caught up by panda and Tup and he was thrown up into the sky. 

┬ęGodwin Okhuoya