Training Final: Fin

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“Come on, Fin, we can’t be late today.”

What was supposed to get Fin out of bed only made him curl up closer to Walter. He’d been awake for the last hour,  lying there with his head on Walter’s chest, soaking up the feeling of just being alive. Now that Walter was awake, pretending to be asleep was increasingly difficult.

“Come on,” Walter insisted, shifting underneath him.

“No,” Fin whined, squeezing his eyes shut. “What does it even matter? Even if we get amazing scores no one is gonna think we actually have a chance in hell and we’re too old for sympathy sponsors.”

Walter wedged an arm under Fin and gently pried him away, much to Fin’s displeasure. “We still have to show up.”

“Fine.” Fin watched as Walter slipped out of bed and crossed the room. Walter paused at the door, turning back to the bed and biting his lip. It looked as though he wanted to say something, but he ended up just shaking his head.

As the door closed, Fin couldn’t help but wonder what he was going to say, if he was going to say anything at all. But he didn’t have time to dwell on it. He had to get ready, after all.

They didn’t say much as they sat in the cold grey holding room, waiting to get called for their turn at impressing the judges. Fin mostly just leaned into Walter, trying to leech some body heat off him because it was really freaking cold in there. The temperature was actually relatively normal, but Fin didn’t have enough body fat to properly insulate himself.

“Finnegan Burbitt.” His name sounded cold and strange over the loudspeaker.

Suddenly, he couldn’t move. Fin swallowed and willed himself to get up, but he just sat there for several long seconds, trying to remember what Gryffon had told him to do. Something impressive. Right…

Walter elbowed him gently. “Go on.”

Fin blinked rapidly several times before turning and pressing his lips to Walter’s. His friend went rigid under the unexpected kiss and didn’t reciprocate until the moment before Fin pulled away. But it was enough for Fin. Walter’s awkwardness somehow gave him courage.

The lights in the training room were nearly unbearable. Fin had to squint as he stepped in. The air here was slightly less cold, but not by much. The room also seemed strangely empty without everyone. It left Fin feeling oddly exposed as he stood there, under the too bright lights in front of the panel of serious judges he could barely see in the glare.

“You may begin.”

He wasn’t ready. He wanted to tell them to turn up the heater and turn down the lights, to just give him five goddamn minutes to remember what he was supposed to be doing. But kids younger than him did this all the time. He could do this, he could handle it.

During his training time he’d studied knots, snares, and slingshots. Originally, he’d planned to make a slingshot and fire it. Hey, he knew how to tie knots decently. But Gryffon had advised against it. He didn’t have anything elastic for the string. Besides, he’d never even made a slingshot before. But how hard could it be?

Slowly, Fin made his way over to the fake forest-y area and kicked around the dirt for a y-shaped branch. As he did so, a new anxiety took hold. What if he couldn’t find a good branch? But a bit more shuffling around produced a y-ish shaped thing that he snatched up and clutched tightly to his chest as the relief washed over him.

But even as he plucked away the excess twigs growing out of the side, he knew he still lacked the vital ingredient: something stretchy. Shit

He eyed the string on the knots table warily. After spending all day with the stuff, he knew it didn’t have any give. Come on, Fin, think. He took in a deep, shuddering breath, acutely aware that the judges were watching, and stared at the floor hard.

Which was when he noticed his tennis shoes.

The laces had much more give than the string. Maybe…

Fin kneeled down and set his branch on the floor before untying his left shoe and then sliding the lace all the way out. Now that his shoe was all loose and floppy, he decided to just kick it off. And the other one too, since it’d be stupid to wear just one.

Pressed for time, Fin decided to forgo the rock holder thing in the middle and just tie both ends of his shoelace to the prongs in the Y. He used a double half hitch knot because it was one of the only ones he remembered clearly, and… ended up with something that resembled a slingshot.

But would it work?

Fin picked up a few rocks out of the forest area before straightening up with his new weapon. He set most of the rocks on the knots table, but saved one to fit into his shoelace. At this point he could have found a dummy or something to test it on, but the clock was ticking so he settled on one of the trees as the target.

Sweat beaded at his forehead as he pulled his arm back. It had to work. He didn’t have time to do anything else.

The moment the rock left his hand, he knew he was screwed.

The rock floundered and landed at his bare feet. Fuck.

Panicking, Fin snatched up another rock and fitted it into place. This time, he flicked the wrist holding the branch forward as he released. The rock flew a few unimpressive feet before clattering back down to earth. Okay, but it was something. He just had to make it look like it was working.

Third rock. Last chance. Fin held his breath as he readied it again and tried to focus. He stared long and hard at the tree, as if trying to burn a hole in it with his eyes. That would be impressive. But he couldn’t think about dumb stuff like that. Focus.

He flicked his wrist, letting the rock go free. It whizzed through the air before hitting the trunk of the tree with a satisfying thunk. Fin wanted to scream and punch the air in relief, but he held himself back. It wasn’t even that impressive, after all. It was only a tiny victory.

Instead, he turned to face the judges and bowed low. He kept his mouth shut, afraid he’d say something stupid, and bent down lower to grab his shoes. Though he wanted to keep it, Fin left the shitty slingshot he made on the table as he passed.

He probably wouldn’t have killed anyone with a shot like that, but, hopefully, he’d managed to show some ingenuity.
Fin uses his shoelaces to make a slingshot. 

I actually went outside and made a stupid slingshot using my shoelaces and a branch. It ONLY SORT OF WORKS?? I had to fudge it with my wrist like Fin did here. Idek.

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anonymous's avatar
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X-I-L2048's avatar
X-I-L2048Hobbyist General Artist
Interesting idea, making a slingshot with his shoelace. :) I hope he does well!
X-I-L2048's avatar
X-I-L2048Hobbyist General Artist
Welcome. C:
Always-Tea-Time's avatar
Always-Tea-TimeStudent General Artist
Very creative! And though it may not have seemed impressive to Fin, I think the thinking outside the box aspect of taking his shoelace to make a makeshift slingshot is pretty damn awesome, evernGryffon would disagree :p
And now I really do want to try this slingshot-shoelace thing out xD
ObsessedXShipper's avatar
Aw, thanks! <3

Good, haha I hope Gryffon would approve! 

My dog became weirdly obsessed with the rock I shot. He was freaking out over it and picked it up. He wanted to bring it inside the house but I said no, hahaha. 
Always-Tea-Time's avatar
Always-Tea-TimeStudent General Artist
Eee my pleasure! <3

And dem typos ._. I hate autocorrect so much uhg.
*even Gryffon would agree ><

Oh my god haha! Silly doggy xD 
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