The sperm in Billy Quinn’s testicles had gathered around to tell each other stories of the Race. This was a popular topic of late and the younger sperm were excited about it. “The Race,” explained Fredrickson – the oldest of the sperm, “is when we take a marathon journey through the…well…the woman’s downstairs parts (here, Fredrickson adjusted his reading glasses uncomfortably) until one of us reaches The Egg or Ovum as some of y’all might call it.”
Carl Sperm knew that he was the one who had to win the Race. He would join the Egg (or the Ovum or whatever) and make the best kid possible. Carl was funny, studious and kind – qualities anyone would want in their future child.
Some of the other sperm were…a worrying lot. Davis was alright. He was a little absent-minded though. Carl saw him knock over ladders and almost walk into traffic once. Benny was a glutton. He spent his days eating fried chicken and laughing like a mule at repetitive sitcoms on the telly. But Carl’s biggest concern was Hugo.
Hugo Sperm. Just thinking about him made Carl shudder uncomfortably. The guy walks around smelling of clove cigarettes and told the others bullshit stories of the time he went to Budapest.
“Dude, you’ve never been to Budapest.”
“Haven’t I though?” Hugo would reply mysteriously, as the other sperm would listen intently at the lies Hugo would tell about Hungarian cuisine and their incredible culture. That fedora-wearing asshole must not win the Race.
Carl began an exercise regime to make sure he’d be able to make it to the Egg. He started waking up at 4:30 AM, sometimes beating his alarm clock. Yawning, he’d put on his headphones (often The Black Keys or the “Rocky” theme tune) and start his jog around the lake while the world was still a mist, undeveloped fully as if it were dream gradually taking solid form.
As the weeks went past he’d get that uneasy feeling that he was being watched. Not by Steve (they’d jog past each other on some mornings and nod courteously at each other). No. This had the feel of that goddamn Hugo character.
Hugo smiled at him on the day before the Race. “I seen you run around the lake, Carl. What’s your best time?”
“14:05,” embellished Carl uncomfortable at being cross-examined by his clove-smelling rival.
“Reeeaally? Well, good luck tomorrow. I hope my record time of 13:45 doesn’t daunt you too much.”
Was he lying? Probably. And yet, Carl Sperm was nervous and afraid as he walked up to the start line the next day. He and Hugo locked eyes. I will not let him win, thought Carl. I will win this Race. I must. Hugo shot him a condescending wink. And just like that, the Race started.
Carl, dashing. He goes past Benny as Benny wheezes uncomfortably. He races past Davis who fumbled the start. Carl is neck-and-neck with Steve for a while but he sees Steve is faltering. And up ahead, Hugo. Pompous, lying Hugo. Carl needs to step up his game. And with a burst of adrenalin he overtakes Steve. He’s catching up to Hugo! He’s catching up to Hugo! If he just pushes himself enough he can overtake that smug, son-of-a-
Billy Quinn ejaculates into a sock. Sweaty and slightly ashamed, he turns off the anime featuring Japanese princesses. “I really need to get a girlfriend,” he says to himself.