Monday, June 29, 2015

Today's #flashfiction The Underdog Story

“Marco! Polo! Marco! Polo!”
The Blair Witch Project* #quote

Today I caught the gingerbread man. The trick is to lure him by using a gingerbread lady. Anyway onto the flash fiction!

The Underdog Story

         I've spent days with these kids, drilling them, teaching them everything I know. They've poured so much effort and time into this sport to get scholarships. We've been beating school after school, securing a reputation for them. All the schools consider the Westhills High Snakes the best team because of the hard work we've put into it.
        “Mr. Indigo, thanks for coaching me,” my students tell me. I know that even if they don't go pro a good football scholarship can fulfill a dream or two.
         But then it's starting to fall apart. An insult to the reputation we've worked so hard to build. The worst team in the school district, perhaps the entire state was wrecking us. Dumb luck. Maybe one gifted kicker that God blessed with magic winds to guide his ball. These “underdogs” the crowd cheered on made our hard work crumble. This pivotal last game of the season, when I felt the judging eyes of the scholarship committees peering on the games. People remember the climaxes of stories, of films. I wished I could run out there with my old body, blow my whistle and call foul on whatever mystic force helped our competition. People shouldn't have lucky days like in kid movies.
        All the hard work we put in to become the best shouldn't be undermined by whatever made them so powerful on that day. The worst team doesn't become the best overnight.
       “So, your students are doing very well aren't they?” I said to the coach of the Eastmountains High Mice.
        He smiled and said, “Why yes, all the students studied up on the history of football and learned a great deal. After doing an essay on a pro player we went on a field trip and...” the other coach stopped his talking short, something he'd been famous for. After he spoke I noticed he fidgeted with his whistle, it was not a normal whistle, but a strange glass one. No, not glass, some kind of strange clear, crystal. I glanced at scoreboard, the game wasn't near over and their score was double ours. We had time.
         I decided to take a gamble. I went after the strangle whistle. The coach was a short man so grabbing his whistle and pulling it off of him was like pulling something stuck on a hanger in the closet. When it came off he started cursing at me, but soon both of our attentions were taken by a quick flash of light from the field.
        For a brief moment ghostly figures of men in football gear came out of the “underdog” team, one for each of them. I felt relieved more than anything else. My team didn't lose any skill. There was some explanation, though only rational on some levels. Some force did decide to help this team, cheat them to victory, but fortunately I stopped them.
        The sight didn't last long enough for people to regard it for more than some eye trick where everyone saw a weird optical illusion of the sports team from the Sun. I knew better. I threw the whistle away, so that no “underdogs” could use it to cheat with it again.

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