Ball or the man

By @Rayne-A

Chapter 1

It was a dark, gloomy and rainy night in East London. The floodlights beamed on the freshly cut grass field and the crowd filled with parents who drowned out the sound of the rain splattering on the field. The goalkeeper rolled the sparkling Mitre soccer ball to my feet. It was the quarter final of the London cup and my team from the age of 9, SW Dons were facing our South London’s Brixton Bulls, the score was tied at 1-1 and there were 3 minutes left in the game. I took a look up and passed it off to Corbin. Corbin Dyer, was a stocky center-back who played alongside me he was a nice guy most of the time but got a greedy when it game to eating the pre match meals, he saw the darting run of Jack and found him perfectly, Jack White wasn’t the greatest player on the team but he was hardworking, reliable, and very quick. He bombed down the line and was rapidly approaching the opposition penalty box, I could see the Brixton defense quivering in fear. Jack didn’t even need to look up to see where our star man was he just chipped it in the box and waited for the inevitable. Now Joel Allingham wasn’t just a good player he was the best player I’ve seen, you could see his towering figure from a mile off and he didn’t let that immense height hinder him because he was great with his feet as well. Not only was he the star player but he was my best mate and he has been it since the day we started. Joel controlled the ball and spun the hopeless defender he was now facing the goal and was winding up to hit a devilish ball, the crowd gasped in awe, mesmerized by the soccer they were seeing. I was ready to celebrate the incoming goal but then suddenly, Joel was falling to the ground. The hopeless Brixton defender had made a last grasp effort to stop the shot but unfortunately he caught Joel’s leg, the ref blew his whistle. One minute to go. Penalty. “YEESSS!” the crowd roared from the stands. I ran across the field to pick up my best mate. “So you want me to take this one yeah?”. Joel had a grin carved on his face,” bruv, is that even a question, of course I’m taking this.”. Suddenly you could hear a figure in the distance shouting at the top of his lungs, as he got closer you could see his ginger hair, pale skin and skinny build coming into picture. “Cheating again you tossers?” the ginge bellowed. I squinted my eyes and made out the face. It was Interwood’s Robert Kirk. Boy did I hate that kid, always complaining, always trying to start something, he was just a bit of pest.” Shut up Rob, after we scored this we’re coming to smash your dead team in the semis!” I roared.

“Yeah alright Jamie,” Robert smirked, “just watch yourselves after the game.”. Robert strolled out of the stadium without looking. We almost forgot that there was a game going on, the ref brought back our focus with the blow of the whistle and Joel placed the ball on the penalty spot. Joel stood there, number 13 on his back glaring into the keeper’s eyes The event seemed to last hours and the rain was getting colder by the second but nothing was as cold as the striker’s mind. He jogged up to the ball slowed down and then sprinted to the strike the ball. The goalkeeper dived the right way. The net rustled. 2-1 SW Dons. My teammates sprinted toward Joel, Corbin and Jack hugged me and made their way towards the star man. Shortly I travelled to the team to join the celebration but I couldn’t help but think about Rob’s words. What did he Mean?

The game finished and the players and I gracefully glided across the parking straight from the dressing rooms, our joy showed on our faces like a beacon as we made our way to our homes. As I opened the door to my car I glanced back at the match winner Joel Allingham and said my goodbye. Corbin and Jack were planted the back seat glued to their phones. I descended into the vehicle preparing to depart when I heard a SCREEECHHH!!! Drown the gloomy night. Suddenly, a white van pulled into the picture full of dark figures shielding their identity. They headed straight for Joel’s car. Before I could alert him the anonymous characters flew out the back of the van, one of them wielding a bat. “JOEL LOOK OUT!” I bellowed, almost busting my lungs. Joel, who was fastening his seat belt swiveled his head at the oncoming danger, he tried to defend himself but it was useless. The attackers swept him off his feet and the man who carried the bat struck Joel’s right leg. The crunch sounded like a person devouring their favorite chips. Joel roared in pain as his invaluable leg hung as limp as a twig. I darted towards my friend to help. The parking log was drooling with blood the tears of my friend. “Jack, call the ambulance!” I begged. Jack and Corbin were following behind shocked by the string of events. I searched for the monsters but they had used our panic to escape in the van. As they zoomed off into the black of night, I caught a glimpse of detail from one of them it was ginger hair reflecting off the window. Robert Kirk was behind this. I was clear that Interwood couldn’t beat us by the ball, so they took the man instead. Joel’s season was over … and so was ours.

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